photo of Paulette Clancy

Paulette Clancy

Samuel W. and Diane Bodman Professor in Chemical Engineering
Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Olin Hall, Room 362


Paulette Clancy is the Samuel W. and Diane M. Bodman Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Cornell.

Paulette Clancy is the Director of the Cornell Institute for Computational Science and Engineering. She served two terms as the William C. Hooey Director of the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Cornell University from 2002-January 2010. She was the first female Director of the School and the first woman to Chair an Engineering department in the College of Engineering at Cornell. A native of London, England, she graduated with First Class Honors from London University and received a D. Phil in Chemistry from Oxford University in Physical Chemistry. After post-doctoral research at Cornell and at London University, she joined the faculty at Cornell in 1987.

Her research laboratory is one of the leading groups in the country studying atomic- and molecular-scale modeling of semiconductor materials. Her team focuses on prediction and insight regarding the link between material design and properties, allowing them to suggest processing conditions and tailored materials to fulfill a desired set of constraints. Her primary current foci are novel materials for (a) photovoltaic applications for solar cells and (b) laser annealing of semiconductors and porous low-k materials.

She is the Associate Director of the Energy Institute at Cornell, having led the Energy Initiative with Professor Teresa Jordan from 2007-2009. Jordan and Clancy have spearheaded the creation of an undergraduate minor and a graduate minor field in sustainable energy. She co-chaired the development of a 10-year Strategic Plan in Energy for the College with Professor Jeff Tester. She was a member of the Provost's Commission on Sustainable Development, and is a Fellow of the Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future. She is a member of the KAUST-CU Thrust on Photovoltaics and coordinates activities for the PV-Solar faculty team at Cornell. In March 2010 she was the co-chair of the computational panel of a DOE workshop, which prepared a report on Carbon Capture Strategies for Beyond 2020.

She has played an active role as an advocate for increased representation of women among physical scientists and engineers. She was the founding Chair of the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) faculty in the College of Engineering at Cornell and an original co-writer of what became the Cornell policy for family leave. In 2011, she was awarded the AIChE National Women's Initiatives Mentoring Award. In 2003 and 2011, she won the James M. and Marsha D. Mc Cormick award for excellence in undergraduate advising; in 2005 the Alice Cook award for services to promoting women in science at Cornell. In 2007, she won the Zellman Warhaft award for the promotion of diversity in the College of Engineering. In 2008, she won Cornell's highest award for mentoring, the Kendall Carpenter award. In 2009, she was the inaugural NSF Advance Lecturer at Iowa State University.

Research Interests

This includes Molecular Simulation studies of semiconductor materials covering a broad range from traditional Si and Si-rich materials, to organic electronics (e.g., pentacene, C60, thiophenes, etc), to organic/inorganic hybrids (especially ligand-capped nanocrystal superlattices).  Complementary algorithm development in stochastic simulations, Kinetic Monte Carlo (esp. off-lattice).  Virtually unique focus on studies of materials processing and thin film growth.

Teaching Interests

Professor Clancy's teaching focus involves the Unit Operations Laboratory: a Senior required course; process plant-like laboratory experience; synthesis of foundational courses. This fulfills college requirement of an intensive writing experience. Her focus has been to help elevate students' writing skills through lectures and revisions of student writing drafts. This year she audited "Energy Economics" with a view to co-teaching in 2012.

"Molecular Simulation for Experimentalists": 2005 & 2010.


Service Interests

Promotion of an equitable representation of women at all levels of academia and education.

Promotion of energy literacy among Cornell students and beyond Cornell's walls.

Promotion of research initiatives in computational science and engineering.

Selected Publications

  • Clancy, Paulette. 2011."Application of Molecular Simulation Techniques to the Study of Factors Affecting the Thin-Film Morphology of Small-Molecule Organic Semiconductors."Chemistry of Materials23: 522-543.
  • Clancy, Paulette. 2012."Chemical engineering in the electronics industry: Progress towards the rational design of organic semiconductor heterojunctions."Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering1(2): 117-122.
  • Koo, Brian T., William R. Dichtel, Paulette Clancy. 2012."A classification scheme for the stacking of two-dimensional boronate ester-linked covalent organic frameworks."Journal of Materials Chemistry22(34): 17460-17469.
  • Arslan, H., J. D. Saathoff, D. N. Bunck, Paulette Clancy, W. R. Dichtel. 2012."Highly efficient Benzannulation of Poly (phenylene ethynylenes)."Angewandte Chemie-International Edition51(48): 12051-12054.
  • Kaushik, A. P., Paulette Clancy. 2013."Solvent-Driven Symmetry of Self-Assembled Nanocrystal Superlattices-A Computational Study. Cover Article.."Journal of Computational Chemistry.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • James M. and Marsha D. McCormick Advising Award(Cornell University, College of Engineering)2011
  • Samuel W. and M. Diane Bodman Professor in Chemical Engineering(Cornell University)2010
  • AIChE National Women's Initiatives Mentoring Award(AIChE)2011
  • Merrill Presidential Scholar Mentor(College of Engineering)2010
  • Inaugural NSF Advance Lecturer(Iowa State University)2009


  • BA(Chemistry),University of London,1974
  • Ph D(Chemistry),Oxford University,1977


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