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Dr. Melissa A. Pasquinelli

Associate Professor

Textile Engineering, Chemistry, and Science

Melissa Pasquinelli

Phone: 919-515-9426
Address: 2401 Research Drive
Room: 3324 | Map Location
Website: Research Website

Research Areas

The focus of our research is to develop and apply simulation techniques “from the nanoscale” to optimize the properties of soft materials, starting from the molecular building blocks (nanoscale, 10-9 m) and working toward the microscopic (~10-6 m) and macroscopic (>>10-6 m) scales. These techniques enable us to predict how molecular structures and the dynamics of molecular systems relate to their functional roles (mechanical, protective, and toxicological).

We address scientific problems in a variety of application areas, including: interfacial science, health and safety, and sustainability/green chemistry.

Please refer to our research website for details on specific projects.

Most Recent Publications

1. Magenau, A.J.D., Richards, J.A., Pasquinelli, M.A., Savin, D.A., & Mathers, R.T. (2015). Systematic Insights from Medicinal Chemistry to Discern the Nature of Polymer Hydrophobicity. Macromolecules .

2. Pasquinelli, M.A., Jiang, Q., and Moo-Young, J. (2015). Interfacial Characteristics of Polymer Nanocomposites via Molecular Dynamics Simulations. Texcomp-12 International Conference Proceedings .

3. Zhang, N., Shen, J., Pasquinelli, M.A., Hinks, D., & Tonelli, A.E. (2015). Formation and characterization of an inclusion complex of triphenyl phosphate and β-cyclodextrin and its use as a flame retardant for polyethylene terephthalate. Polymer Degradation and Stability , 120 , 244-250.

4. Zhang, N., Shen, J., Pasquinelli, M.A., Hinks, D., & Tonelli, A.E. (2015). Design of Safer Flame Retardant Textiles through Inclusion Complex Formation with Cyclodextrins. Proceedings of the Asian Textiles Conference 13 .

5. Tallury, S.S.; Mineart, K.P.; Woloszczuk, S.; Williams, D.N.; Thompson, R.B.; Pasquinelli, M.A.; Banaszak, M., & Spontak, R.J. (2014). Communication: Molecular-level insights into asymmetric triblock copolymers: Network and phase development. The Journal of Chemical Physics , 141 , 121103.

List All Publications

Dr. Melissa Pasquinelli is an NCSU Faculty Scholar, NCSU Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor, and an Associate Professor in Fiber and Polymer Science, Textile Engineering, and Polymer and Color Chemistry at North Carolina State University, where she enjoys balancing her professional time between teaching and mentoring budding engineers and scientists and working on scientific research projects. Her research team is working on developing and utilizing computational tools for investigating nanoscale science and engineering applications, such as developing “smart” and multifunctional materials. (More information about her research projects can be found at She thoroughly relishes in mentoring young scientists and engineers, so members of her research team span from high school students to postdoctoral researchers.

Dr. Pasquinelli teaches a variety of courses each year at the undergraduate and graduate levels on topics such as computer modeling, sustainability in materials design, and engineering thermodynamics. In the classroom, she applies active learning strategies to engage the students and to appeal to as many learning styles as possible throughout the lesson. She puts much effort toward designing assignments that necessitate critical and creative thinking and problem solving strategies, and thus steer the students toward going beyond just crunching numbers and regurgitating the technical content. She also incorporates practical applications and examples into the course that appeal to the students, such as the potential implications on the environment. She was recognized as an NCSU Outstanding Teacher in 2010, and was the College of Textiles nominee for the NCSU Board of Governor’s award in 2012. She has also been acknowledged through the “Thank A Teacher” program numerous times. In addition, from Carnegie Mellon University, she received a Graduate Teaching Award in 1999 and a Student Employee of the Year Recognition Award in 2000 for her development of a comprehensive Supplemental Instruction Leader Training.

In addition to her research and teaching activities, Dr. Pasquinelli has a long history of community outreach activities, which has included judging several regional and state science competitions a year, mentoring females and minorities interested in technical fields, serving as a mentor to K-12 science teachers, and presenting science-based workshops to students in middle school and high school. Dr. Pasquinelli also serves leadership roles with the American Chemical Society, including being an Associate Member of the Committee for Environmental Improvement, and serving as both the 2013 Chair and Councilor for the North Carolina Local Section.

Prior to joining NC State, Dr. Pasquinelli worked for two years as a Computational Chemist with the Office of Research and Development at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; she also received postdoctoral training at Duke University and was awarded a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship from the Sloan Foundation. She received her Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University, and she received her B.S. in chemistry with honors and minors in writing and mathematics from Seton Hill University, a former women’s college in Greensburg, PA.

In her spare time, Dr. Pasquinelli enjoys exploring the outdoors, playing cards, listening to music, practicing yoga and pilates, and spending time with her family, friends, and pets.

LinkedIN Profile:

FALL 2015:

SPRING 2015:


Visit our team website for more details:

Visit our team website for more details:

Postdoctoral Fellow, National Center for Computational Toxicology, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, RTP, NC

Sloan Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry, Duke University, Durham, NC

Ph.D., Department of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

B.S., Chemistry, Seton Hill University, Greensburg, PA (Note that this school is distinct from Seton HALL University, and was a women's college when I attended it.)

  • American Chemical Society [1993-present]
  • The Fiber Society [2015-present]
  • Society of Women Environmental Professionals [2006-present]
  • Materials Research Society [2013-present]