James Palmer

Arkadelphia, AR; Ruston LA

BSChE University of Arkansas 1992

PhD University of Arkansas 1997

Dr. Palmer joined Albemarle Corporation after completing his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering in 1997.  He worked at Albemarle Corporation for two year in Baton Rouge in process research and one year in Magnolia in manufacturing technical support.  The process research work provided experience in both scale-up and hazard analysis.  Dr. Palmer was involved with the startup of a new plant in his manufacturing technical support role.  In addition, he also had internship experiences with Texaco, Los Alamos National Lab, and he has been a summer faculty researcher at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. Dr. Palmer has worked at Louisiana Tech University since 2000 and is currently the senior faculty member in Chemical Engineering. He served as Program Chair for Chemical Engineering from 2004 to 2011, and Director for both Chemical and Industrial Engineering from 2008 to 2013.  During this time, Dr. Palmer managed a doubling in enrollment in Chemical Engineering, moving from the fourth largest engineering program at Tech, to second only to Mechanical Engineering. This was accomplished while significantly increasing the pass rate of students on the FE exam (he required the exam for all undergraduate Chemical Engineering students).  Dr. Palmer has taught a variety of courses, but his favorite is the year-long senior capstone design sequence he has taught since his arrival at Tech. In addition to his contributions with Chemical Engineering, Dr. Palmer was the co-developer of the Nanosystems Engineering B.S. degree at Louisiana Tech.  With funding provided through the National Science Foundation, this program has become the first ABET accredited Nanosystems Engineering degree in the country, helping Louisiana Tech to be ranked third in micro/nano education in the country by SmallTimes magazine in 2006.  As a Director, Dr. Palmer managed the transition of a low enrollment Engineering Management Masters Program to online delivery.  Dr. Palmer was able to again create a 300% increase in enrollment while maintaining quality. Dr. Palmer is currently the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies for the College of Engineering and Science at Louisiana Tech.  In this role he manages seven M.S. and four Ph.D. programs with enrollments of approximately 250 and 150 students respectively.  In addition, he also manages the College assistantship budget of approximately $1 million.   Dr. Palmer has secured $1.3 million in research and education funding since 2007.  His research is in chemical microsystems and enzyme immobilization nanotechnology.  He holds the Virgil Orr Professorship in Chemical Engineering.  Dr. Palmer is a registered Professional Engineer and received the 2007 Engineering Professionalism Award from the Louisiana Engineering Foundation.  James Palmer is married to Gina and has two daughters.  They are active members of Trinity United Methodist Church in Ruston.  James Palmer’s current hobby is keeping up with his family’s extra-curricular and church activities.


Arkansas Academy of Chemical Engineers, 2014.