Paula Hammond named head of Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT By Lango Deen Aug 19, 2015 - 7:28:09 AM An MIT faculty member since 1995, Paula Hammond, the David H. Koch Professor in Engineering, has been named the new head of the Department of Chemical Engineering (ChemE). She is the first woman and first person of color appointed to the post. "We are fortunate to have someone with Professor Hammond's vision and dedication to lead this distinguished department," says Ian A. Waitz, dean of the School of Engineering. "She has a deep knowledge of the Institute and has led a remarkable career as a researcher and educator. Please join me in congratulating Paula on this appointment." Hammond is a core faculty member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and was a founding member of the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies. She has collaborators in academic departments throughout the Institute, and has worked with clinicians and researchers at various Boston-area hospitals. Her research group focuses on biomaterials and drug delivery. Their research focuses on the self-assembly of polymeric nanomaterials; the core of her work is the use of electrostatics and other complementary interactions to generate functional materials with highly controlled architectures, including the development of new biomaterials and electrochemical energy devices. She and her former students and postdocs have started a range of biotech companies. Here is an interview Professor Hammond did with Black Engineer dot com's Lango Deen in 2004 to mark National Mentoring Month. Paula Hammond: I'm very active with informal and formal mentoring of African American students and women students on and off campus. For example, I speak to advise and encourage the African-American students at MIT, attend and give forums, and appear on panels that address career issues and issues of work and family. I've been working at my church, St. Paul A.M.E. in Cambridge, as a volunteer in its Math-Science Academy. .