Lawrence T. Drzal obtained a BChE from the University of Detroit and a PhD from Case Western Reserve University in Chemical Engineering in 1974.
From 1972 until 1985 he was employed as military and civilian scientist at the Air Force Materials Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base where he worked on surface and interfacial aspects of adhesively bonded joints and the fiber matrix interphase in composite materials.
During his career Dr. Drzal and his group members have made over 525 presentations at national and international conferences, published over 375 research papers and have been awarded 24 patents. He has mentored 30 Master’s, 28 Doctoral, and 38 Post-Doctoral students during the last 23 years at Michigan State University.
Currently he is a University Distinguished Professor in the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Department in the College of Engineering at Michigan State University. Since 1986 he has served as Director of the Composite Materials and Structures Center at Michigan State University an interdisciplinary research center within the College focusing on all aspects of polymeric, metallic, ceramic and cement composite materials and their processing from the molecular to the structural level.
Specialties: Surface and interfacial aspects of adhesively bonded joints and the fiber matrix interphase in composite materials and their processing. This has consisted of research on graphene nanoplatelets, cellulose nanowhiskers, carbon, glass, cellulose and aramid fiber surfaces: surface chemistry; surface energetics; chemical reactivity; fiber/matrix adhesion measurement; surface modification by plasma, sulfonation and UV light in air; and methods to detect and predict adhesion.