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Julie Fenton Joins Faculty of Department of Chemistry

28 May 2021
Julie Fenton

The Penn State Department of Chemistry is pleased to announce that Julie Fenton will be joining the department faculty as an assistant professor of chemistry starting January 1, 2022.

Fenton earned her doctoral degree here at Penn State with DuPont Professor of Materials Chemistry Raymond Schaak. She completed her undergraduate work at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania. She comes to Penn State from Northwestern University, where she is an Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow.

Fenton looks forward to returning to Penn State as a faculty member. “As a Penn State chemistry alumna, I am uniquely attuned to the world-class faculty and materials characterization facilities available at Penn State, which enable cutting-edge materials research and effective collaborations between departments,” she notes. “Penn State has a storied legacy of great materials and synthetic chemistry—I hope that my new lab can build on this foundation, integrating with and broadening an undeniable strength of the department.”

Fenton is a synthetic materials chemist. In her new lab, she plans to investigate fundamental and application-driven inquiries at the interface of inorganic and organic materials, pairing materials discovery with creative synthetic methods and high-level characterization tools. 

“To date, my career has emphasized creative problem solving in chemical synthesis, addressing the most significant bottlenecks in the target-driven synthesis of both inorganic and organic materials,” explains Fenton. “These efforts open the door to generate increasingly complex materials and targeted properties.” 

Aside from her research, Fenton is looking forward to mentoring and working with students. “I have gained so much from my advisors and other folks who have helped me to where I am today; I am glad to have an opportunity to pay that investment forward by mentoring new generations of Penn State chemists, helping them to achieve their goals in and outside of the lab,” she says. “I am deeply honored to have been given a phenomenal opportunity to work with great colleagues and future trainees.”

Department Head Phil Bevilacqua adds, “We couldn’t be happier to have Julie join our faculty.  She brings a vibrant research program on synthesis of materials and has exciting ideas for training her students.”

In her free time, Fenton enjoys cross training, trivia, cooking, travel, and spending time with her family.

Please join the Department of Chemistry in welcoming Julie Fenton.