Faculty

Dr. Megan Robertson
Dr. Megan Robertson

Cullen College of Engineering Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Office Location: S224B, Engineering Building 1
Phone: 713-743-2748   |   Fax: 713-743-4323
Email: mlrobertson [at] uh [dot] edu
Robertson Group Research

Education: 

B.S., Chemical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis (2001)
Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley (2006)

Professional Experience: 

Associate Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry, 2017-present
Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 2010-present
Assistant Professor, Chemistry, 2016-present
Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Minnesota, 2008-2010
Senior Scientist, Rohm and Haas (now Dow Chemical), 2006-2008

Courses: 

CHEE 5377/6377 Introduction to Polymer Science

CHEE 3333 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics II

CHEE 3300 Introduction to Materials Science I

Research Interests: 

The objective of my research program is to develop polymeric materials with enhanced physical properties and function. My group is currently working in five areas of emphasis: 1) sustainable and biodegradable polymers derived from renewable resources; 2) advanced materials for wind energy; 3) structure and dynamics of block copolymer micelles; 4) pH-responsive, antifouling polymer brushes; and 5) multicomponent and multiphase polymer blends. We specialize in polymer synthetic techniques, structural characterization (small-angle neutron, x-ray and light scattering), thermodynamics and self-assembly, and development of structure-property relationships.

Awards & Honors: 

Rubber Division Sparks-Thomas Award, American Chemical Society, 2018

University of Houston Undergraduate Research Mentor Award, 2017

Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering Division Young Investigator, American Chemical Society, 2017

Kavli Fellow, 2015

National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2014

Norman Hackerman Advanced Research Program Early Career Award, 2013

Texas Space Grant Consortium New Investigator Award, 2012

Professional Activities: 

Macromolecules and Macro Letters Editorial Advisory Board (2015-2017)

Director, American Institute of Chemical Engineers Materials Engineering and Sciences Division (2015-2017)

Executive Committee Member, National Institute of Standards and Technology Center for Neutron Research User Group (2013-2018; Chair 2017-2018)

Executive Committee Member, Neutron Scattering Society of America (2015-2017)

Executive Committee Member, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences User Executive Committee (2013-2016)

Board of Directors, South Texas Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers (2013-2016)

ACS Applied Polymer Materials Editorial Advisory Board (2020-2022)

Polymer Chemistry Advisory Board (2020-2021)

Officer, Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering Division, American Chemical Society (secretary in 2020-2021, vice chair in 2022, chair elect in 2023, chair in 2024, past chair in 2025)

Selected Publications

  1. Liu, M., et al. ,

    “Bond Behavior of Epoxy Resin-Polydicyclopentadiene Phase Separated Interpenetrating Networks for Adhering Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer to Steel.” Polymer Engineering and Science 60, 104-112.

    , 2020
  2. Conrad, J. C. and M. L. Robertson ,

    "Towards mimicking biological function with responsive surface-grafted polymer brushes." Current Opinion in Solid State & Materials Science 23(1): 1-12.

    , 2019
  3. Ding, W. Y. and M. L. Robertson,

    "Sustainable thermoplastic elastomers with a transient network." European Polymer Journal 113: 411-423.

    , 2019
  4. Rohde, B. J., et al.,

    "Nanostructured Thermoset/Thermoset Blends Compatibilized with an Amphiphilic Block Copolymer." Macromolecules 52(8): 3104-3114.

    , 2019
  5. Shen, M. J., et al.,

    "Accelerated hydrolytic degradation of ester-containing biobased epoxy resins." Polymer Chemistry 10(23): 3217-3229.

    , 2019
  6. Shi, Y., et al.,

    "Chemically inert covalently networked triazole-based solid polymer electrolytes for stable all-solid-state lithium batteries." Journal of Materials Chemistry A 7(34): 19691-19695.

    , 2019
  7. Cooksey, T. J.; Singh, A.; Le, K. M.; Wang, S.; Kelley, E. G.; He, L.; Vajjala Kesava, S.; Gomez, E. D.; Kidd, B. E.; Madsen, L. A.; Robertson, M. L.,

    "Tuning Biocompatible Block Copolymer Micelles by Varying Solvent Composition: Core/Corona Structure and Solvent Uptake," Macromolecules, 50, 4322-4334 [DOI]

    , 2017
  8. Ding, W.; Wang, S.; Yao, K.; Ganewatta, M. S.; Tang, C.; Robertson, M. L.,

    "Physical Behavior of Triblock Copolymer Thermoplastic Elastomers Containing Sustainable Rosin-Derived Polymethacrylate End Blocks," ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 5, 11470-11480 [DOI]

    , 2017
  9. Garcia, J. M.; Robertson, M. L.,

    "The Future of Plastics Recycling," Science, 358, 870-872 [Link]

    , 2017
  10. Kidd, B. E.; Li, X.; Piemonte, R C.; Cooksey, T. J.; Singh, A.; Robertson, M. L.; Madsen, L. A.,

    "Tuning Biocompatible Block Copolymer Micelles by Varying Solvent Composition: Dynamics and Populations of Micelles and Unimers," Macromolecules, 50, 4335-4343 [DOI]

    , 2017
  11. Yadav, V.; Jaimes-Lizcano, Y. A.; Dewangan, N. K.; Park, N.; Li, T. H.; Robertson, M. L.; Conrad, J. C.,

    "Tuning Bacterial Attachment and Detachment via the Thickness and Dispersity of a pH-Responsive Polymer Brush," ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 9, 44900-44910 [DOI]

    , 2017
  12. Ganewatta, M. S., Ding, W. Y., Rahman, M. A., Yuan, L., Wang, Z. K., Hamidi, N., Tang, C. B,

    "Biobased Plastics and Elastomers from Renewable Rosin via "Living" Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization," Macromolecules, 49, 7155-7164 [DOI]

    , 2016
  13. Kristufek, S. L.; Yang, G.; Link, L. A.; Rohde, B. J.; Robertson, M. L.; Wooley, K. L.,

    "Synthesis, Characterization and Cross-linking Strategy of a Quercetin-based Epoxidized Monomer as a Naturally-Derived Replacement for DGEBA in Epoxy Resins," ChemSusChem, 9, 2135-2142 [DOI]

    , 2016
  14. Mauck, S. C.; Wang, S.; Ding, W.; Rohde, B. J.; Fortune, C. K.; Yang, G.; Ahn, S. K.; Robertson, M. L.,

    "Biorenewable Tough Blends of Polylactide and Acrylated Epoxidized Soybean Oil Compatibilized by a Polylactide Star Polymer," Macromolecules, 49, 1605-1615 [DOI]

    , 2016
  15. Pesek, S. L.; Lin, Y. H.; Mah, H. Z.; Kasper, W.; Chen, B.; Rohde, B. J.; Robertson, M. L.; Stein, G. E.; Verduzco, R.,

    "Synthesis of Bottlebrush Copolymers based on Poly(dimethylsiloxane) for Surface Active Additives," Polymer, 98, 495-504 [DOI]

    , 2016
  16. Rohde, B. J.; Le, K. M.; Krishnamoorti, R.; Robertson, M. L.,

    "Thermoset Blends of an Epoxy Resin and Polydicyclopentadiene," Macromolecules, 49, 8960-8970 [DOI]

    , 2016
  17. Wang, S.; Ding, W.; Yang, G.; Robertson, M. L.,

    "Biorenewable Thermoplastic Elastomeric Triblock Copolymers containing Salicylic Acid-Derived End-Blocks and a Fatty Acid-Derived Midblock,"  Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 217, 292-303 [DOI]

    , 2016
  18. Wang, S.; Xie, R.; Vajjala Kesava, S.; Gomez, E. D.; Cochran, E. W.; Robertson, M. L.,

    "Close-Packed Spherical Morphology in an ABA Triblock Copolymer Aligned with Large Amplitude Oscillatory Shear," Macromolecules, 49, 4875-4888 [DOI]

    , 2016
  19. Xie, M.; Wang, S.; Singh, A.; Cooksey, T. J.; Marquez, M. D.; Bhattarai, A.; Kourentzi, K.; Robertson, M. L.,

    "Fluorophore Exchange Kinetics in Block Copolymer Micelles with Varying Solvent- Fluorophore and Solvent-Polymer Interactions." Soft Matter, 12, 6196-6205 [Link]

    , 2016
  20. Yadav, V.; Harkin, A. V.; Robertson, M. L.; Conrad, J. C.,

    “Hysteretic Memory in pH-Response of Water Contact Angle on Poly(acrylic acid) Brushes,” Soft Matter, 12, 3589-3599 [Link]

    , 2016
  21. Yang, G.; Kristufek, S. L.; Link, L. A.; Wooley, K. L.; Robertson, M. L.,

    "Thiol-Ene Elastomers Derived from Biobased Phenolic Acids with Varying Functionality," Macromolecules, 49, 7737-7748 [DOI]

    , 2016
  22. Yang, G.; Rohde, B. J.; Tesefay, H.; Robertson, M. L.,

    "Biorenewable Epoxy Resins Derived from Plant-Based Phenolic Acids," ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 4, 6524-6533 [DOI]

    , 2016
  23. Rohde, B. J.; Robertson, M. L.; Krishnamoorti, R.,

    "Concurrent Curing Kinetics of an Anhydride-Cured Epoxy Resin and Polydicyclopentadiene," Polymer, 69, 204-214 [Link]

    , 2015
  24. Wang, S.; Robertson, M.L.,

    "Thermodynamic Interactions between Polystyrene and Long-Chain Poly(n-alkyl acrylates) Derived from Plant Oils," ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 7, 12109-12118 [DOI]

    , 2015
  25. Yang, G.; Kristufek, S. L.; Link, L. A.; Wooley, K. L.; Robertson, M. L.,

    "Synthesis and Physical Properties of Thiol-Ene Networks Utilizing Plant-Derived Phenolic Acids,"Macromolecules, 48, 8418-8427 [DOI]

    , 2015
  26. Wang, S.; Vajjala Kesava, S.; Gomez, E. D.; Robertson, M. L.,

    “Sustainable Thermoplastic Elastomers derived from Fatty Acids,” Macromolecules, 46, 7202-7212 [DOI]

    , 2013
  27. Yang, G.; Rohde, B. J.; Robertson, M. L.,

    “Hydrolytic Degradation and Thermal Properties of Epoxy Resins derived from Soybean Oil”, Green Materials1, 125-134 [DOI]

    , 2013
  28. Nedoma, A. J.; Lai, P.; Jackson, A.; Robertson, M. L.; Wanakule, N. S.; Balsara, N. P,

    "Phase Diagrams of Blends of Polyisobutylene and Deuterated Polybutadiene as a Function of Chain Length", Macromolecules44 (8), 3077-3084 [DOI]

    , 2011
  29. Robertson, M. L.; Paxton, J. M.; Hillmyer, M. A.,

    "Tough Blends of Polylactide and Castor Oil", ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces3 (9), 3402-3410 [DOI]

    , 2011
  30. Gramlich, W. M.; Robertson, M. L.; Hillmyer, M. A.,

    “Reactive Compatibilization of Poly(L-lactide) and Conjugated Soybean Oil,” Macromolecules43, 2313-2321 [DOI]

    , 2010
  31. Nedoma, A. J.; Lai, P.; Jackson, A.; Robertson, M. L.; Wanakule, N. S.; Balsara, N. P.,

    "Phase Behavior of Off-Critical A/B/A-C Blends," Macromolecules, 43, 7852-7859 [DOI]

    , 2010
  32. Nedoma, A. J.; Lai, P.; Jackson, A.; Robertson, M. L.; Wanakule, N. S.; Balsara, N. P.,

    “Phase Behavior of Asymmetric Multicomponent A/B/A-C Blends with Unequal Homopolymer Molecular Weights,” Macromolecules, 43, 3549-3555 [DOI]

    , 2010
  33. Robertson, M. L.; Chang, K.; Gramlich, W. M.; Hillmyer, M. A.,

    “Toughening of Polylactide with Polymerized Soybean Oil,” Macromolecules43, 1807-1814 [DOI]

    , 2010
  34. Robertson, M. L.; Hillmyer, M. A.; Mortamet, A. C.; Ryan, A. J.,

    “Biorenewable Multiphase Polymers,” MRS Bulletin35, 194-200 [Link]

    , 2010
  35. Chang, K.; Robertson, M. L.; Hillmyer, M. A.,

    “Phase Inversion in Polylactide / Soybean Oil Blends Compatibilized by Poly(isoprene-b-lactide) Block Copolymers,” ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces1, 2390-2399 [DOI]

    , 2009
  36. Gomez, E. D.; Ruegg, M. L.; Minor, A. M.; Kisielowski, C.; Downing, K. H.; Glaeser, R. M.; Balsara, N. P.,

    “Interfacial Concentration Profiles of Rubbery Polyolefin Lamellae Determined by Quantitative Electron Microscopy,” Macromolecules, 41, 156-162 [DOI]

    , 2008
  37. Nedoma, A. J.; Robertson, M. L.; Wanakule, N. S.; Balsara, N. P.,

    “Measurements of the Flory-Huggins Interaction Parameter Using a Series of Critical Binary Blends,” Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research47, 3551-3553 [DOI]

    , 2008
  38. Nedoma, A. J.; Robertson, M. L.; Wanakule, N. S.; Balsara, N. P.,

    “Measurements of the Composition and Molecular Weight Dependence of the Flory-Huggins Interaction Parameter,” Macromolecules, 41, 5773-5779 [DOI]

    , 2008
  39. Wanakule, N. S.; Nedoma, A. J.; Robertson, M. L.; Fang, Z.; Jackson, A.; Garetz, B. A.; Balsara, N. P.,

    “Characterization of Micron-Sized Periodic Structures in Multicomponent Polymer Blends by Ultra-Small-Angle Neutron Scattering and Optical Microscopy,”Macromolecules41, 471-477 [DOI]

    , 2008
  40. Ruegg, M. L.; Balsara, N. P.,

    “Scattering from Polymer Systems,” Invited submission,Macromolecular Engineering, Matyjaszewski, K.; Gnanou, Y.; Leibler, L., editors, Wiley-VCH

    , 2007
  41. Ruegg, M. L.; Reynolds, B. J.; Lin, M. Y.; Lohse, D. J.; Balsara, N. P.,

    “Minimizing the Concentration of Diblock Copolymer Needed to Organize Blends of Weakly Segregated Polymers by Tuning Attractive and Repulsive Interactions,” Macromolecules40, 1207-1217 [DOI]

    , 2007
  42. Ruegg, M. L.; Reynolds, B. J.; Lin, M. Y.; Lohse, D. J.; Krishnamoorti, R.; Balsara, N. P.,

    “Effect of Pressure on a Multicomponent A/B/A-C Polymer Blend with Attractive and Repulsive Interactions,” Macromolecules, 40, 355-365 [DOI]

    , 2007
  43. Reynolds, B. J.; Ruegg, M. L.; Balsara, N. P.; Radke, C. J., ,

    “Relationship between Macroscopic and Microscopic Models of Surfactant Adsorption Dynamics at Fluid Interfaces,” Langmuir, 22, 9201-9207 [DOI]

    , 2006
  44. Reynolds, B. J.; Ruegg, M. L.; Mates, T. E.; Radke, C. J.; Balsara, N. P.,

    “Diblock Copolymer Surfactant Transport across the Interface between Two Homopolymers,” Langmuir22, 9192-9200 [DOI]

    , 2006
  45. Ruegg, M. L.; Patel, A. J.; Narayanan, S.; Sandy, A. R.; Mochrie, S. G. J.; Watanabe, H.; Balsara, N. P.,

    “Condensed Exponential Correlation Functions in Multicomponent Polymer Blends Measured by X-ray Photon Correlation Spectroscopy,” Macromolecules39, 8822-8831 [DOI]

    , 2006
  46. Ruegg, M. L.; Reynolds, B. J.; Lin, M. Y.; Lohse, D. J.; Balsara, N. P.,

    “Microphase and Macrophase Separation in Multicomponent A/B/A-C Polymer Blends with Attractive and Repulsive Interactions,” Macromolecules39, 1125-1134 [DOI]

    , 2006
  47. Reynolds, B. J.; Ruegg, M. L.; Mates, T. E.; Radke; C. J.; Balsara; N. P.,

    “Experimental and Theoretical Study of the Adsorption of a Diblock Copolymer to Interfaces between Two Homopolymers,” Macromolecules38, 3872-3882 [DOI]

    , 2005
  48. Reynolds, B. J.; Ruegg, M. L.; Balsara, N. P.; Radke, C. J.; Shaffer, T. D.; Lin, M. Y.; Shull, K. R.; Lohse, D. J.,

    “Thermodynamics of Polymer Blends Organized by Balanced Block Copolymer Surfactants Studied by Mean Field Theories and Scattering,” Macromolecules,37, 7401-7417 [DOI]

    , 2004
  49. Ruegg, M. L.; Newstein, M. C.; Balsara, N. P.; Reynolds, B. J.,

    “Small-Angle Neutron Scattering from Nonuniformly Labeled Block Copolymers,” Macromolecules37, 1960-1968 [DOI]

    , 2004
  50. Lee, J. H.; Ruegg, M. L.; Balsara, N. P.; Zhu, Y. Q.; Gido, S. P.; Krishnamoorti, R.; Kim, M. H.,

    “Phase Behavior of Highly Immiscible Polymer Blends Stabilized by a Balanced Block Copolymer Surfactant,” Macromolecules36, 6537-6548 [DOI]

    , 2003