Douglas Fox

Douglas Fox
Professor and Department Chair
American University



Research Focus: Carbohydrates in Coatings, Thin Films, & Composites

Douglas Fox is a Professor in and current Chair of the Chemistry Department at American University (Washington, DC). 

Dr. Fox received a BS in Chemical Engineering and a PhD in Chemistry from Michigan Technological University (Houghton, MI). His PhD dissertation explored the interactions in aqueous solutions containing a mixture of electrolytes. He spent two years at the Naval Research Laboratory and two years at the US Naval Academy researching the thermal stability and flammability of ionic liquids and clay – polymer nanocomposites using ionic liquids as surfactants. He joined the Chemistry Department at American University as a tenure line Assistant Professor in 2006. He obtained tenure, Associate Professor, and Full Professor at American University. He teaches physical chemistry, environmental chemistry, general chemistry, and advanced chemistry laboratories. He has mentored 6 MS students and over 50 undergraduate research projects.

Dr. Fox has 20 years experience with thermophysical and interfacial properties in solutions and polymer composites using sustainable materials. His research group explores the development of polymer nanocomposites and flame retardants using natural product additives.  His current projects use carbohydrates and lignocelluosic materials, such as cellulose nanocrystals and chitosan to improve composite properties. His research is focused on the use of sustainable materials in developing commercializable products. He has 3 patents and 5 pending patents, 52 research publications, and 18 published proceedings papers. He is a Guest Researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Dr. Fox first attended the International Conference on Nanotechnology for Renewable Materials in 2015 (Atlanta, GA). He joined the research committee as the chair of the Composites subcommittee in 2016 and held that position through 2022. He is now serving as the co-chair of the Research Committee.