New Faculty Member, 2021-22
Eileen (Soyoung) Seo
Assistant Professor, Chemical engineering
A chemistry class Eileen (Soyoung) Seo took during her junior year of high school sparked her interest in science and engineering; it changed her life. She particularly liked the idea of coming up with creative and innovative solutions to problems.
The class ultimately inspired her to pursue an education in chemistry. Today, Seo holds a doctorate in chemistry and has become an expert in synthetic polymer chemistry, additive manufacturing, and nanotechnology.
“I selected these areas of research based on my interest in materials’ design, synthesis and characterization by precisely tuning the thermodynamics at the molecular and nanoscale,” Seo says, “and by applying the basic concepts of thermodynamics I learned in classes.”
Seo will teach Advanced Thermodynamics of Chemical Systems. She says her students will learn about the fundamental ideas of thermodynamics as well as their origins (experiments and mathematical derivations) — and, most importantly, how these ideas can be incorporated into their research.
Seo is joining the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, one of the seven Fulton Schools, and the Biodesign Institute after her time as a postdoctoral fellow at the Hawker Group Materials Research Laboratory at the University of California, Santa Barbara. There, she worked on photo-mediated radical polymerization and 3D printing composite materials.
Her research efforts are driven by contemporary problems, and she seeks to develop sustainable macromolecular materials and advanced processes at the interface of nanotechnology and synthetic polymers — part of an overall effort to reduce plastic waste and find efficient manufacturing methods.
For her standout work, Seo has received the International Institute for Nanotechnology Outstanding Researcher Award and earned several fellowships.
Seo says she chose to join Arizona State University because of its devotion to improving the world while providing students with a top-notch education.
“ASU offers extensive infrastructure, interdisciplinary research and immense commitment to addressing today’s global challenges and teaching younger generation scientists,” she says.
When she is not researching or teaching, Seo stays active and enjoys spending time hiking.