Melissa Pasquinelli

Melissa Pasquinelli

Associate Department Head,
Director of Graduate Programs, and
Professor, TECS

Polymer and Color Chemistry
Textile Engineering
Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science

College of Textiles Directory

About Melissa Pasquinelli

Dr. Melissa Pasquinelli is an NC State University Faculty Scholar, NC State University Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor, and a 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 molecular modeling and simulation 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 NC State University Outstanding Teacher in 2010, and was the Wilson College of Textiles nominee for the NC State University 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 a Member of the Committee for Environmental Improvement, and serving as both the 2013 Chair and Councilor for the North Carolina Local Section.

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We develop and use molecular modeling and simulation approaches to investigate how the structure, dynamics, and functional roles of molecular systems are affected by:

  • Thermodynamics: temperature, pressure
  • The local chemical environment: surface modifications, solvent, moisture, pH, or presence of other additives, dyes, or other species
  • The physical environment: confinement, shearing, or presence of interfaces or voids

More information about her research projects can be found at

Academic Degrees

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, National Center for Computational Toxicology, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
  • Sloan Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry, Duke University,
  • Ph.D. Department of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University,
  • B.S. Chemistry, Seton Hill University,


Thermoplastic Elastomer Systems Containing Carbon Nanofibers as Soft Piezoresistive Sensors
Turgut, A., Tuhin, M. O., Toprakci, O., Pasquinelli, M. A., Spontak, R. J., & Toprakci, H. A. K. (2018), ACS OMEGA, 3(10), 12648–12657.
Communication: Molecular-level description of constrained chain topologies in multiblock copolymer gel networks
Tuhin, M. O., Woloszczuk, S., Mineart, K. P., Pasquinelli, M. A., Sadler, J. D., Smith, S. D., … Spontak, R. J. (2018), The Journal of Chemical Physics, 148(23), 231101.
Microphase-Separated Morphologies and Molecular Network Topologies in Multiblock Copolymer Gels
Tuhin, M. O., Ryan, J. J., Sadler, J. D., Han, Z., Lee, B., Smith, S. D., … Spontak, R. J. (2018), Macromolecules, 51(14), 5173–5181.
Photodegradation of copolyester films: A mechanistic study
Arangdad, K., Detwiler, A., Cleven, C. D., Burk, C., Shamey, R., Pasquinelli, M. A., … El-Shafei, A. (2018), Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 10, 47148.
Complex phase behavior and network characteristics of midblock-solvated triblock copolymers as physically cross-linked soft materials
Woloszczuk, S., Tuhin, M. O., Gade, S. R., Pasquinelli, M. A., Banaszak, M., & Spontak, R. J. (2017), ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 9(46), 39940–39944.
Integrating {Experiments} and {MD} {Simulations} to {Determine} {Degradation} of {Poly}-4-{Hydroxybutyrate} ({P}4HB) {For} {Surgical} {Suture} {Applications}
Vaid, R., Pasquinelli, M. A., & King, M. W. (2017). Integrating Experiments and MD Simulations to Determine Degradation of Poly-4-Hydroxybutyrate (P4HB) For Surgical Suture Applications. In Proceedings of the Technical Medical Textiles Conference. inproceedings, Stuggart, Germany,
Nanoscale considerations responsible for diverse macroscopic phase behavior in monosubstituted isobutyl-{POSS}/poly(ethylene oxide) blends
Caydamli, Y., Yildirim, E., Shen, J., Fang, X., Pasquinelli, M. A., Spontak, R. J., & Tonelli, A. E. (2017). Nanoscale considerations responsible for diverse macroscopic phase behavior in monosubstituted isobutyl-POSS/poly(ethylene oxide) blends. Soft Matter.,
Combined experimental and computational study of process-property relationships for bioabsorbable polymers
Chirag, G., Melissa, P., & Martin, K. (2016), Front. Bioeng. Biotechnol., 4.
Flame retardants: New approaches to reduce exposure
Zane, C., Pasquinelli, M., Vinueza, N., Chen, Y., Hinks, D., Zhang, N., … Tonelli, A. (2016), In ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY (Vol. 252). inproceedings.
Hierarchical multi-component nanofiber separators for lithium polysulfide capture in lithium--sulfur batteries: an experimental and molecular modeling study
Zhu, J., Yildirim, E., Aly, K., Shen, J., Chen, C., Lu, Y., … others. (2016). Hierarchical multi-component nanofiber separators for lithium polysulfide capture in lithium–sulfur batteries: an experimental and molecular modeling study. Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 4(35), 13572–13581,

View All Publications


Multi-Scale Constitutive Modeling of Polymer Fibers
NCSU Nonwovens Institute(1/01/18 - 12/31/19)
A bioinformatics and molecular modeling approach towards understanding epigenetic targets and genotoxic and mutagenic biological pathways of azo dyes within organisms
NCSU Center for Human Health and the Environment(1/01/17 - 3/31/19)
NRT-DESE: Data-Enabled Research Traineeships in the Science and Engineering of Atomic Structure (SEAS)
National Science Foundation (NSF)(9/15/16 - 8/31/21)
Spinning and Drawing Resorbable Yarns from Bacterial Polyesters
Atex Technologies, Inc.(9/03/13 - 5/15/16)
Next Generation of High Performance Flame Retardants with Low Environmental/Toxicological Impact
NCSU Research and Innovation Seed Funding Program(7/01/13 - 6/30/14)
Development of Robust CWA Repellent Fabric via Enhanced Superoleophobic Technology
Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)(5/14/12 - 7/13/14)
Molecular Simulations For the Design and Optimization of NanoBiosensors
NCSU Faculty Research & Professional Development Fund(7/01/07 - 6/30/08)


  • American Chemical Society - Secretary for the Committee for Environmental Improvement; Councilor and Past Chair of the North Carolina Local Section.
  • The Fiber Society - Secretary for the Committee for Environmental Improvement; Councilor and Past Chair of the North Carolina Local Section.
  • Society of Women Environmental Professionals - Secretary for the Committee for Environmental Improvement; Councilor and Past Chair of the North Carolina Local Section.
  • - Secretary for the Committee for Environmental Improvement; Councilor and Past Chair of the North Carolina Local Section.


  • TE 303 - Thermodynamics for Textile Engineers ,
  • TE 110 - Computer-Based Modeling for Engineers ,
  • - ,

Additional Information

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.