Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering

Fundamentals

A minor in polymer science and polymer engineering provides a broad foundation in the synthesis, characterization, processing and design of polymers. Polymers are large molecules (i.e. macromolecules) that are ubiquitous in the world, ranging from plastics and rubber to proteins and DNA.

This minor is suitable for any STEM major, including engineering, natural sciences, or math seeking to complement their primary major with in-depth knowledge of polymer science and polymer engineering.

A three-course core curriculum builds a broad foundation in polymer science and polymer engineering, complemented by real-world research experience or laboratory course, and two upper level courses specializing in polymers to provide depth in the field.

Note: In 2020, the College of Engineering and Polymer Science was formed, and the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering was renamed to the School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering.


Akron Advantage

A leader in polymer science and polymer engineering since 1909 when rubber chemistry was taught at the UA. We continue to focus on polymer innovations and applications of research in science, technology, engineering and medicine today.

Hands-on research

All of the faculty in the School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering are active in research in areas of polymer synthesis, processing, measurement and modeling to address world needs in security, information, energy, defense, health and natural resources.

The combination of state-of-the-art facilities, one-of-a-kind talent in numerous disciplines, and a critical mass of expertise sets The University of Akron apart from other polymer programs worldwide.

Research facilities include:

  • Polymer Modeling and Visualization Center
  • Additive Manufacturing Laboratory
  • Microscopy Center
  • TOSOH Polymer Chromatography Laboratory
  • Spectroscopy, Surface and Optical Analysis Facility
  • National Polymer Innovation and Polymer Processing Center
  • Rheology and Thermal Analysis Lab

Real-world experience

Research opportunities in faculty members’ laboratories on campus, and many opportunities for internship and summer research for undergraduates.

Student organization

American Chemical Society Polymer Chemistry/Polymer Materials Science and Engineering Student Chapter.


Sample Curriculum


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Career Opportunities

The minor in polymer science and polymer engineering prepares students for careers in the polymer industry, whose products include plastics, rubber, adhesives, composites, paints and fibers. Polymers are used across a range of industries, including aerospace, consumer products, textiles, electronics, energy, building and construction and health care. Polymers are also central to emerging industries including additive manufacturing, organic electronics and renewable energy.

Outlook

  • Ohio is the #1 producer of both plastic and rubber products, according to the U.S. Census Bureau based on employment. Also the $5.49 billion of plastics and rubber products produced in Ohio ranks first in the nation according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. >$50 billion contributed to Ohio’s GDP by the polymer industry.
  • Over 81,000 skilled employees constitute Ohio’s polymer workforce
  • $61,400 is the average annual salary for resins and synthetic rubber industry
  • 104 investments have been announced by 97 Ohio polymer companies, totaling in $663 million with 4,600 new jobs expected.

Source: Polymer Ohio, accessed January 27, 2020.

Career services

Career Services helps students and alumni explore and reach career goals. They connect students to employers for internships, jobs, and careers.