Polymer College honors Leaders, Visionaries, and Innovators at Three-Day Alumni & Industry Event


Attendees gathered in the Quaker Ballroom for Polymers Appreciation Day

While what would evolve into the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering (CPSPE) began making waves over a century ago, it was officially established as a college in 1988 with Dr. Frank N. Kelley as dean. In the following 30 years, CPSPE continued to be a powerhouse of learning and innovation in the polymer industry.

Dr. Joseph Kennedy addresses the audience at Wednesday's banquet

This year CPSPE’s 30th anniversary was celebrated with the 2018 Polymers Appreciation Day for Alumni & Industry, an event honoring the 2018 College Alumni Award winner Dr. Maria D. Ellul, 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award winners Dr. Kilwon Cho and Dr. Changwoon Nah, and student award winners from the college. In addition to this event, two symposia were held honoring Dr. Joseph P. Kennedy in celebration of his 90th birthday, and Dr. George R. Newkome in honor of his recent retirement from UA as an Emeritus Professor of Polymer Science.

Pictured Left to Right: Interim Dean Ali Dhinojwala, Dr. Changwoon Nah, Mr. Jeffrey L. Sain, Dr. Maria D. Ellul, Dr. Russell Livigni, and Dr. Kilwon Cho

Wednesday, May 9th began the celebration as alumni, faculty, academic collaborators and industry professionals arrived at The University of Akron’s campus. Attendees gathered at Quaker Square where they were greeted by Symposium Chairs Dr. Alex Lubnin, Technical Fellow at Lubrizol Advanced Materials, and Dr. Gabor Erdodi, Senior Scientist in Performance Coatings at Lubrizol Advanced Materials. Several sessions led by alumni and industry experts were given throughout the day, each along the theme of “Visions in Polymer Science,” reflecting the great vision and direction that Dr. Kennedy has apportioned throughout his career.

Dr. George Newkome presents his closing lecture, "It is a Long Distance from Kent to Akron - Chemically Speaking," to attendees

The following day began with opening statements from the college’s interim dean, Dr. Ali Dhinojwala. He provided a brief update on the status of the college and welcomed attendees to the celebration. Following his talk, the college and alumni award winners, faculty, and students offered presentations and discussions. The evening ended with a student poster session and banquet celebration of the anniversary, including remarks from Akron Mayor Daniel Horrigan who highlighted the mutual importance of the college and the city to regional success.

Friday, May 11th was a symposium in honor of Dr. Newkome’s retirement, including presentations by the honoree himself. After several sessions recounting “Dendrimer Innovations”, the focus of much of Dr. Newkome’s research, by alumni and faculty, and a luncheon, the celebration adjourned to join in a reception held in honor of the spring 2018 CPSPE graduates.

This year’s Polymers Appreciation Day for Alumni & Industry was a wonderful way to honor the faculty, alumni, and students who have contributed to the success of the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering since its founding in 1988. And thank you to this year’s sponsors for making these events possible: Lubrizol, Medtronic, Renner Kenner, The University of Akron Research Foundation, Vortechs Group, and Tekcapital.

View the Visions in Polymer Science Symposium photo gallery

View the Polymers Appreciation Day photo gallery

View the Dendrimer Innovations Symposium photo gallery