Jessica D. Schiffman is a Professor in the department of chemical engineering and the Gary R. Lapidus Professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is also a faculty member in the materials science & engineering graduate program and the director of the undergraduate materials engineering certificate. Schiffman received her B.S. in Ceramic and Materials Engineering from Rutgers University in 2003 and her M.Eng. in Materials Science and Engineering in 2004, before working as an Engineer in the division of research and development at Stryker Orthopedics. In 2009, Schiffman received her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Drexel University, where her thesis work focused on the electrospinning of chitosan and other natural polymers under the direction of Professor Caroline Schauer. She then worked with Professor Menachem Elimelech in Yale University’s environmental engineering department on polymer membranes for environmental separations.
Since 2011, Schiffman has directed an imaginative research group that invents polymer-based materials that address grand challenges in human health, the environment, and industry by combining concepts and tools from materials science, microbiology, and chemical engineering.
In recognition of her dedication to mentoring and teaching, Schiffman was awarded the UMass campus-wide Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award (2022), the ADVANCE Faculty Mentor Award (2022), the College of Engineering’s Outstanding Teaching Award (2020), and named an NSF ADVANCE Collaboration & Equity Faculty Fellow (2019-2021).
She has also received several research awards, including being named an Emerging Investigator by Biomaterials Science (2021) and an Influential Researcher by Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research (2021). She received the ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces Young Investigator Award (2019), Outstanding Junior Faculty Award (2017), and the Early Career BRIDGE Award (2013).
Schiffman currently is the Deputy Editor of ACS Applied Engineering Materials, an international and interdisciplinary forum devoted to original research covering all aspects of engineered materials.
From 2021-2022, she served as the interim Department Head of the department of chemical engineering and prior to that as the associate Department Head.