Karen I. Winey is Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Chemical and Biomolecule Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Her group designs and fabricates polymer nanocomposites containing carbon nanotubes and metal nanowires with the aim of understanding how to improve their mechanical, thermal, and especially electrical properties. More recently this work has expanded to include simulations of electrical conductivity and polymer dynamics in the presence of nanoparticles. Winey's group has pioneered the use of HAADF STEM to probe the nanoscale morphology in ion-containing polymers. Now, their effort focuses on correlating the structures in these materials, including block copolymers, with transport properties. She has published over 110 journal articles and holds 5 patents.
Winey earned her B.S. in materials science and engineering from Cornell University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in polymer science and engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her honors and awards include NSF Young Investigator Award (1994 – 1999), Fellow of the American Physical Society (2003), and NSF Special Creativity Award (2009 – 2011). In addition to serving on various advisory boards, Winey chaired the 2010 Polymer Physics Gordon Research Conference and is currently an Associate Editor for Macromolecules.