Selma Mededovic Thagard, named as the Richard J. ‘50 and Helen March Endowed Professor, is a renowned expert in electrical discharge plasma processes with a focus on theoretical and experimental investigations of fundamental plasma chemistry in single and multiphase plasma environments.
Thagard’s significant contributions to her discipline include well over 100 publications, conference presentations, and invited lectures. Her work is not only highly cited by peers but also highly regarded as is reflected by her induction, in 2019, into Clarkson’s Million Dollar Club. A recipient of the John W. Graham Jr. Faculty Research Award from Clarkson, Thagard’s contributions are equally impressive as a teacher and mentor. She has received numerous accolades for her work with students in and outside of the class including the Tau Beta Pi Faculty Award, Phalanx Commendable Leadership Award, Pi Tau Sigma Teaching Award, NSF BRIGE award, Kristin Craig Memorial Faculty Award, and the Omega Chi Epsilon “Professor of the Year” award.
Recognizing teaching excellence and high-quality research, the March Professor is awarded to faculty who will ‘add luster’ to Clarkson’s research reputation and improve the stature of Clarkson’s reputation for innovation. Thagard’s significant body of work extends to the founding of a start-up company - DMax Plasma. Combining academic research, exemplary teaching, and an innovative mindset is precisely what the work that the March Professor is designed to support.
“Thagard’s breadth and impact as an academician is nothing short of extraordinary. When combined with her entrepreneurship, her future is limitless. I am thrilled to see what our March Professor will do going forward,” said Provost Robyn Hannigan about Thagard’s appointment to this position.
“She is an exceptionally talented faculty member,” said colleague and Chair of Chemistry and Biomolecular Science Silvana Andreescu. Said long-time collaborator Tom Holsen of Thagard “She is a perfect fit for the requirements of this chair and she is perfectly positioned to take advantage of this honor.”
Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Department of Defense, Global Foundries, Semiconductor Research Corporation, NY Pollution Prevention Institute, Environmental Research & Education Foundation, and United States Air Force. Thagard has co-authored >40 articles in refereed journals, written four book chapters, and holds two patents.
Thagard received her bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Zagreb in Croatia and her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Florida State University. Before coming to Clarkson, she held post-doctoral appointments at Toyohashi University of Technology in Japan and at Colorado State University.