Dr. Ruel McKenzie

Dr. Ruel McKenzie

Title: Assistant Professor
Dept/Program: School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering
Office: PEAC 327
Phone: 330-972-5344
Email: rmckenzie@uakron.edu


The core competency of Dr. Ruel McKenzie is in experimental soft matter physics with expertise in rheological and dielectric characterization methods. He joined The University of Akron following an NRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in WPAFB, OH where the focus was on developing techniques to characterize adaptable materials and on advancing technologies in additive manufacturing. Prior to his tenure at AFRL, Dr. McKenzie was a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser (IESL) of the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH) developing rheological techniques to understand elastomer reticulation and fluid flow near surfaces. Upon conferral of his doctoral degree, Dr. McKenzie served briefly as an adjunct professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at New York University-Tandon School of Engineering. Dr. McKenzie holds a Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from New York University-Tandon School of Engineering where his thesis was on understanding dynamics in heterogeneous laminate systems.


Dynamics is concerned with understanding molecular mobility, especially of polymer systems, over a broad range of length and time scales, and its influence on macroscopic behavior. An understanding of molecular mobility is crucial to not only developing and optimizing polymer processing methods but is key when targeting and discovering applications, as dynamics is also informative when it is desired to engineer specific structures, properties and/or functions. The technical aspirations of this research are primarily experimental in nature and is directed towards a phenomenological understanding of polymeric behavior. Under this broad theme, the current research thrusts are categorized as follows: polymer dynamics, multifunctional materials and enabling complex structures.


Google Scholar | Ohio Innovation Exchange

  • Enabling direct writing of an epoxy resin with thermo-activated organic thixotropes
    Additive Manufacturing, 31, 2020, 100905
    McKenzie, R. Koerner, H.
  • Near wall velocimetry on a rheometer
    1 Jan 2019 Journal of Rheology 63(1):93-104
    Giuliani A, McKenzie R, Loppinet B
  • Autonomous Motility of Polymer Films
    1 Feb 2018 Advanced Materials 30(7):1705616
    Treml BE, McKenzie RN, Buskohl P, Wang D, Kuhn M, Tan L, Vaia RA
  • Soft Robotics: Autonomous Motility of Polymer Films (Adv. Mater. 7/2018)
    1 Feb 2018 Advanced Materials 30(7):1870046
    Treml BE, McKenzie RN, Buskohl P, Wang D, Kuhn M, Tan L, Vaia RA
  • Creation of energetic biothermite inks using ferritin liquid protein
    1 Apr 2017 Nature Communications 8(1):15156
    Slocik JM, McKenzie R, Dennis PB, Naik RR
  • Hygromorphic Polymers: Synthesis, Retro-Michael Reaction, and Humidity-Driven Actuation of Ester–Sulfonyl Polyimides and Thermally Derived Copolyimides
    10 May 2016 Macromolecules 49(9):3286-3299
    Wang DH, McKenzie RN, Buskohl PR, Vaia RA, Tan L-S
  • Rheological diagnostic tools for state transitions
    1 May 2016 Journal of Rheology 60(3):367-378
    McKenzie R, Vlassopoulos D
  • A molecular interpretation of Maxwell–Wagner–Sillars processes
    1 Dec 2014 Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids 406:11-21
    McKenzie R, Zurawsky W, Mijovic J
  • Modeling dynamics of isotropic dielectrics in a laminar heterogeneous configuration.
    12 Apr 2012 The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 116(14):4346-4353
    McKenzie R, Zurawsky W, Mijovic J
  • Poly(ethylene oxide)-silica hybrids entrapping sensitive dyes for biomedical optical pH sensors: molecular dynamics and optical response
    Optical Materials, 2011, 33,9, 1362-1369
    Fabbri, P., Pilati, F., Rovati, L., McKenzie, R., Mijovic, J.


  • Ph.D., 2013, New York University-Tandon School of Engineering
  • M.Sc., 2008, Columbia University
  • B.Sc., 2006, New York University-Tandon School of Engineering