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Joycelyn Harrison

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Information about Joycelyn Harrison

Profile image of Joycelyn Harrison

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Chemical Engineer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Lobster, Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Kiawah island, South Carolina
Favorite Quote:
All That Glitters Is Not Gold.

Birthplace

Born:
1/22/1964
Birth Location:
Chattanooga, Tennessee

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Chemical Engineer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Lobster, Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Kiawah island, South Carolina
Favorite Quote:
All That Glitters Is Not Gold.

Birthplace

Born:
1/22/1964
Birth Location:
Chattanooga
See how Joycelyn Harrison is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Inventor and chemical engineer, Joycelyn Harrison was born in 1964. She received her B.S. in chemistry from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1987. She then went on later that year to earn her B.S. in chemical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. Harrison remained at Georgia Tech as a graduate student and completed her M.S. in chemical engineering in 1989 and her Ph.D. in 1993. She completed her dissertation on the “Structure-Dielectric Property Relationships in An Epoxy System: A Free Volume Analysis.”

After graduate school Harrison went on to work at the Advanced Materials and Processing Branch (AMPB) of NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia in 1994 as a research engineer under the tutelage of Terry L. St. Clair. While at Langley, Harrison conducted much of her research in the field of piezoelectric materials, a class of polymers capable of producing mechanical motion when introduced to an electric current and conversely capable of generating an electric charge when subjected to stress. Her research culminated with her participation on the Thin-Layer Composite-Unimorph Piezoelectric Driver and Sensor (“THUNDER”) project with several colleagues, including senior engineer Robert Bryant. The THUNDER team innovated new piezoelectric polymers that improved upon the existing commercial varieties by providing better durability, energy efficiency, and production costs. In 1999, Harrison became chief of AMPB, which required her to supervise more than 40 research scientists conducting research on polymer composites and ceramics synthesis. NASA recognized Harrison’s contributions to the AMPB branch by awarding her the Exceptional Achievement Medal in 2000 and the Outstanding Leadership Medal in 2006.

Harrison’s personal achievements include a number of patents for piezoelectric substrates that she invented between 1999 and 2008, which have applications both within the aerospace industry for the repair of satellites and the commercial sector for improvements in devices, such as robots, heart pumps and audio speakers. In 2009, Harrison became the manager of the Low Density Materials program at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research in Arlington, Virginia, which seeks to attain reductions in weight of aerospace systems while simultaneously improving overall efficiency.

She resides in Arlington, Virginia.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Joycelyn Harrison's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Joycelyn Harrison lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joycelyn Harrison describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her mother's growing up
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joycelyn Harrison describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her father's growing up
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about how her parents met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joycelyn Harrison describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joycelyn Harrison describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joycelyn Harrison describes her childhood home
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joycelyn Harrison describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her experience being bullied
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her love for learning
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her childhood friend
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about documentaries
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her elementary school teacher, Ms. Grisham
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her junior high school experience
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her interest in books
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about the A.M.E. Church
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about The Civil Rights Movement and NASA
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her childhood education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her high school teachers
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her decision to pursue chemical engineering
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her experience at Spelman College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her extracurricular activities
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her mentors in chemistry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her experience at the Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joycelyn Harrison compares her experiences at Spelman College with that of Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Joycelyn Harrison describes the difference between a chemist and a chemical engineer
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her decision to become a chemical engineer
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her decision to attend graduate school (part 1)
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her decision to attend graduate school (part 2)
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Joycelyn Harrison describes her dissertation on high performance composite materials
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about piezoelectric materials
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her research advisor and mentor, Dr. Terry St. Clair
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her work at NASA's Langley Research Center
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about receiving the R&D 100 Award
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about NASA's program, THUNDER
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her professional activities and awards
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her social skills
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about the challenges of being a manager
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about receiving the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her patents
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her resignation from NASA
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her career at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her work with MUIRI
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her career
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Joycelyn Harrison reflects on her career
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about balancing family with her career
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about her husband and children
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Joycelyn Harrison shares her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Joycelyn Harrison reflects on her life choices
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Joycelyn Harrison reflects on her legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Joycelyn Harrison talks about how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Joycelyn Harrison describes her photos