Andrea Armani, PhD

Senior Director, Physical Sciences and Engineering, Ellison Institute of Technology
Ray Irani Chair in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, USC
Professor of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, and Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, & Chemistry, USC 

310 228 6400

Dr. Andrea Armani is the Senior Director, Physical Sciences and Engineering at the Ellison Institute of Technology. She is currently the Ray Irani Chair in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science with courtesy appointments in Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering in the Viterbi School of Engineering as well as Chemistry in the Dornsife College at the University of Southern California. Previously, she served as the Director of the W. M. Keck Photonics Cleanroom as well as the John D. O’Brien Nanofabrication Laboratory, two core nanofabrication cleanrooms at USC. She spent her 2015 sabbatical at Northrop Grumman as a Northrop Faculty Fellow. 

Dr. Armani is actively involved in several different professional societies, serving on and chairing conference committees for IEEE, OSA (CLEO), and SPIE (Photonics West). She routinely serves on review panels for NSF, NIH, and ARPA-E, is an Editorial Advisory Board member for ACS Photonics, and is on the editorial board for Optics Letters (associate editor from 2011-2017, features editor 2018-present). She is a member of AAAS and NAI, a senior member of IEEE and AIChE, a Fellow of OSA and SPIE, and a full member of Sigma Xi. She is currently a Visiting Lecturer for SPIE and for OSA. She is also the faculty advisor for the USC student chapters of AIChE and OSA/SPIE.

Dr. Armani has received several awards for research and mentoring, including the ONR Young Investigator Award, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program New Investigator Award, NIH New Innovator Award, Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. She was invited to attend the NAE Frontiers in Engineering and the NAE Frontiers in Engineering Education, and she has been invited to attend all of the NAE/RAE/CAE Grand Challenge Scholar Summits since the conception of the program. The translational impact of her research on broader society and her thought leadership has been recognized by her being named a Technology Review Top 35 Innovators under 35, Popular Science’s Brilliant 10, World Economic Forum’s Young Scientist, STS Forum Future Leader, and World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leader. In addition, her dedication to mentoring the next generation of scientists and engineers has been recognized with the USC Mellon Mentoring Award for Undergraduate Mentoring and the Hanna Reisler Award for Mentoring.

Dr. Armani received her BA in physics from the University of Chicago (2001) and her PhD in applied physics with a minor in biology from the California Institute of Technology (2007), where she continued as the Clare Boothe Luce post-doctoral Fellow in biology and chemical engineering. She joined the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science department in the Viterbi School of Engineering in 2008 and held the Fluor Early Chair in Engineering from 2010-2017. 

In her free time, Andrea spends time with her husband, cat, and dog, and she balances her love of food and wine by running around her neighborhood.

Research Focus

Diagnostic Technologies
Imaging Probes



Physics, The University of Chicago-2001


Applied Physics, minor in Biology, California Institute of Technology-2007


  • Robert E. Hopkins Leadership Award (Optica), 2022

  • AAAS Fellow (Inducted 2022), 2021

  • National Academy of Inventors Fellow (Inducted 2022), 2021

  • SPIE Fellow, 2018

  • Optica (OSA) Fellow, 2018

  • Sigma Xi (Full Member),  2017

  •  Hanna Reisler Mentorship Award, 2016

  • Science and Technology in Society (STS) Forum, Future Leader, 2015

  • World Economic Forum, Young Global Leader, 2015

  • Science and Technology in Society (STS) Forum, Young Engineering Leader, 2015

  • Popular Science Brilliant 10, 2013

  • National Academy of Engineering-Grainger Award, joint with KIYATEC, 2013

  • National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, 2012

  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), 2010

  • National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award, 2010

  • Technology Review TR35, Top 35 Innovators under 35, 2009

  • Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, 2009


  • Vice Dean of New Initiatives, Viterbi School of Engineering, USC

  • Ray Irani Chair in Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, Viterbi School of Engineering, USC

  • Professor of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, Viterbi School of Engineering, USC

  • Professor of Chemistry, Dornsife College, USC

  • Founding Director, John D. O’Brien Nanofabrication Laboratory

  • Director, W.M. Keck Photonics Cleanroom

  • Faculty Fellow, Northrop Grumman

Selected Publications

  1. Zhang*, J. He*, P. Saris*, H. U. Chae, S. Das, R. R. Kapadia, A. M. Armani, Multifunctional photoresponsive organic molecule for electric field sensing and modulation, Journal of Materials Chemistry C, 10, 1204-1211 (2022).
  2. Skiles, E. Yang, O. Reshef, D. Robalino Muñoz, D. Cintron, M. L. Lind, K. Marvel, A. Rush, A. M. Armani, K. Faust, M. Kumar, Beyond the carbon footprint: Virtual conferences increase diversity, equity, and inclusion, Nature Sustainability, 5 (2), 149-156 (2022).
  3. M. Armani, E. D. Diebold, Catalyzing pathways for translational research beyond COVID-19, Communications Physics 4 167 (2021).
  4. C. She, D. Chen*, P. Pak, D. K. Armani, A. Schubert, A. M. Armani, Lightweight UV-C disinfection system, Biomedical Optics Express 11 (8), 4326-4332 (2020).
  5. M. Armani, D. Hunt, D. Hwang, M. McCarthy, A. Scholtz*, Low-tech solutions for the COVID-19 supply chain crisis, Nature Reviews Materials, 5, 403-406 (2020).
  6. McBirney*, D. Chen*, A. Scholtz*, H. Ameri, A. M. Armani, Rapid diagnostic for point-of-care malaria screening, ACS Sensors 3 7, 1264-1270 (2018).
  7. W. Hudnut*, L. Lash-Rosenberg*, A. Xin, A. Leal, C. Zurita-Lopez, Q. Wang, A. M. Armani, Role of extracellular matrix in the biomechanical behavior of pancreatic tissue, ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering 4 5, 1916-1923 (2018).
  8. De Anda, E. Y. Lee, C. K. Lee, R. R. Bennett, X. Ji, S. Soltani*, M. C. Harrison*, A. E. Baker, Y. Luo, T. Chou, G. A. O’Toole, A. M. Armani, R. Golestanian, G. C. L. Wong, High-speed “4D” computational microscopy of bacterial surface motility, ACS Nano 11 9, 9340-9351 (2017).
  9. D. Rane*, A. M. Armani, Two-photon microscopy analysis of gold nanoparticle uptake in 3D cell spheroids, PLOS ONE 11 12 e0167548 (2016).
  10. Lee*, A. M. Armani, Flexible UV exposure sensor based on UV responsive polymer, ACS Sensors 1 10, 1251-1255 (2016).
  11. McBirney*, K. Trinh, A. Wong-Beringer, A. M. Armani, Wavelength-normalized spectroscopic analysis of Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa growth rates, Biomedical Optics Express 7 10, 4034-4042 (2016).