Edwin Thomas

Professor Emeritus of Materials Science and Engineering

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Professor Edwin Thomas’s research is focused on the development of novel polymers and polymer-based composite materials with unusual optical, mechanical, and electronic properties. His main areas of interest include photonics, phononics, interference lithography and mechanical behavior of microtrusses, polymer physics and engineering of the mechanical and optical properties of block copolymers, liquid crystalline polymers, and hybrid organic-inorganic nanocomposites.


Professor Thomas earned his BS in mechanical engineering and engineering science from the University of Massachusetts, followed by his PhD in materials science with minors in materials engineering and metallurgical engineering from Cornell University. He is the founder of the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies at MIT, where he served as director, and head of DMSE until 2011, after which he became dean of the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University.