Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Top 20 Doctoral Program — National Research Council


Dr. Megan Robertson
Dr. Megan Robertson

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


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


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)

Selected Publications

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Garcia, J. M.; Robertson, M. L.,

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

    , 2017
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. Wang, S.; Vajjala Kesava, S.; Gomez, E. D.; Robertson, M. L.,

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

    , 2013
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. Gramlich, W. M.; Robertson, M. L.; Hillmyer, M. A.,

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

    , 2010
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. Robertson, M. L.; Chang, K.; Gramlich, W. M.; Hillmyer, M. A.,

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

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

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

    , 2010
  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. 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
  32. 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
  33. 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
  34. Ruegg, M. L.; Balsara, N. P.,

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

    , 2007
  35. 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
  36. 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
  37. 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
  38. 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
  39. 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
  40. 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
  41. 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
  42. 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
  43. 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
  44. 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