Public Release: 

Researcher, educator receives top UMass Lowell honor

Joey Mead named Distinguished University Professor

University of Massachusetts Lowell


IMAGE: Cutline information: UMass Lowell Plastics Engineering Prof. Joey Mead, right, shown here with Chancellor Jacquie Moloney, has been named Distinguished University Professor - the highest accolade bestowed to a faculty... view more 

Credit: Photo credit: Edwin L. Aguirre for UMass Lowell.

LOWELL, Mass. - Prof. Joey Mead, a highly regarded researcher in cutting-edge fields including nanomanufacturing and flexible electronics and professor of plastics engineering, has been named Distinguished University Professor, the top accolade bestowed on a UMass Lowell faculty member.

The award, given annually, honors a UMass Lowell faculty member for their outstanding contributions over a number of years to teaching, research and service to the university community. The award was presented recently and Mead will deliver UMass Lowell's annual Distinguished University Professor Lecture in the spring.

"I am truly honored by this award. I hope that I can continue to contribute to the university in a positive way," said Mead.

"Prof. Mead is a research dynamo, with a productive career in materials science, polymer engineering and nanomanufacturing," said Prof. David Kazmer, chairman of the Department of Plastics Engineering. "Her research productivity is outstanding, as documented by scholarly publications, external grants and sponsored research that have generated professional acclaim. She has also provided and continues to provide exemplary service and teaching."

In his nomination letter, Kazmer stated that many of UMass Lowell's signature research centers and programs have been or are currently being led by Mead. These include the Nanomanufacturing Center of Excellence, the Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing, the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NMMI), Flexible Hybrid Electronics (NextFlex) and a National Science Foundation initiative that develops materials and methods used in 3D printing.

"In each of these areas, Prof. Mead has provided a guiding vision for advanced manufacturing," Kazmer wrote. "It is this mission, to take materials technology from the lab to pilot and commercial scales, that both government and industry sponsors have found so appealing" about working with Prof. Mead.

"Prof. Mead's distinguished record of accomplishments is the embodiment of UMass Lowell's motto: 'Learning with Purpose.' There is no faculty member among us that better represents what UMass Lowell is and aspires to be than Prof. Mead," he added.

Mead has not only been successful in securing grant funding for her own work, but also in helping other faculty do so for their research.

"In the course of securing more than $10 million in research funding, Prof. Mead has involved many faculty, including many junior faculty who benefitted from the foundational work she did," said Julie Chen, UMass Lowell vice chancellor for research and innovation.

"For example, in the recent NextFlex effort and the prior NSF Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing, as well as with multiple industry partnerships, her leadership and effort in helping UMass Lowell get connected has led to many other faculty being successful in receiving their own research grants," Chen said.

A Carlisle resident, Mead holds nine patents and has published nearly 65 technical papers in peer-reviewed academic and research journals. She has also advised more than 50 graduate students and their work has in turn been published more than 300 times in research publications.

Mead worked for more than a decade as a materials engineer at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory in Watertown prior to joining the UMass Lowell faculty in 1996. She obtained her bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1981 and her master's and doctoral degrees in polymer science in 1984 and 1986, all from MIT.

Mead is the 10th professor to receive the Distinguished University Professor award since it was established in 2008. Her three-year term will run through August 2020. Previous honorees and their academic departments and terms include: Susan Braunhut (Biology), 2008 through 2011; Ken Geiser (Work Environment), 2009 through 2012; Robert Giles (Physics), 2010 through 2013; Regina Panasuk (Education), 2011 through 2014; Stephen McCarthy (Plastics Engineering), 2012 through 2015; Laura Punnett (Work Environment), 2013 through 2016; Pradeep Kurup (Civil Engineering), 2014 through 2017; Holly Yanco (Computer Science), 2015 through 2018; and Robert Forrant (History), 2016 through 2019.


UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its 18,000 students bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.