Jorge Ayarza
Esser-Kahn Group

Jorge Ayarza

Jorge Ayarza was born and raised in the great city of Lima, Peru. Being exposed to natural sciences since his early days in high school and driven by an innate curiosity to know more about the world, he decided to pursue a BS in chemistry at Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru. He enjoyed his time in undergrad taking lots of interesting classes and doing laboratory work, but also hanging out with friends and family, and eating tasty Peruvian food! For his undergrad thesis, he worked with Professor Javier Nakamatsu in studying biopolymers, namely polysaccharides extracted from seaweed and mollusks. Motivated by the excitement of research in chemistry, he made the big decision of pursuing a PhD in the United States.


Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru; Lima, Peru; 2014

Professor Javier Nakamatsu

Scientific hero

Richard Feynman


What is life? A frenzy.

What is life? An illusion,

a shadow, a fiction,

and the greatest good is mean,

for all life is a dream,

and dreams themselves are only dreams.

                          -Segismundo, Life Is a Dream

In the Esser-Kahn group at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, Jorge hopes to develop new skills and discover new exciting ways to fabricate and use polymeric materials.

Bio-Inspired Mechanically Adaptive Materials Through Vibration-Induced Crosslinking

Wang, Z., Wang, J., Ayarza, J. et al. Bio-inspired mechanically adaptive materials through vibration-induced crosslinking. Nat. Mater. (2021). doi: 10.1038/s41563-021-00932-5

100th Anniversary of Macromolecular Science Viewpoint: Piezoelectrically Mediated Mechanochemical Reactions for Adaptive Materials

Jorge Ayarza, Zhao Wang, Jun Wang, Chao-Wei Huang, and Aaron P. Esser-Kahn. ACS Macro Lett. 2020, 9, 9, 1237–1248 Aug. 17, 2020. doi: 10.1021/acsmacrolett.0c00477

Mechanically Initiated Bulk-Scale Free-Radical Polymerization

Wang, Z, Ayarza, J, Esser-Kahn, AP, Mechanically Initiated Bulk-Scale Free-Radical Polymerization. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2019,58, 12023-12026. doi: