Kathy Walsh

Kathy Walsh
Kathy Walsh
Senior Research Scientist
(217) 300-6662
406 Seitz Materials Research Lab


  • Ph.D. Physics - Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI (2013)
  • M.S. Physics - Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI (2009)
  • B.S. Physics - Wichita State University, Wichita, KS (2007)


Kathy Walsh earned her Ph.D. in physics from Michigan State University, using scanning probe microscopy techniques to study bacterial nanowires. She joined the MRL staff in 2013 and is now a senior research scientist in the MRL Central Research Facilities, specializing in scanning probe microscopy, stylus and optical profilometry, and nanomechanical characterization.

Academic Positions

  • Senior Research Scientist, Materials Research Laboratory, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL (2020 - present)
  • Research Scientist, Materials Research Laboratory, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL (2016 - 2020)
  • Staff Postdoctoral Research Associate, Materials Research Laboratory, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL (2013 - 2016)

Research Statement

My research experience is primarily in the field of scanning probe microscopy--atomic force microscopy and affiliated techniques--and in small-scale mechanical testing, as well as in profilometry (both stylus and optical). I enjoy using instruments in arenas and for experiments for which they are not commonly used, especially in investigating the nano/microscale topography and behavior of everyday objects and materials, and I relish finding innovative ways to investigate samples using a variety of techniques.

Selected Articles in Journals

  • C. Zhao, A. Gao, Y. Yang, C. Tu, A. Bhutani, K.A. Walsh, S. Gong, and D.P. Shoemaker, "High-quality CoFe2O4 thin films with large coercivity grown via a wet chemical route," AIP Advances 9, 035126-1-6 (2019).
  • W.T. Hay, G.F. Fanta, S.C. Peterson, A.J. Thomas, K.D. Utt, K.A. Walsh, V.M. Boddu, G.W. Selling, "Improved hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) films through incorporation of amylose-sodium palmitate inclusion complexes," Carbohydrate Polymers 188, 76-84 (2018).
  • W. Huang, J. Zhou, P.J. Froeter, K. Walsh, S. Liu, M.D. Kraman, M. Li, J.A. Michaels, D.J. Sievers, S. Gong, and X. Li, "Three-dimensional radio-frequency transformers based on a self-rolled-up membrane platform," Nature Electronics 1, 305-313 (2018).
  • X.Liu, C.-Y. Tang, R. Hao, K. Walsh, C. Zhou, S.J. Dillon, "Local chemo-mechanical insights into the efficacy of ZDDP additives from in situ single asperity growth and mechanical testing," Tribology International 112, 103-107 (2017).
  • S.K. Misra, F. Ostadhossein, R. Babu, J. Kus, D. Tankasala, A. Sutrisno, K.A. Walsh, C.R. Bromfield, and D. Pan, "3D-Printed Multidrug-Eluting Stent from Graphene-Nanoplatelet-Doped Biodegradable Polymer Composite," Advanced Healthcare Materials 6, 1700008-1-14 (2017).
  • S. Lampa-Pastirk, J.P. Veazey, K.A. Walsh, G.T. Feliciano, R.J. Steidl, S.H. Tessmer, and G. Reguera, “Thermally activated charge transport in microbial protein nanowires,” Scientific Reports 6, 23517 (2016).
  • T. Ozkan, M.T. Demirkan, K.A. Walsh, T. Karabacak, and A.A. Polycarpou, “Density modulated nanoporous tungsten thin films and their nanomechanical properties,” Journal of Materials Research 31(14), 2011-2024 (2016).
  • X. Yin, X. Liu, Y.T. Pan, K.A. Walsh, and H. Yang, “Hanoi Tower-like multilayered ultrathin palladium nanosheets,” Nano Letters 14(12), 7188-7194 (2014).
  • K.A. Walsh, M.E. Romanowich, M. Gasseller, I. Kuljanishvili, R. Ashoori, and S. Tessmer, "Scanning-probe single-electron capacitance spectroscopy," Journal of Visualized Experiments 77, e50676 (2013).
  • D. Weisshaar, A. Gade, T. Glasmacher, G.F. Grinyer, D. Bazin, P. Adrich, T. Baugher, J.M. Cook, C.Aa. Diget, S. McDaniel, A. Ratkiewicz, K.P. Siwek, and K.A. Walsh, “CAESAR--A high-efficiency CsI(Na) scintillator array for in-beam spectroscopy with fast rare-isotope beams," Nuclear Instruments and Methods A, 624, 615 (2010).
  • E.C. Behrman, J.E. Steck, P. Kumar, and K.A.Walsh, "Quantum algorithm design using dynamic learning," Quantum Information and Computation 8, 0012-0029 (2008).

Improvement Activities

  • Future Academic Scholars in Teaching Program Fellow (2011-2012)
  • GAANN Interdisciplinary Bioelectronics Training Program Fellow (2011-2013)
  • Certificate in College Teaching--Science, Michigan State University (2013)