John Howarter

Associate Professor of Materials Engineering and Environmental and Ecological Engineering, EEE Graduate Chair
(765) 496-3103


  • Ph.D., Materials Engineering, Purdue University, 2008
  • B.S., Materials Science & Engineering, Ohio State University, 2003

Research Summary

Dr. Howarter's research group is focused on surface and interfacial phenomena of soft materials. They are currently investigating new synthesis and processing methods to improve performance of desalination membranes. Other projects include design of functional polymer-clay nanocomposites, measurement and characterization of polymer degradation mechanisms in aqueous environments, and development of polymer coatings with selective ion transport properties.

Selected Publications

  • A. N. Bruce*, D. Lieber, I. Hua, J. A. Howarter, Rational interface design of epoxy–organoclay nanocomposites: Role of structure-property relationship for silane modifiers. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 2014, 419, 73-78.

  • L.T. Kearney*, J.A. Howarter, QCM-based measurement of chlorine-induced polymer degradation kinetics. Langmuir, 2014, 30 (29), 8923–8930

  • G.P. Mendis*, I. Hua, J.P. Youngblood, J.A. Howarter, Enhanced dispersion of lignin in epoxy nanocomposites through hydration and Mannich functionalization, Journal of Applied Polymer Science 2015, 132 (1), 41263

Awards and Honors

  • College of Engineering Outstanding Faculty Mentor, 2021 - 2022
  • College of Engineering Outstanding Engineering Teacher, 2021 - 2022
  • Bravo Award, 2017
  • SEEE Instructional Excellence Award, 2014 - 2015