The New York Academy of Sciences was founded in 1817 and is the third oldest scientific organization in America. The academy is an independent, nonprofit organization with members in more than 160 countries united by a commitment to promoting science and technology and their essential roles in fostering social and economic development.
"It was with great pleasure that I recently learned of this well-deserved honor for Professor Lisa Klein," said Michael T. Klein (no relation), dean of Rutgers' School of Engineering. "This is a wonderful acknowledgment of her outstanding record of scholarship and achievement in the area of sol-gel science. She is a shining example of the world-class scholars we have in the School of Engineering."
Klein, a resident of Highland Park, was recognized by the academy for her breakthrough contributions to engineering, particularly in the area of sol-gel science, a low-temperature process for making ceramic coatings.
For the past 10 years, Klein has been developing electrochromic coatings that lighten or darken a window on command by allowing more or less light through the glass. Adjusted with a dimmer attached to a battery, the glass coating can turn from transparent to deep blue.
The coating will be commercially available for home or office windows within five years, Klein noted. It can replace blinds, shades or curtains and can help save on heating and cooling costs, she added.
"If you had a southern exposure and you didn't want the summer heat, you could darken the window during the day, but still transmit the light," she said. "Or, in the winter, the coating could be transparent to get the benefit of the solar heat."
Klein holds three patents on electrochromic coatings that are being developed by a company dedicated to this technology. Most recently, Klein has expanded the technology to include applications in batteries and fuel cells.
Klein earned a bachelor's degree in metallurgy and a doctorate in ceramics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She came to Rutgers in 1977 and became a full professor in 1987. She serves as faculty adviser to the Rutgers Student Section of the Society of Women Engineers.
Klein also served as a visiting faculty member at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico in 1983-1984, was a Ministry of Education visiting associate professor at the Laboratoire D'Energetique Electrochimique in Grenoble, France, in 1984 and was a visiting scientist, Binational Science Foundation, at the Hebrew University in Israel in 1985.