Annette Jacobson-Chemical Engineering - Carnegie Mellon University

Annette Jacobson

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, Carnegie Institute of Technology; Teaching Professor of Chemical Engineering; Director, Colloids, Polymers, and Surfaces Program

Office: Doherty Hall 3102B
Phone: 412-268-2244
Fax: 412-268-7139


Professor Annette Jacobson received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1979 and worked for PPG from then until 1985, attaining the rank of Senior Research Engineer. She returned to CMU and received her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Ethel Casassa.   In 1988, she became the Director of the Colloids, Polymers and Surfaces Program, a joint program between the Mellon College of Science and the College of Engineering, Carnegie Institute of Technology. She is currently Teaching Professor of Chemical Engineering and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the Carnegie Institute of Technology.


    Ph.D. 1981 Carnegie Mellon
    PPG Industries 1979-1985
    B.S. Carnegie Mellon 1979


    Surfactant micellization in aqueous media; applications of solubilization in complex fluids; characterization methods for nanoparticles and macromolecules

    Colloids, Polymers and Surfaces (CPS) Program

    Professor Jacobson is Director of the CPS Program, an interdisciplinary educational program providing coursework and an MS degree in the study of nanoparticles, macromolecules, interfaces and the complex fluids formed by these materials. The program includes the PPG Industries CPS Laboratory, a facility used for teaching and research for graduate and undergraduate students. The laboratory is equipped for the study and characterization of complex fluids.

    • The CPS Educational program offers an MS degree program full and part-time students. The PPG Industries CPS Laboratry is a teaching and research training facility that provides access to more than 30 colloid and polymer characterization experiments and equipment for use in formal classwork as well as individual research projects.
    • An important part of the CPS educational mission includes introduction to and promotion of science and engineering related careers to youth through presentation of workshops (that always include hands-on experiments) and lectures on polymers and surfactants; approximately 1000-1500 students and teachers participate annually. The CPS Program sponsored and/or participated in many outreach events for K-12 students, teachers and parents in the tri-state area annually for the past 20 years. They included National Chemistry Week and National Engineers’ Week at the Carnegie Science Center, SWE High School Day, ICES’ Moving fourth grade into Engineering and ICES Summer Engineering Experience (SEE) for middle school girls. These events provided volunteer opportunities for our faculty, staff and students to promote interest in science and engineering careers to the local community.  This effort is accomplished in conjunction with Judy Hallinen of the Leonard Gelfand Center for Outreach at Carnegie Mellon.

    Research Website

    Complex Fluids Engineering

    Awards and Honors

    • Academic Advising Award, Carnegie Mellon University, 2003
    • Marquis' Who's Who of American Women, 19th edition, 1995-2001
    • Geoffrey D. Parfitt Memorial Award for Excellence in Oral Presentation, CHEGSA Symposium, Carnegie Mellon University, 1987
    • CHEGSA Symposium Competition, Second Place, 1987
    • Sigma Xi Research Society, Carnegie Mellon University, 1987
    • Amoco Foundation Fellowship, 1986-1988
    • Tau Beta Pi, Carnegie Mellon University, 1978
    • CMU Women's Clan Scholarship, 1978-1979
    • Babcock & Wilcox Scholarship, 1977-1979
    • M.L. Brown Graham Scholarship, 1976-1977
    • B.P.O. Elks Scholarship, 1975-1976


    Recent Publications
    Selected Publications
    Patents and Additional Publications

    Recent Publications

    Weijie Lin, Biegler, Lorenz T., Jacobson, Annette M., “Kinetic Modeling of Semi-Interpenetrating Polymer Network (SIPN) Process - A Comprehensive Study on the Case of Polyethylene/Polystyrene Semi-I IPN”, Macromolecular Theory and Simulations, 2011, Vol. 20, Issue 2, p.146-155.

    Weijie Lin, Biegler, Lorenz T., Jacobson, Annette M. “Modeling and Optimization of a Seeded Suspension Polymerization Process”, Chemical Engineering Science, 2010, Vol. 65, Issue 15, p. 4350-4362.

    Casassa, Ethel, Annette Jacobson, Rosemary Frollini, Susana Steppan, “Industrial Academic Partnership: Interdisciplinary Educational Program in Nanoparticles, Macromolecules, and Interfaces”, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 2009, Vol. 8, No. 5, p. 2301-2304.

    Morfesis, Ana, Annette Jacobson, Rosemary Frollini, Matthew Helgeson, Judy Billica, Kevin Gertig, "The Role of Zeta Potential in the Optimization of Water Treatment Facility Operations", Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 2009, Vol. 48, No. 5 p. 2305-2308.

    Dry Spinning Based Spinneret Based Tunable Engineered Parameters(STEP) Technique for Controlled and Aligned Deposition of Polymeric Nanofibers, Authors: Amrinder Nain, Metin Sitti, Annette Jacobson, Tomasz Kowalewski, Cristina Amon, Macromolecular Rapid Communications, 2009, 30, 1406-1412.

    Selected Publications

    E.Subrahmanian, A. Westerberg, S. Talkudar, J. Garrett, A. Jacobson, C. Paredis, C. Amon "Integrating Social Aspects and Group Work Aspects in Engineering Design Education", Int. J. Engng. Ed. Vol. 19, No. 1,pp.75-80, 2003.

    R. Frollini, A. Jacobson, "Chemical Engineering and Cosmetics: Making the Connection between Chemistry and Engineering Processes in Product Manufacuting", Proceedings from the Women in Engineering Programs & Advocates Network(WEPAN), Pittsburgh Conference, June 2006.
    Liu, Z., Jacobson, A.M., and Luthy, R.G. "Biodegradation of Naphthalene in Aqueous Nonionic Surfactant Systems," Applied and Environmental Microbiology, vol. 61, no. 1, 145-151, 1995.

    Auger, R., Jacobson, A.M., and Domach, M.M. "Overflow Metabolism and Inhibition of Naphthalene Biodegradation," Journal of Hazardous Materials, vol. 43, 263-272, 1995.

    Patents and Additional Publications

    U.S. Patent No. 4,312,844, "Trimetaphosphate Compounds of Trivalent Metals," James E. Neely, Annette M. Jacobson, C.C. Lin, Charlene A. Falleroni, January 1982.

    U.S. Patent No. 4,329,327, "Method for Making B-Form Aluminum Trimetaphosphate from Powder Reactants," James E. Neely, Annette M. Jacobson, C.C. Lin, Charlene A. Falleroni, May 1982.

    U.S. Patent No. 4,333,914, "Method for Making Aluminum Trimetaphosphate from Powder Reactants," James E. Neely, Annette M. Jacobson, C.C. Lin, Charlene A. Falleroni, June 1982.

    Jacobson, A.M. and E.Z. Casassa, "Multicomponent Solubilization in Aqueous Micelles of Dodecyl-(DTAB) and Tetradecyl-(TTAB)Trimethylammonium Bromide: I. Solubilization Equilibria," Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 142(2), 480, March 15, 1991.

    Auger, R., A.M. Jacobson, and M.M. Domach, "Aqueous Phase Fluorescence Quenching Technique for Measuring Naphthalene Partitioning Coefficients in Nonionic Surfactant Micelles," Environmental Science and Technology, 29(5),1273,1995..