Huda Jerri named 2017 Early Career Alumni Recognition Award recipient


Huda Jerri has been named the 2017 Early Career Alumni Recognition Award recipient for the Penn State Department of Chemical Engineering. 

The award is designed to honor an outstanding Penn State chemical engineering graduate who received his or her degree within the past ten years, and who has proven themselves as an exemplary role model for current chemical engineering students, as well as a successful contributor to industry.

Jerri has more than 10 years of experience in a variety of sectors within the chemical engineering industry, with her most recent focus centering on fragrance and flavor delivery systems and technologies. She launched her career rather quickly, receiving her bachelor of science in chemical engineering from Clarkson University at age 20.

After graduation from Clarkson, Jerri worked for two years as a product development engineer for AZDEL, Inc., a General Electric/PPG joint venture. Her father urged her to return to graduate school “before she forgot all her math,” so she applied and was accepted into Penn State’s chemical engineering graduate program.

During an undergraduate internship at IBM, Jerri found she was interested in chemical-mechanical-polishing abrasive slurries, so she decided to devote her studies and career to learning and practicing colloidal science. She joined the research group of Darrell Velegol, distinguished professor of chemical engineering, where she worked on synthesizing and assembling colloidal machines.

As a doctoral student, Jerri landed a gradate internship in the Science and Technology Division of Johnson and Johnson, where she learned about product formulations. She also became interested in developing products for consumer application.

After receiving her Ph.D. in 2010, Jerri joined Firmenich, SA, which is the largest privately owned flavor and fragrance company in the world. She spent an 18-month induction period at the company’s research and development headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and returned to the United States to work at Firmenich’s Princeton, N.J. site. While there, she established a colloidal characterization facility to develop fragrance and flavor delivery systems, working to synthesize, characterize, and optimize next-generation multifunctional versions of these systems. Focus areas included inorganic/organic hybrid delivery systems, particle assembly and functionalization, substantive vectors for personal cleansing products, and multifunctional antimicrobial delivery systems to combat malodor.

This work led to Jerri’s promotion to senior scientist at Firmenich in 2014, and in 2016 she was named Firmenich’s Director of Materials Science Research (North America). Along with managing an interdisciplinary research team, she also oversees collaborative research projects with multiple leading academic institutions.

Jerri has co-authored 11 journal articles and has been involved in six patents. She speaks three languages, includin

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Jamie Oberdick


The Penn State Department of Chemical Engineering, established in 1948, is recognized as one of the largest and most influential chemical engineering departments in the nation.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry.

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