Research Materials Scientist
U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
Kathryn J. Wahl is a Research Materials Scientist in the Chemistry Division at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. She received a B.A. in Physics and Mathematics from St. Olaf College in 1987, and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University in 1992. She came to the NRL as a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow in the Tribology Section and studied friction, wear and transfer film formation of model solid lubricant coatings. Since joining the research staff at NRL in 1995, her research has focused on fundamental physics and chemistry of sliding and adhesive interfaces, for contacts ranging from macroscopic to nanometer-scale. Currently, her research focuses on the development of in situ chemical and mechanical methods to probe sliding and adhesive contacts. Her group is applying these approaches to a diverse set of materials problems ranging from friction and mechanics of nanostructured materials to structure, mechanics and chemistry of barnacle glue proteins. Wahl has served on the editorial advisory board of Review of Scientific Instruments, and currently serves on the Editorial Boards of Tribology Letters and Wear. She is a fellow of AVS, and member of MRS, ACS, and STLE scientific societies.