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Welcoming Dr. Joseph (Joe) M. DeSimone to Stanford’s ChE Community

Welcoming Dr. Joseph (Joe) M. DeSimone to Stanford’s ChE Community

September 1, 2020

Dr. Joseph M. DeSimone

Professor, Department of Radiology and the Molecular Imaging Program, Stanford University School of Medicine
Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University School of Engineering
Professor, Stanford University Graduate School of Business, by Courtesy
Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry Emeritus, UNC-CH

Starting September 1, 2020, Dr. Joseph (Joe) M. DeSimone joined the Department of Chemical Engineering with a joint appointment in the Department of Radiology in the School of Medicine. He also holds a courtesy appointment at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB).

Joe grew up in the Philadelphia area and studied chemistry at Ursinus College (PA). He went on to obtain his Ph.D. at Virginia Tech in 1990, joining the faculty at UNC that same year. Joe made scientific breakthroughs in areas including green chemistry, medical devices, and nanotechnology, also co-founding several companies based on his research. He quickly achieved international recognition as a scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur, earning major accolades including the U.S. Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award and the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize. In 2016 President Obama awarded him the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honor in the U.S. for achievement and leadership in advancing technological progress.

Joe co-founded Carbon, Inc in 2013 ( and served as the company’s CEO until being named Executive Chairman in 2019 till present. As CEO, Joe grew Carbon from a small team of scientists and engineers into an over 400-person global company valued at almost $2.5 billion that is defining the digital revolution in manufacturing. In recognition of his entrepreneurial success at Carbon, Joe was recognized as Ernst & Young LLP’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year 2019’ National Overall winner. In 2020, Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) named Carbon as ‘Company of the Year’.

As an academician, Joe built a strong culture in his research group centered on the notion that diversity is a fundamental tenet of innovation. He mentored 80 students through Ph.D. completion, half of whom are women and members of underrepresented groups in STEM. He credits much of his laboratory’s success to this approach, frequently emphasizing how both human and disciplinary diversity accelerate progress in team problem-solving.

An author of over 350 scientific publications (> 43,000 citations to his work as measured by Google Scholar “h-index” of 96), Joe is a named inventor on over 200 issued patents. He is one of only roughly 25 individuals elected to all three U.S. National Academies—the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Engineering.