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Dr. Jeannette Garcia is a polymer chemist at IBM Research – Almaden. Her research is focused on the rational design of new polymers and materials through sustainable methods, targeting recyclable materials with mechanical and thermal properties in combinations not previously accessible. Her interests are centered in chemistries for improvement of the environment and human health.
Garcia initiated a program in high-performance materials, energy storage and polymer recycling. From this emerged the team’s discovery of a new class of industrial polymers, which can potentially be used as printable materials (3D printing), structural composites, cargo carriers, adhesives and sealants. Her team also discovered a mechanism for using discarded drink bottles to create high-performance materials and designed a low cost, portable detection system for the detection and removal of toxic heavy metals in drinking water.
Garcia received her BS from Seattle University, and PhD in Chemistry at Boston College under the guidance of Dr. Amir H. Hoveyda, where she focused on developing catalysts for small molecule production. After joining IBM in 2012, she worked with Dr. Jim Hedrick on high performance and recyclable materials as a postdoctoral researcher until 2013. Garcia is one of MIT Tech Review’s 2015 35 Innovators Under 35, one of Business Insider’s 17 IBM Research Rock Stars, and the recipient of the Individual World Technology Award in Materials. In 2016, Garcia was named as one of Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers. In 2017, she was the first recepient of the ACS POLY Division's Young Industrial Polymer Chemist Award and chosen as a YWCA Emerging Leader. She has authored over 34 papers, has over 70 patents granted and pending and is an IBM Master Inventor. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, CNN, Wall Street Journal and Scientific American.