Maloney picture

John M. Maloney, Ph.D., ELS

Prototyping, technical editing, and entropy interpretation

Research associate / research scientist /
research affiliate (2006-2017)
MIT Laboratory for Material Chemomechanics

Senior MEMS engineer (2001-2005) 
MicroCHIPS, Inc.
Engineer-in-residence (2001-2005)
MIT Microsystems Technology Labs

January 2019: New technical editing note: Eradicating the lone “this” and “it” from your technical writing.
January 2019: The origins and motifs of the chemomechanics logo.
September 2018: New technical note on mechanics: Let’s not overrate Young’s modulus.
August 2018: New technical note on thermodynamics: When Nature takes the square root.
June 2017: New paper published in Nature Materials; updated pictures and publications.
September 2016: Updated list of errata and new insights.
July 2015: Sampoerna students kindly summarized my invited talk in Jakarta.

I answer scientific and engineering questions as Mapes on and as Chemomechanics on the less toxic subreddits and (recently) on Stack Exchange. Some examples of my answers are here, here, here, and here.


Chemomechanics logo With >10 years of experience as a professional editor and 20 years of experience in bench R&D, I'd like to help you organize and polish your scientific manuscript. Typical deliverables and pricing.

1999 lab picture

Publications and pictures are here.
Technical editing notes:
3-D stress state Technical notes on mechanics:
Linda Fleming, Smoke Creek (2009) Technical notes on thermodynamics:
Blebbing mesenchymal stem cell Technical notes and videos on biology:
Faith Wilding, Crocheted Environment (1972, 1995) Technical notes on statistics:
Rudolf Sikora, Big Topic (2007–2008) Technical notes on machine learning:
Chemomechanics logo motifs The origins and motifs of the chemomechanics logo.

Optical profilometry image of buckled thin film

This group of thin film patterns is associated with a fantastic variety of terms.
Cell schematic My doctoral research on the chemomechanics of biological cells (thesis, 7MB) was performed in the Van Vliet Group in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT under co-advisors Prof. Krystyn Van Vliet and Prof. Robert Langer.
Prototyping exercises Prototyping demonstrations: polished brass letters that magnetically trigger LEDs.
Programming exercises Delving into Python: a touch-switch-activated random Steely Dan player on a Raspberry Pi and a four-item kitchen timer on a tablet.
Peter and Paul paper-folding trick A brief survey of the Peter-and-Paul paper-folding trick, and my own version.
Equirectangular map Mapping our round-the-world trip programmatically using different global projections.
Cambridge Science Festival poster One of my images of cells could be seen up and down Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge for several years, before the laminated posters bleached and disintegrated.
Notebook sketch My experience with MIT's oral qualifying exam in materials science and engineering.
Controlled-exposure microchip A controlled-exposure technology is described here in an adapted excerpt from my 2006 MEng thesis.

MicroCHIPS logo

From 2001 to 2005 I worked for MicroCHIPS, Inc., a Boston-area bioMEMS company. This extended abstract describes the state of the technology in 2003.
In 2012, the common stock underwent a 100-to-1 reverse split, making most employees' shares worthless; in 2018, as the company essentially went out of business, the new CEO applied for a Section 280G payment—also known as a golden parachute payment—of $1.2 million.

3DMEMS platform

One of my areas of research at the University of Maryland was 3-D microfabrication.

Thermal actuator

The other was electrothermal actuation. In this summary, I derive an equation for estimating the first-order time constant of a microfabricated suspended beam, which we published in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering.

JMM bookshelf

My thoughts on philosophy, logic and teaching are well represented here.

© Copyright John M. Maloney.