Erin Murphy
Erin B. Murphy, Ph.D.
Managing Scientist
Polymer Science & Materials Chemistry
Menlo Park

Trained as a synthetic organist chemist, Dr. Murphy works at the intersection of materials science and polymer chemistry, utilizing her understanding of structure-property relationships to drive material performance. She has deep experience designing synthetic rheology modifiers and elastomeric additives for drilling and completion applications in the Oil & Gas industry as well as stimuli-responsive polymers for use as self-healing materials. Dr. Murphy has performed formulation, blending, compounding, and manufacture of elastomeric compounds, thermoset materials, and novel polymers, and has extensive characterization knowledge employing various techniques such as spectroscopy, chromatography, thermal testing, rheology, mechanical property testing, and microscopy. She has experience through the entire process of new product development, from ideation to commercialization, having worked through Stage-Gate processes to introduce new technologies to the market.

Dr. Murphy has years of hand-on experience with thermoplastic elastomers, block copolymers, reactive thermosetting resins including acrylates and epoxies, polymer composites, carbon nanotubes and their modification, structured fluids, polymer micelles, polymer formulation and blending, as well as a strong foundation of structure-property relationships and polymer design and synthesis. She has worked with polymers and materials in the creation of gels, greases, composite structures, cements, thermosets, coatings, foams, membranes, lattices, and extruded and molded goods for a variety of industries and applications. 

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Murphy spent seven years at Kraton Corporation in both research and technical management roles. Her main area of focus was on the use of styrenic block copolymers and their derivatives and compounds for use in Oil and Gas applications. She worked with major service companies and E&P operators to create new products for use in drilling and completion of new wells, workover of existing wells, and tertiary recovery applications. She developed the Oilfield Technologies team at Kraton, helping to design new polymers for use in rheology modification applications for wellbore fluids across drilling, completion, and stimulation applications as well as inventing toughened thermoset systems to be used in various zonal isolation and well integrity applications in conjunction with or in lieu of cement. 

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 2009
  • M.S., Chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 2006
  • B.S., Chemistry, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 2005
  • B.S., Biochemistry, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 2005

Publications

Murphy EB. The return of photoelastic stress measurements: utilizing birefringence to monitor damage and repair in healable materials. Journal of Materials Chemistry 2011; 21:1438-
1446.

Murphy EB, Wudl F. The world of smart healable materials. Progress in Polymer Science 2010; 35:223-251.

Murphy EB. Remendable Polymer Systems. In: Shinya, Norio, ed. Frontiers of Self-Healing Materials and Applications. Tokyo, Japan: CMC Publishing; 2010: 37-64.

Murphy EB, Bolanos E, Schaffner-Hamann, Wudl F, Nutt SR, Auad ML. Synthesis and characterization of a single-component thermally reversible polymer network: Staudinger and Stille revisited. Macromolecules 2008; 41 (14):5203-5209.

Braslau R, O’Bryan G, Nilsen A, Henise J, Thongpaisanwong T, Murphy E, Mueller L, Ruehl J. The synthesis and evaluation of new α-hydrogen nitroxides for ‘living’ free radical polymerization. Synthesis 2005; 9:1496-1506.

Presentations

Murphy EB. Reactive Sealant Technologies as Alternative Routes to Zonal Isolation, American Association of Drilling Engineers Fluids Management Study Group Meeting, Houston, TX, February 2017. (Invited Speaker).

Murphy EB. Utilization of Block Copolymer Technology in the Oil and Gas Industry. Iowa State University Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering Graduate Seminar Series, Ames, IA, October 2015. (Invited Speaker).

Murphy, EB. Pushing the Boundaries for Hydrocarbon Extraction in the Oil & Gas Industry Through Block Copolymer Technology. 249th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Denver, CO, March 2015. (Invited Speaker).

Murphy, EB. In Situ Crosslinked Synthetic Cement for use in Cementing and Zonal Isolation. High Performance Elastomers and Polymers in Oil & Gas Applications, Aberdeen, UK, April 2012. (Invited Speaker).

Murphy, EB, Auad, ML, Wudl, F. Stimuli-Responsive Healable Materials: Diels-Alder Based Mending, International Conference on Self-Healing Materials, Chicago, IL, June 2009.

Patents

US 9,657,213: Curable, resealable, swellable, reactive sealant composition for zonal isolation and well integrity, May 2017 (with Nguyen DV, Bening RC).

US 9,394,472: Low fluid loss drilling fluid compositions comprising diblock copolymers, July 2016 (with Bening R).

US 9,238,770: Low viscosity synthetic cement, January 2016.

US20160362545: Heat activated gels for cable filling applications, filed June 2016 (with Bening RC, Willis CL).

US20160362593: Styrenic block copolymers as thermally-activated viscosifiers for oilfield applications, filed June 2016 (with Bening RC, Willis CL).

Prior Experience

Technical Leader – Oilfield Technologies, Kraton Corporation, 2016-2017

New Business Development Science Group Leader, Kraton Polymers, 2015-2016

Staff Scientist, Kraton Polymers, 2015

Senior Scientist, Kraton Polymers, 2012-2015

Scientist, Kraton Polymers, 2011-2012

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 2009-2011

Professional Affiliations

American Chemical Society (2005-present)

  • Polymers Division
  • Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering Division
  • Rubber Division

Society of Petroleum Engineers (2011-present)

Energy Polymer Group (2018)

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 2009
  • M.S., Chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 2006
  • B.S., Chemistry, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 2005
  • B.S., Biochemistry, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 2005