Carol A. Handwerker is the Reinhardt Schuhmann, Jr. Professor of Materials Engineering and Professor of Environmental and Ecological Engineering at Purdue University. Her research areas include: developing innovative interconnect technologies for next-generation microelectronics and sustainable materials for thin film solar cells, improving the reliability of Pb-free solder interconnects, particularly for high performance, military, and aerospace electronic systems, integrating sustainability in the design of new electronic materials, processes, and products, and identifying and implementing strategies to enable circular economies using roadmapping, techno-economic analysis, and formation of self-assembling socio-ecological systems. Before joining Purdue in 2005, she was at NIST for 21 years, serving as the co-lead for Advanced Packaging as well as the Chief of the NIST Metallurgy Division for her last nine years at NIST. Handwerker is currently co-leading a $40M, 5-year DoD program in facilitating the transition to Pb-free electronics in defense systems and is co-PI of SCALE, a major DOD program on workforce development for advanced microelectronics.
She was the Director of the Purdue-Tuskegee NSF Integrative Education and Research Traineeship program (IGERT) on Globally Sustainable Electronics (supporting 28 two-year fellowships from 2012-2019), served as a member of the iNEMI Environmental Leadership Steering Committee, along with Intel, Dell, and Lenovo and co-led the iNEMI project on Value Recovery for End-of Life Electronics, a circular economy demonstration project with Seagate, Google, Microsoft, Cisco as team members. She served on the leadership team of the DoE Critical Materials Institute, leading the Focus Area on Recycling, Remanufacturing and Reuse. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), ASM International, the American Ceramic Society, the Materials Research Society (MRS), and the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS), and received the TMS Leadership Award, the TMS Applications to Practice Award, the TMS/FMD John Bardeen Award, the Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer, and the Department of Commerce Gold Medal for her leadership in Pb-free electronics. Handwerker received a BA in Art History Wellesley College, an SB in materials science and engineering and an SM and Sc.D. in ceramic science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.