Maria C. Garci Juenger is a professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. Her teaching and research focus on materials used in civil engineering applications. Trained as a chemist and materials scientist, she primarily examines chemical issues in cement-based materials. These include phase formation in cement clinkers; hydration chemistry of portland cement, its constituent phases, and supplementary cementitious materials; the development of microstructure cementitious systems; and chemical deterioration processes in concrete.
Maria Juenger has been at the University of Texas at Austin since 2002. She is a fellow of the American Ceramic Society and the American Concrete Institute. In 2005 she received a Faculty Early CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. The American Concrete Institute awarded her the Walter P. Moore, Jr. Faculty Achievement Award in 2009, a Young Member Award for Professional Achievement in 2010, a Wason Medal for Materials Research in 2011, and the Delmar L. Bloem Distinguished Service Award in 2018. She is an associate editor for Cement and Concrete Composites and Frontiers in Materials: Structural Materials and an editorial board member for the ACI Materials Journal and Cement and Concrete Research. Dr. Juenger is also active in the RILEM technical committee on Tests for Reactivity of Materials.
Prior to coming to Austin, Dr. Juenger was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She worked with Professor Claudia Ostertag investigating the effects of selective placement of steel and polymer microfibers in the paste-aggregate interfacial transistion zone on minimizing cracking resulting from externally imposed mechanical stresses and from internal stresses caused by alkali-silica reaction. Dr. Juenger also worked with Professor Paulo Monteiro examining the effects of chemical admixtures on cement hydration using the soft x-ray transmission microscope at the Advanced Light Source at the Lawrence O. Berkeley National Laboratory.
Dr. Juenger received a Ph.D. in 1999 in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University. Under the supervision of Professor Hamlin Jennings, her research focused on manipulating the microstructure of calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H) using physical and chemical means, quantifying the changes using nitrogen adsorption (B.E.T.), and relating the changes to drying shrinkage of cement pastes, thus establishing a link between processing, microstructure, and properties in cement-based materials. This work was supported by a National Science Foundation graduate fellowship and a G.E. Faculty for the Future internship.
Dr. Juenger pursued her undergraduate studies at Duke University, graduating summa cum laude in 1994 with a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in Spanish, with distinction. While at Duke, her research projects included studying the time resolved response of liquid crystals to an applied electric field using step-scan FT-IR spectroscopy, developing a literary concordance for La Celestina by Fernando de Rojas, synthesizing organic chromophores for use in non-linear optical materials, and investigating neurotransmitters and secondary receptors in rat cerebella for psychopharmacological purposes.