Soucek and Jana Selected for Polymer Engineering Endowed Chairs


The College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering is staffed with a wonderful and skilled faculty. Among our talented professors are Dr. Mark Soucek and Dr. Sadhan Jana, both of whom have been selected for Polymer Engineering Endowed Chairs.

The Sundar L. Aggarwal Endowed Professorship in Polymer Engineering has been awarded to Professor Mark Soucek. Dr. Sundar L. “Aggie” Aggarwal was a long-time friend and advisor to The University of Akron’s College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. For most of his professional career, and in retirement, he served the college and the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society. Dr. Aggarwal’s many contributions in technology and to the community were recognized with the International Synthetic Rubber Producers Association Award and the Akron Council of Engineering and Scientific Societies’ Distinguished Award.

Dr. Soucek joined the faculty in the Department of Polymer Engineering, he was already an integral part of the coatings community in Northeast Ohio, hosting the annual Sink or Swim Coating Symposium at the university while serving from Treasurer to President of the Cleveland Coating Society. Professor Soucek has been on the forefront of sustainable coatings for his entire career leading the way in reactant diluent chemistries as well rejuvenating the area of alkyd coatings. More recently, Soucek led in developing self-stratifying coatings, new cure-on-command technology, and also the development of hydronomers for coatings.

The Benjamin Franklin Goodrich Endowed Professorship in Polymer Engineering has been awarded to Professor Sadhan Jana. The Benjamin Franklin Goodrich Endowed Professorship in Polymer Engineering was established in 1990 to augment, through endowment, an existing full professorship in the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. The Goodrich professorship supports the work of a distinguished faculty member. Benjamin Franklin Goodrich, founder of The BF Goodrich Company, is recognized as a pioneer in the area of rubber and polymer development. This professorship is a lasting tribute to his leadership and vision.

Hired in July 1998 from GE Corporate Research with youth and enthusiasm for polymer engineering, Professor Jana had no idea that six years later he would lead the department to its highest numbers of faculty and students. In parallel, Jana established excellent research programs on mixing, polymer nanocomposites, shape memory materials, aerogels, filler dispersion in elastomers, and polymer nanofibers. His focus has been critical evaluation of status quo, clever material designs, and new applications. Professor Jana has received awards and fellowships from the Society of Plastics Engineers, Rubber Division of American Chemical Society, Indian Society of Polymer Science, and Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers. He serves as an associate editor of Polymer Engineering and Science and on the executive committee of Polymer Processing Society.

The college is pleased to have these esteemed professors as a part of our faculty. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Soucek and Dr. Jana on their endowed professorships.