Wonderful Women Wednesday: Dr. Hanna M. Szczepanowska

Each week, the Archives features a woman who has been a groundbreaker at the Smithsonian, past or present, in a series titled Wonderful Women Wednesday.

Dr. Hanna M. Szczepanowska worked for 14 years as a material scientist at the Smithsonian. She was a research conservator at the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute, 2010-15; a museum specialist and conservator at the National Air and Space Museum, 2005-10; and an exhibit specialist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, 2001-05. Collaborating closely with NASA and the Naval Research Laboratory, she studied aerospace materials, early satellites, and more. 

Szczepanowska is the author of Conservation of Cultural Heritage: Key Principles and Approaches (2013). 

She earned her Ph.D. in material science from the University of Lyon, France and her master’s degree in conservation of paper, parchment, and leather from the University of Nicolaus Copernicus in Torun, Poland. 

Currently, Szczepanowska is a professor of technical art history at West Virginia University. Additionally, she is the senior conservation scientist at the National Heritage Board in Singapore, where she established a research laboratory and research program. 

Szczepanowska works on a satellite.

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