Lisa Brown | LSU Chemistry

Lisa Brown

 lisa brown

Lisa Brown

Senior Research Scientist, 3M


Lisa Brown grew up in Baton Rouge and attended Woodlawn High School. She started attending to LSU in the Fall of 2002 as a music major. After taking a biology class her freshman year, she “realized that [her] brain was wired for more technical thinking” and decided to major in chemistry. The following semester, Brown became involved with the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SAACS). She describes her experience with SACCS as rewarding because it helped her to develop important leadership skills and interact with many professors and students in the Department of Chemistry. Brown also values the eye-opening experiences she had while participating in outreach programs and attending conferences.

After graduating from LSU, Brown attended Rice University to complete her PhD in Chemistry. Her research centered on plasmonics and nanophotonics, whereby metallic nanostructures are engineered to manipulate light for a wide range of technological applications. As a post-doc at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) from 2014-15, Brown spent her days developing a new analytical technique to study phonons in hyperbolic materials. This research helps us understand fundamental optical properties that are not observed in metals.

Her advice to current Chemistry Majors is, “You never know when something you learn will become useful.” Many of her classes at LSU have come full circle and been helpful in her research. She comments, "In grad school I referred back to my college textbooks and thought, 'This is so much easier to understand now!' You will use the stuff that you learn. Don’t take it for granted.” As you explore potential careers, Brown advises that “The best way to find more possibilities is to look in the right places and talk to as many different people as you can, especially those who are currently in the workforce.”

In April 2016, Lisa became a Senior Research Scientist in the Optics and Spectroscopy Group at the 3M Corporate Research Analytical Laboratory in Sait Paul, Minnesota. As part of a large team of analysts, Lisa uses infrared and Raman spectroscopy to analyze samples and participate in research projects from all divisions and labs across 3M, including benchtop research, product development, and manufacturing lines. She learned about the position through an acquaintance from grad school days who worked at 3M.  

Profile contributed by Abigael Theriot and Carol Taylor (2015)

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