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Rachel Downey

Rachel Downey

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329 Whitmore Lab
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 863-6758


Hi, my name is Rachel Downey. I was born in Ireland, but grew up in California. In 2013, I received my B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California Santa Barbara. After graduating, I went to work for an environmental testing facility, running GC-MS analysis on water samples in the organic volatiles department for engineering companies, the EPA, and the DOD. From there, I started working in the semiconductor industry, running multiple different GC units analyzing organometallic precursor materials. As much as I enjoyed industry, I've known since high school that I wanted to attend a graduate forensics program. I chose Penn State for the hands-on education, the incredible faculty, and the broad opportunity for research.

Research Interests

I will be working with Mr. Ralph Ristenbatt on a research project investigating impact-related fabric impressions in automotive surface coatings.