New Directors Named in LASST, Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center

New directors have been named to two University of Maine research centers, according to Carol Kim, vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School.

Professor of Chemistry Carl Tripp has been appointed director of the Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology (LASST). Associate Professor of Mass Communication Laura Lindenfeld has been named director of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center (MCSPC).

LASST plays a major role in educating and training the next generation of scientists and engineers while carrying out interdisciplinary research projects and technology transfer activities in the areas of surfaces and interfaces, materials, thin films, microelectronic devices, sensor technology and nanotechnology.

The Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center is a nonpartisan, independent, research and public service unit of the University of Maine. The center is dedicated to improving and promoting the quality of public dialogue about state, regional and national policy issues through applied policy research and community engagement.

Tripp obtained his Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1988 from the University of Ottawa. From 1986–88, he was applications manager at Bomem Inc., a world leader in the design and manufacturing of Fourier transform spectrometers. In 1988, Tripp joined the Exploratory Surface Chemistry group at the Xerox Research Centre of Canada and was promoted to manager of the materials characterization area in 1994. He joined the UMaine faculty in 1998.

Tripp is president and cofounder of Orono Spectral Solutions Inc. The company was founded in 2004 and spun out of research conducted at LASST. His research interests include material development through surface modification. His research in chemical/biosensors, surfactant/polymer interactions on surfaces, sol-gel synthesis and paper coatings has led to more than 128 publications and 17 U.S. patents.

Since 2006, Lindenfeld has held a joint appointment in the Department of Communication and Journalism and the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center. Her research investigates how researchers, communities and policymakers can work together more effectively to advance decision making and support innovation. Building on this research, she seeks to advance working collaborations with policymakers, stakeholders and communities to craft solutions to issues critical to Maine, New England and the nation.

Lindenfeld envisions the MCSPC as a keystone for brokering relationships among the faculty and constituencies through applied public policy research designed to create stronger linkages between the University of Maine and the state of Maine.