Chelsea Davis

Chelsea Davis

Adjunct Associate Professor of School of Materials Engineering

Contact Information

School of Materials Engineering
Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering
701 West Stadium Avenue
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2045

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Research Interests

Dr. Davis’s research focuses on the molecular visualization of interfacial mechanics. Adhesion, friction, and wetting mechanisms are critical surface phenomena that must be addressed and understood to enable innovations in polymer surfaces and coatings technologies. Utilizing custom-built mechanical testing devices in situ with optical microscopy, she is developing new insights into polymer interfacial properties and mechanics.


  • Ph.D. Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2012
  • M.S. Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2007
  • B.S. Textile Engineering, North Carolina State University, 2005
  • B.A. Spanish Language and Literature, North Carolina State University, 2005 

Employment History

  • Assistant Professor, School of Materials Engineering, Purdue University, 2017-Present
  • Materials Research Engineer, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 2015-2016
  • National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 2013-2015
  • Michelin Postdoctoral Fellow, École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles, 2012-2013

Selected Publications

  • M. Zhu, T. Li, C.S. Davis, Y. Yao, J. Dai, Y. Wang, F. AlQatari, J.W. Gilman, L. Hu, “Transparent and haze wood composites for highly efficient broadband light management in solar cells.” Nano Energy, (26) 2016, 332.
  • B. Natarajan, N.D. Orloff, R. Ashkar, S. Doshi, K.A. Twedt, A. Krishnamurthy, C.S. Davis, A.M. Forster, E. Thostenson, J. Obrzut, R. Sharma, J.A. Liddle, “Multiscale metrologies for process optimization of carbon nanotube polymer composites.” Carbon, (108) 2016, 381.
  • C.S. Davis, N.D. Orloff, J.W. Woodcock, C.J. Long, K.A. Twedt, B. Natarajan, J.E. Seppala, J.J. McClelland, J. Obrzut, J.A. Liddle, J.W. Gilman, “Domain formation in carbon nanotube composites controlled by mass fraction impacts electrical properties.” Composites Science and Technology, (133) 2015, 23.
  • C.S. Davis, F. Lemoine, T. Darnige, D. Martina, C. Creton, A. Lindner, ”Debonding mechanisms of soft materials at short contact times.” Langmuir, (35) 2014, 10626.
  • C.S. Davis, D. Martina, C. Creton, A. Lindner, A.J. Crosby, “Enhanced adhesion of elastic materials to small-scale wrinkles.” Langmuir, (28) 2012, 14899.
  • C.S. Davis, A.J. Crosby, “Mechanics of wrinkled surface adhesion.” Soft Matter, (7) 2011, 5373.

Google Scholar Citations

Research Interests