Norma A. Alcantar
Norma A. Alcantar, Ph.D.
Department of Chemical Engineering & Biomedical Engineering
University of South Florida
Dr. Alcantar grew up in Mexico City, Mexico. She received her Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering with honors in 1993. She then was awarded the UNAM-DeGAPA Studies Abroad Fellowship to continue with her graduate education at the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB). She received her Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from UCSB in 2000. She did her postdoctoral research in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at UC Davis and UCSB from 2000 to 2001 in Surface Properties of Thin Films under Confinement. After that, she worked in the Materials Research Laboratory at UCSB in Surface Characterization and Interfacial Phenomena of Thin Films from 2001 to 2003. During this time, she also worked as a consultant engineer in SurForce Corp, Santa Barbara, CA. She joined the University of South Florida System in Tampa in August of 2003, where she is currently a professor.
Dr. Alcantar is an expert in surface force measurements, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Her research interests include Interfacial Phenomena and chemical characterization of biomimetic membranes, drug delivery systems, micellar surfactants, green chemistry materials, water purification systems, nanoparticles and organic/inorganic thin films. Dr. Alcantar is a member-elect of the Engineering Section Steering Committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2018-2022). She is the recipient of a 2016-2017 Core Fulbright Award and the 2018 Summer Faculty fellowship from the Jewish National Fund. She was also awarded the Excellence in Innovation Award by the National Academy of Inventors in 2016. She is a departmental Director for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Minority Scholars Program to advancing underrepresented minority students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, since 2005. She is also co-director of the Water, Health and Sustainability Graduate Certificate and the Director of the Materials Science and Engineering Graduate Certificate. Dr. Alcantar is also the recipient of the 2010 Hispanic Pathways Award. Her graduate students have been the recipients of numerous training grants including the 2018 Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World, the Faculty of the Future Research Award from the Elsevier Foundation, the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Predoctoral Research Award from the National Institutes of Health, the Faculty for the Future Grant from the Schlumberger Foundation to support doctoral studies in Chemical Engineering (2008-11), and the 2005-USF Graduate School Outstanding Thesis Award. She has presented numerous invited oral presentations nationally and internationally (e.g., Bangladesh, Haiti, Mexico, Chile, Germany, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Puerto Rico), has ten patents, and has over 44 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters.