John West is a Trustees Research Professor at Kent State University. Since December 2016, he has been serving as Interim Director of the Liquid Crystal Institute.
West holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the College of William & Mary, and a master’s in chemistry and Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University. He joined Kent State in 1984 as a senior research fellow of the Liquid Crystal Institute (LCI). He served as director of LCI and the National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center for Liquid Crystalline Optical Materials (ALCOM) from 1996 to 2002, and served as vice president for research and dean of graduate studies at Kent State from 2003 to 2010. During that time, he worked with NorTech to establish FlexMatters, a collaboration designed to support the growth of the flexible electronics industry in Ohio.