Karen Stoeffler

Roles and responsibilities

I am a Senior Research Officer and head the Polymer Bioproducts team at the Automotive and Surface Transportation Research Centre (AST). This team comprises researchers and technicians specializing in polymer chemistry and processing. Our mission is to develop polymers and composites with a small environmental footprint to meet the needs of the transportation and manufacturing industries. We work primarily for the NRC's Advanced Manufacturing Program.

I like to take part in initiatives that take me out of my comfort zone:

  • In 2018, I had the opportunity to participate to the definition of the first wave of Challenge Programs by heading a working group on new generation materials. A significant part of our proposal, an accelerated discovery platform for new materials, was incorporated into the “Materials for Clean Fuels” Challenge Program launched in 2019.
  • In April 2020, the Covid-19 pandemics generated a shortage of personal protection equipment and the materials to manufacture them. In collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and with IRAP, I led an Innovative Solutions Canada challenge which enabled the domestic production of filtering material for the manufacture of 50 million medical masks per month in Canada.
  • In 2021, I led an NRC budget proposal supporting Canada’s Zero Plastic Waste and Circular Economy strategy: the NRC received $13 million to advance research on the detection and monitoring of plastic pollution in Canadian waters. My goal for the next few years is to accelerate research and innovation on alternative materials and on the management of end-of-life polymers and composites.

I'm also a member of the President Research Excellence Advisory Committee (PREAC) which allows me to work with colleagues from different research centres on NRC's challenges and priorities..

Current research and/or projects

  • Biorefining
  • Biosourced and compostable polymer products
  • Lightweight thermoplastic composites
  • Polymer recycling
  • Circular economy


  • 2008: PhD in Chemical Engineering (polymer engineering), École Polytechnique de Montréal
  • 2002: MSc in Chemical Engineering (polymer engineering), École Polytechnique de Montréal
  • 2000: Diploma in Materials Science and Engineering, National Institute of Applied Sciences, Lyon, France


  • 2022: NRC IP Achievement Award – Advancement Award: High Performance Polymer Glazings for Automotive
  • 2022: NRC President’s Award – Protecting Our Clients: The Contingency Planning for Sanitization Clients and Domestic Self-Sufficiency team award
  • 2021: NRC Operational Excellence Award: Tiger Team Mentorship Pilot for Women in STEM
  • 2021: NRC President’s Award – Protecting Canadians: Innovative Solutions Canada team for the “Made in Canada filtration material for the manufacture of N95 respirators and surgical masks” challenge.
  • 2018: Instant Award from the NRC Division of Transportation and Manufacturing for my contribution to the development of new NRC Challenge programs
  • 2016: Leadership Award from the NRC Automotive and Surface Transportation Research Centre (AST)

Key publications

  1. Faye, A., Leung, A.C.W., Guyot-Reeb, S., Ton-That, M.T., Chimeni-Yomeni, D., Li, H., Stoeffler, K., Maillard, D., Benali, M., Extraction of tannins from yellow birch: Enhanced process for water conservation and energy savings (2021), Journal of Cleaner Production, 299, art. no. 126807, .
  1. Maillard, D., Osso, E., Faye, A., Li, H., Ton-That, M.-T., Stoeffler, K., Influence of lignin's pH on polyurethane flexible foam formation and how to control it (2021), Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 138 (18), art. no. 50319, .
  1. Mihai, M., Stoeffler, K., Norton, E., Use of thermal black as eco-filler in thermoplastic composites and hybrids for injection molding and 3D printing applications (2020), Molecules, 25 (7), art. no. 1517, .
  1. Crawford, B., Pakpour, S., Kazemian, N., Klironomos, J., Stoeffler, K., Rho, D., Denault, J., Milani, A.S., Effect of fungal deterioration on physical and mechanical properties of hemp and flax natural fiber composites (2017), Materials, 10 (11), art. no. 1252, .
  1. Stoeffler, K., Utracki, L.A., Simard, Y., Labonté, S., Polyamide 12 (PA12)/clay nanocomposites fabricated by conventional extrusion and water-assisted extrusion processes (2013), Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 130 (3), pp. 1959-1974.
  1. Stoeffler, K., Andjelic, S., Legros, N., Roberge, J., Schougaard, S.B., Polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) composites reinforced with recycled carbon fiber (2013), Composites Science and Technology, 84, pp. 65-71.
  1. Rokni, H., Milani, A.S., Seethaler, R.J., Stoeffler, K., Improvement in dynamic properties of laminated MWCNT-polystyrene composite beams via an integrated numerical-experimental approach (2012), Composite Structures, 94 (8), pp. 2538-2547.
  1. Fraser, R.A., Stoeffler, K., Ashrafi, B., Zhang, Y., Simard, B., Large-scale production of PMMA/SWCNT composites based on SWCNT modified with PMMA (2012), ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 4 (4), pp. 1990-1997.
  1. Stoeffler, K., Lafleur, P.G., Perrin-Sarazin, F., Bureau, M.N., Denault, J., Micro-mechanisms of deformation in polyethylene/clay micro- and nanocomposites (2011), Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 42 (8), pp. 916-927.
  1. Ung, B., Dupuis, A., Stoeffler, K., Dubois, C., Skorobogatiy, M., High-refractive-index composite materials for terahertz waveguides: Trade-off between index contrast and absorption loss (2011), Journal of the Optical Society of America B: Optical Physics, 28 (4), pp. 917-921.
  1. Dupuis, A., Stoeffler, K., Ung, B., Dubois, C., Skorobogatiy, M., Transmission measurements of hollow-core THz Bragg fibers (2011), Journal of the Optical Society of America B: Optical Physics, 28 (4), pp. 896-907.
  1. Stoeffler, K., Perrin-Sarazin, F., Ton-That, M.-T., Bélanger, C., Denault, J., Dispersion of commercial multi-walled and single-walled carbon nanotubes in high density polyethylene (2010), Journal of Nanostructured Polymers and Nanocomposites, 6 (4), pp. 128-135.
  1. Stoeffler, K., Lafleur, P.G., Perrin-Sarazin, F., Denault, J., Deformation and fracture mechanisms in polyethylene / clay nanocomposites (2010), Annual Technical Conference - ANTEC, Conference Proceedings, 1, pp. 468-472.
  1. Stoeffler, K., Dubois, C., Ajji, A., Guo, N., Boismenu, F., Skorobogatiy, M., Fabrication of all-polymeric photonic bandgap bragg fibers using rolling of coextruded PS/PMMA multilayer films (2010), Polymer Engineering and Science, 50 (6), pp. 1122-1127.
  1. Dupuis, A., Allard, J.-F., Morris, D., Stoeffler, K., Dubois, C., Skorobogatiy, M., Fabrication and THz loss measurements of porous subwavelength fibers using a directional coupler method (2009), Optics Express, 17 (10), pp. 8012-8028.
  1. Gauvreau, B., Guo, N., Schicker, K., Stoeffler, K., Boismenu, F., Ajji, A., Wingfield, R., Dubois, C., Skorobogatiy, M., Color-changing and color-tunable photonic bandgap fiber textiles (2008), Optics Express, 16 (20), pp. 15677-15693.
  1. Stoeffler, K., Lafleur, P.G., Denault, J., Effect of intercalating agents on clay dispersion and thermal properties in polyethylene/ montmorillonite nanocomposites (2008), Polymer Engineering and Science, 48 (8), pp. 1449-1466.
  1. Stoeffler, K., Lafleur, P.G., Denault, J., Thermal decomposition of various alkyl onium organoclays: Effect on polyethylene terephthalate nanocomposites' properties (2008), Polymer Degradation and Stability, 93 (7), pp. 1332-1350.
  1. Stoeffler, K., Lafleur, P.G., Denault, J., The effect of clay dispersion on the properties of LLDPE/LLDPE-g-MAH/ montmorillonite nanocomposites (2008), Polymer Engineering and Science, 48 (12), pp. 2459-2473.
  1. Stoeffler, K., Lafleur, P.G., Denault, J., Polyethylene nanocomposites based on high thermal stability organoclays (2007), Annual Technical Conference - ANTEC, Conference Proceedings, 1, pp. 123-127.
  1. Hashemi, S.A., Sahraian, R., Lafleur, P.G., Stoeffler, K., Focus ion beam preparation of transmission electron microscope sample in polymer clay nanocomposite (2006), Iranian Polymer Journal (English Edition), 15 (7), pp. 539-545.
  1. Stoeffler, K., Lafleur, P.G., Denault, J., Thermal properties of polyethylene nanocomposites based on different organoclays (2006), Annual Technical Conference - ANTEC, Conference Proceedings, 1, pp. 263-267.
Karen Stoeffler

Karen Stoeffler

Director, Research and Development
Université de Montréal Campus
Montreal, Quebec H3T 1J4
Preferred language: French
Other(s): English, Spanish
Telephone: 514-566-3087


Environment, Pollution & Waste, Materials, Eco-responsible Materials, Polymer Composites, Polymers