Carnegie Mellon University

Newell Washburn

Newell R. Washburn

Associate Professor, Chemistry
Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering

  • Mellon Institute 814
  • 412-268-2130


1998     Ph.D., Chemistry, University of California (Berkeley)


Materials chemistry, biomaterials, green chemistry, machine learning

Research in the Washburn Group focuses on the development of new materials with novel compositions or architectures. The goals of the research are in elucidating fundamental properties and the structure-function relationships as well as exploring technological applications. Of particular interest is the development of materials based on renewable resources. Current research areas include surfactants and nanocomposites based on the biopolymer lignin, non-fouling interfaces for medical diagnostics, high-affinity adsorbents for the selective recovery of metals from aqueous systems, and conducting-polymer binders for battery electrodes.


Machine learning approaches to admixture design for clay-based cements
Washburn, N.R., Menon, A., Childs, C.M., Poczos, B., Kurtis, K.E., (2018) RILEM Bookseries, 16, pp. 488-493.

Elucidating multi-physics interactions in suspensions for the design of polymeric dispersants: a hierarchical machine learning approach
Aditya Menon, Chetali Gupta, Kedar M. Perkins, Brian L. DeCost, Nikita Budwal, Renee T. Rios, Kun Zhang, Barnabás Póczosd and Newell R. Washburn, Mol. Syst. Des. Eng., 2017, 2, 263

Surfactant properties of PEGylated lignins: Anomalous interfacial activities at low grafting density
Kedar M. Perkins, Chetali Gupta, Emily N. Charleson, Newell R. Washburn, Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, Volume 530, 2017, Pages 200-208, ISSN 0927-7757,

Transport patterns of anti-TNF-α in burn wounds: Therapeutic implications of hyaluronic acid conjugation
Friedrich EE, Washburn NR., Biomaterials, 2017; 114: 10-22.

Poly(ethylene glycol)-grafted lignosulfonate superplasticers: improving performance by increasing steric interactions
Gupta C, Perkins KM, Rios RT, Washburn NR., Adv. Cem. Res., 2017; 29: 2-10.

Non-fouling hyaluronic acid coatings for improved sandwich ELISA measurements in plasma
Ramadan MH, Sansone NJ, Pendergast LM, Friedrich EE, Washburn NR., Analytical Methods, 2016; 8: 1222-1228.

Tip-Loaded Dissolvable Microneedle Arrays Effectively Deliver Polymer-Conjugated Antibody Inhibitors of Tumor-Necrosis-Factor-Alpha Into Human Skin
Korkmaz E, Friedrich EE, Ramadan MH, Erdos G, Mathers AR, Ozdoganlar OB, Washburn NR, Falo LD., Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2016; 105: 3453-3457.

Effects of ligand chemistry and geometry on rare earth element partitioning from saline solutions to functionalized adsorbents
Noack CW, Perkins KM, Callura JC, Washburn NR, Dzombak DA, Karamalidis AK., ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 2016; 4: 6115-6124.

Tunable Pickering Emulsions with Polymer-Grafted Lignin Nanoparticles (PGLNs)
Silmore KS, Gupta C, Washburn NR., J. Colloid Inter Sci., 2016; 466: 91-100.

Using Polypyrrole Coating to Improve Cycling Stability of NaTi2(PO4)3 as an Aqueous Na-Ion Anode
Mohamed AI, Sansone NJ, Kuei B, Washburn NR, Whitacre JF., J. Electrochem. Soc., 2015; 162: A2201-A2207.

Extraordinary Toughening and Strengthening Effect of Lignin-Based Fillers Synthesized by ATRP: Towards a Sustainable Material Platform for High Performance Polymers
Shah T, Gupta C, Ferebee RL, Bockstaller MR, Washburn NR., Polymer, 2015; 72: 406-412.

Lignopolymers as viscosity-reducing additives in magnesium oxide suspensions
Murray LR, Gupta CG, Washburn NR, Erk KA., J. Colloid Inter Sci., 2015; 459: 107-114.

Molecular architecture requirements for polymer-grafted lignin superplasticizers
Gupta C, Sverdlove MJ, Washburn NR., Soft Matter, 2015; 11: 2691-2699.


Years Position
2010–present Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
2004–2010 Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
2000–2004 Research Chemist, Polymers Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology
1998–2000 Post-Doctoral Associate, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota
1998 Ph.D., Chemistry, University of California (Berkeley)
1993 B.S., Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Awards and Distinctions

Years Award
2010 Coulter Foundation Translational Research Award
2005 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Grant