Kat Knauer is a polymer scientist who has dedicated her scientific career to solving the plastic waste problem. She has a Ph.D. in polymer science and engineering from the University of Southern Mississippi and completed the BASF Ph.D. Leadership Development Program in 2018 before taking a senior scientist role in BASF’s Plastics Division. Her research efforts focused on advanced recycling technologies which ultimately led her to leading Materials Innovation R&D at Novoloop, a chemical recycling startup. Recently, Knauer joined NREL as the chief technology officer of the Bio-Optimized Technologies to keep Thermoplastics our of Landfills and the Environment (BOTTLE) Consortium, where she is developing sustainable technologies to chemically upcycle today’s existing plastic waste streams and develop new plastics for the future that are recyclable by design.


Ph.D., Polymer Chemistry, University of Southern Mississippi

B.S., Chemical Engineering, Florida State University