Education

  • Ph.D., Michigan State University, 2006
  • M.S., Michigan Technological University, 2002
  • Diploma in Chemical Engineering, Polytechnic School of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, 1998

Research Areas and Descriptors

  • Manufacturing and Mechanics of Materials: Multifunctional polymer nanocomposites, stimuli-responsive particles, residual stress at polymer interfaces and bilayer structures, and polymer-polymer and polymer-inorganic interfacial interactions.

Background

Dr. Kalaitzidou joined Georgia Tech as an Assistant Professor in the G.W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering in November of 2007. She also holds an adjunct appointment in the School of Materials Science and Engineering. She obtained her Ph.D. in manufacturing and characterization of polymer nanocomposites (PNCs) from Michigan State University and worked as a post-doctoral researcher on mechanics of soft materials in the Polymer Science and Engineering Department at University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Research

Dr. Kalaitzidou’s work focuses on utilizing the unique properties of nanomaterials by using them i) for manufacturing of multifunctional PNCs with advanced performance and ii) as coolants/lubricants in conventional machining processes. Both research areas aim at developing products or processes for increased energy efficiency based on sustainable and environmentally friendly methods. Examples include light weight PNCs for automotive applications, or PNCs made from biodegradable polymers instead of petroleum-based polymers; and finally substitution of synthetic oils used for lubrication and cooling in grinding or machining with aqueous dispersions of nanoplatelets. Furthermore, Dr Kalaitzidou, based on her expertise on soft materials, focuses also on design and fabrication of responsive surfaces and particles that are able to alter their geometry and properties upon demand in a controllable and reversible fashion. This is accomplished by using strain engineering, a very robust, low cost and versatile method that has been applied in polymers for first time by Dr Kalaitzidou. The breadth and depth of her research program as well as her commitment to train and expose graduate and undergraduate students in research are strongly reflected in the scholarly accomplishments listed below.

Polymer composites are essential part of today's world. They are used everywhere, from structural applications and automotive industry to paints, cosmetics, packaging and electronics. In addition, polymer composites are the preferred materials in bioengineering (artificial bones, tissue engineering) and biomedical research (advanced drug delivery systems) since they can be designed to be non-toxic, biocompatible and biodegradable. Graduate students will become skilled at designing, fabricating and characterizing advanced polymeric materials; and learn how to tailor the material properties to the end applications. They will gain knowledge of polymer processing methods (that is, extrusion, injection molding, casting) and characterization techniques such as thermomechanical, and rheological and surface/morphology characterization. Students will also obtain a fundamental understanding of the processing-structure-property relationship in composite materials. The knowledge and experience they will obtain during their graduate studies will allow them to thrive in the very competitive and ever changing field of advance polymeric materials and establish themselves as successful professionals in industry and in academia or consulting companies.

Distinctions

  • International Quadrant Award Competition, 3rd Place for Ph.D. Thesis, Zurich, Switzerland, 2007
  • Michigan State University Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2005
  • Marie Curie Training Fellowship as an "Early Stage" Researcher, 2004
  • Gerondelis Foundation Research Grant, 2002
  • Governmental Scholarship Foundation of Greece Undergraduate Scholarship, 1996-1997

Representative Publications

  • M. Tait, A. Pegoretti, A. Dorigato and K. Kalaitzidou. 2011. The Effect of Filler Type and Content and Manufacturing Process on the Performance of Multifunctional Polylactide/carbon Composites. Carbon (in press)
  • M. A. Bhuiyan, R. V. Pucha, M. Karevan and K. Kalaitzidou. 2011. Tensile Modulus of Carbon Nanotube/Polypropylene Composites - A Computational Study Based on Experimental Characterization. submitted in Computational Materials Science 50(8), 2347-2353.
  • M. Karevan, R. V. Pucha, M. A. Buiyan and K. Kalaitzidou. 2010. Effect of Nanofiller-Polymer Interactions on the Tensile Modulus of Graphite Nanoplatelets and Carbon Nanotubes Reinforced Polypropylene Nanocomposites. Carbon Letters 11(4), 325-331.
  • K. Kalaitzidou, H. Fukushima and L. T. Drzal. 2010. A Route for Polymer Nanocomposites with Engineered Electrical Conductivity and Percolation Threshold. Materials 3(2) 1089-1103.
  • B. Simpson, G. Nunnery, R. Tannenbaum and K. Kalaitzidou. 2010. Capture/Release Abiliy of Thermo-Responsive Polymer Particles. Journal of Materials Chemistry 20, 3496-3501 (featured in the journal cover).