From the Sidelines to “Swish!”

Julia Woertink

R&D Strategy Leader, Dow Global R&D

Team player on and off the court

Julia Woertink is innovating at the micro-scale to form smarter global connections.

As Julia describes it, the “world beneath the world” – the hidden side of what we encounter every day – is what sparked her lifetime pursuit of science. She first encountered these unseen wonders as a young girl by conducting a petri dish experiment that came with a children’s science kit.

“I poured up the dish, ran a cotton swab over a doorknob and spread it on,” Julia said. “I couldn’t believe what I saw emerge over the next few days – the colonies of bacteria grew and exposed a whole new world to me. I felt like an explorer who had just found a lost civilization. It was thrilling!”

Julia had this formative experience on her own, but she says it was the collaborative research approach of her undergraduate and doctoral studies in chemistry that helped turn the microscopic-level experiments of her childhood into more “macroscopic” roles in her career. As the Strategy Leader for Dow R&D, she now helps implement broad strategic initiatives and assists in managing Dow’s global R&D portfolio.

She’s even contributed to the “hidden worlds” within our modern devices – with Dow Electronic Materials R&D, she and her teams helped design materials for the advanced chip packaging inside products like iPads and cellphones.

Learning the Meaning of Team

Despite her self-described “classically nerdy” persona and lack of “natural athleticism,” Julia’s height (6 foot, 3 inches tall) put her on the radar of her high school basketball coach, who convinced her to join the team. She’d never played a game.

“One of the first games of the season, our star center suffered a serious injury and was out for rest of the season, leaving me to start every game after,” Julia said. “I’ll never forget that first game – all I could think about was trying to not let my team down.”

Julia went on to become a team co-captain, and even played into college. She credits the support of her coach and teammates as part of the reason she became successful. She also came to understand that many of the same team principles from athletics applied to her burgeoning career in science.

“As part of a research team during my undergraduate studies, I learned that great research is done through collaborative projects,” Julia said. “Successful scientists don’t work alone – they work in groups, in teams. Being able to articulate your ideas and seeing them amplified … that’s what science is about. If it was about sitting in a lab by myself all the time, I wouldn’t do it!”


2015 Edison Award for SOLDERON™ BP TS 6000 Tin-Silver

William S. Johnson Fellowship (2009-2010)

NIH Traineeship in Biotechnology (2005-2007)

Richard P. Schuster Memorial Prize in Chemistry (2002)

Presidential Scholar (1999-2003)


American Chemical Society – Member

US 20140353162 A1: Electroplating Baths of Silver and Tin Alloys

US 20150122661 A1: Plating Bath and Method

US 20150122662 A1: Plating Bath and Method

WO 2011046621 A1: Low Temperature Direct Selective Methane to Methanol Conversion

Lin, J-C; Qin, Y.; Woertink, J.S. Investigation of the Growth of Intermetallic Compounds Between Cu Pillars and Solder Caps. J. of Electronic Materials 2014, 43, 4134-4145

Woertink, J.; Qin, Y.; Prange, J.; Lopez Montesinos, P.; Lee, I.; Lee, Y-H; Imanari, M.; Dong, J.; Calvert, J. From C4 to micro-bump: Adapting lead free solder electroplating processes to next-gen advanced packaging applications. Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC), IEEE 64th, 2014.

Reddington, E.; Thorseth, M.; Qin, Y.; Woertink, J.; Farrell, R.; Scalisi, M.; Banelis, E.; Lopez Montesinos, P; Sherzer, B.; Baumer, Z.; Tachikawa, E.; Dong, J.; Lefebvre, M.; Calvert, J. Uniform, Flat, and Interfacial Void Free Deposits For Copper Pillar Applications. International Wafer Level Packaging Conference (IWLPC) Proceedings, 2014.

Lee, J.Y.; Peterson, R.L.; Ohkubo, K.; Garcia-Bosch, I.; Himes, R.A.; Woertink, J.S., Moore, C.D.; Solomon, E.I. Fukuzumi, S.; Karlin, K.D. Mechanistic Insights into the Oxidation of Substituted Phenols via Hydrogen Atom Abstraction by a Cupric-Superoxo Complex. JACS 2014, 136, 9925-9937

Sieracki, N.A.; Tian, S.; Hadt, R.G.; Zhang, J-L; Woertink, J.S.; Nilges, M.J.; Sun, F.; Solomon, E.I.; Lu, Yi. Copper-Sulfenate Complex from Oxidation of a Cavity Mutant of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Azurin. PNAS 2014, 111, 924-929

Qin, Y; Calvert, J.; Lin, J-C; Dong, J.; Imanari, M.; Lee, I.; Lopez Montesinos, P.; Prange, J.; Reddington, E.; Tachikawa, W.; and Woertink, J. Reliable Interconnection with Electroplated Cu Pillars and SnAg Solder Caps, IWLPC Proceedings, 2013.

Prange, J.; Woertink, J.; Qin, Y.; Lopez Montesinos, P.; Lee, I.; Lee, Y-H; Imanari, M.; Dong, J.; and Calvert, J. Next-Generation Lead-Free Solder Plating Products for High Speed Bumping, Capping and Micro-Capping Applications. International Microelectronics Assembly and Packaging Society (IMAPS) Conference Proceedings, 2013.

Woertink, J.; Reddington, E.; Lee, I.; Qin, Y.; Prange, J.; Lopez Montesinos, P.; Lin, J-C; Imanari, M.; Dong, J.; Tachikawa, W.; Calvert, J. Copper, Nickel, and Lead-Free Solder Electroplating Solutions For Pillar and Micro-Pillar Capping Applications. IMAPS Conference Proceedings, 2013.

Young, P.G.; Qayyum, M.F.; Woertink, J.S.; Hodgson, K.O.; Hedman, B.; Narducci Sargeant, A.A.; Solomon, E.I.; Karlin, K.D. Geometric and Electronic Structure of [{Cu(MeAN)}2(µ-η2:η2(O22-))]2+ with an Unusually Long O-O Bond: O-O Bond Weakening vs. Activation for Reductive Cleavage. JACS 2012, 134, 8513-8524

Solomon, E.I.; Ginsbach, J.W.; Heppner, D.E.; Kieber-Emmons, M.T.; Kjaergaard, C.H.; Smeets, P.J.; Tian, L.; Woertink, J.S. Copper Dioxygen (Bio)inorganic Chemistry. Farady Discussions. 2011, 148, 11-39

Woertink, J.S.; Tian, L.; Maiti, D.; Lucas, H.; Himes, R.; Karlin, K.; Neese, F.; Wuertele, C.; Holthausen, M.; Eckhard, B.; Sundermeyer, J.; Schindler, S.; Solomon, E.I. Spectroscopic and Computational Studies of an End-On Bound Superoxo-Cu(II) Complex: Geometric and Electronic Factors that Determine the Ground State. Inorg. Chem. 2010, 49, 9450-9459

Smeets, P.J.; Hadt, R.; Woertink, J.S.; Vandelderen, P.; Schoonheydt, R.; Sels, B.; Solomon, E.I. Oxygen Precursor to the Reactive Intermediate in Methanol Synthesis by Cu-ZSM-5. JACS 2010, 132, 14736-14738

Woertink, J.S.; Smeets, P.J.; Groothaert, M.H.; Vance, M.A.; Sels, B.F.; Schoonheydt, R.A.; Solomon, E.I. A [Cu2O]2+ core in Cu-ZSM-5, the Active Site in the Oxidation of Methane to Bethanol. PNAS 2009, 106, 18908-18913

Park, G-Y.; Woertink, J.S.; Qayyum, M.F.; Hedman, B.; Hodgson, K.O.; Narducci Sarjeant, A.A.; Solomon, E.I.; Karlin, K.D. A Study of [(Cu(MeAN))2(O22-)]2+ Using X-ray Crystallography with Resonance Raman and X-ray Absorption Spectroscopies: An Unusually Long O-O distance in a μ-η2:η2-Peroxo Dicopper(II) Complex. Inorg. Chem. 2009, in press

Smeets, P.J.; Woertink, J.S.; Sels, B.F.; Solomon, E.I., Schoonheydt, R.A.; Transition Metal Ions in Zeolites: Coordination and Activation of O2. Inorg. Chem. 2010, 49, 3573-3583

Park, G-Y.; Lee, Y.; Lee, D-H.; Woertink, J.S., Narducci Sargeant, A.A.; Solomon, E.I.; Karlin, K.D. Thioether S-Ligation in a Side-on μ-η2:η2-Peroxo Dicopper(II) Complex. Chem. Comm. 2010, in press

Lee, Y.; Park, G-Y.; Lucas, H.; Vajda, P.; Kamaraj, K.; Vance, M.; Milligan, A.; Woertink, J.S.; Siegler, M.; Narducci Sarjeant, A.; Zakharov, L.; Rheingold, A.; Solomon, E.I.; Karlin, K.D. Copper(I)/O2 Chemistry with Imidazole Containing Tripodal Tetradentate Ligands Leading to μ-1,2-peroxo-dicopper(II) Species. Inorg. Chem. 2009, 48, 11297-11309

Maiti, D.; Woertink, J.S.; Ghiladi, R.; Solomon, E.I.; Karlin, K.D. Molecular Oxygen and Sulfur Reactivity of a Cyclotriveratrylene Derived Trinuclear Copper(I) Complex. Inorg. Chem. 2009, 48, 8342-8356

Maiti, D.; Woertink, J.S.; Narducci Sarjeant, A.A.; Solomon, E.I.; Karlin, K.D. Copper Dioxygen Adducts: Formation of Bis(μ-oxo)dicopper(III) Versus (μ-1,2)Peroxodicopper(II) Complexes with Small Changes in One Pyridyl-Ligand Substituent. Inorg. Chem. 2008, 47, 3787-3800

Maiti, D.; Woertink, J.S.; Vance, M.A.; Milligan, A.E.; Narducci Sarjeant, A.A.; Solomon, E.I.; Karlin, K.D. Copper(I)/S8 Reversible Reactions Leading to an End-On Bound Dicopper(II) Disulfide Complex: Nucleophilic Reactivity and Analogies to Copper-Dioxygen Chemistry. JACS 2007, 129, 8882-8892

Solomon, E.I.; Sarangi, R.; Woertink, J.S.; Augustine, A.J.; Yoon, J.; Ghosh, S. O2 and N2O Activation by bi-, tri-, and Tetranuclear Cu Clusters in biology. Acc. Chem. Res. 2007, 40, 581-591

Maiti, D.; Fry, H.C.; Woertink, J.S.; Vance, M.A.; Solomon, E.I.; Karlin, K.D. A 1:1 Copper-Dioxygen Adduct is an End-On Bound Superoxo copper(II) Complex which Undergoes Oxygenation Reactions with Phenols. JACS 2007, 129, 264-265

Boon, E.M.; Salas, J.E.; Barton, J.K. An Electrical Probe of Protein-DNA Interactions on DNA-Modified Surfaces. Nature Biotech. 2002, 20, 282-286