Johanna Schwartz – “The really challenging part is developing orthogonal photo-initiators"

Johanna Schwartz

Johanna Schwartz

Johanna Schwartz is graduate student in chemistry who has a BA in chemistry and biology. 

She worked on various research projects, from synthesizing more efficient hydrogen fuel cell polymers, improving the synthesis and purity of cuprous oxide, and even identifying and characterizing thin phytoplankton layers in the Sargasso Sea. For her Bachelor’s thesis research, she worked with Dr. David Myers at Simon’s Rock, focusing on natural product synthesis. 

Specifically the research focused on the synthesis and biological testing of antibiotically and antifungally active alkynoic acids and butenolides. Johanna officially joined Prof. AJ Boydston’s group in the Department of Chemistry at UW in December 2014. She currently focuses on increasing the material scope and complexity of 3D printing through novel stimuli-responsive polymer synthesis and multi-material process development, primarily for melt material extrusion and DLP 3D Printing.

Nora Toure: Johanna, could you let us know about your background and what brought you into 3D printing in the first place?

Johanna Schwartz: I grew up in Las Vegas, NV, and have always been interested in science. When I was younger, I wanted to be sure I knew what field I wanted to go into, and I’ve been lucky enough to have had a broad range of scientific experiences. I’ve made hydrogen fuel cell polymers under Prof. Chulsung Bae at UNLV, devised a way to synthesize pure cuprous oxide under Prof. John Ketterson at Northwestern, and sailed on the SSV Corwith Cramer doing oceanographic research studying phytoplankton under Dr. Jeff Schell through SEA Semester. Ultimately, I culminated my undergraduate degree synthesizing and testing the antibiotic and antifungal properties of butenolides and their target precursors under Prof. David Myers at my undergraduate institution, Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Through all of this research, I was able to decide what I really wanted to work on, and this ultimately led me to chemistry and to polymer synthesis. When I started working under Prof. AJ Boydston at UW, I was set on synthesizing complex stimuli responsive polymers. I never would have imagined incorporating 3D printing, but my work in this group and my interactions and collaborations with other departments led me to shift focus to what I do now. Currently, I focus on using chemistry to tackle some of the current problems with additive manufacturing, as well as develop new materials that will enable us downstream to incorporate these stimuli-responsive polymers into 3D printed objects.

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Nora Toure

California-based Nora Toure is the woman behind “Women in 3D Printing”, a group dedicated to promoting and showcasing the use of 3D printing for women. She’s also a Sales Manager at 3D print -on-demand service Sculpteo.