News Archive

Spotlight on recycling, sustainable materials at Polymers Appreciation Day

Our College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering is hosting its annual Polymers Appreciation Day for alumni and industry on Friday, May 17. The symposium is a celebration of the outstanding achievements of the college’s alumni and students.

Our ‘Professor Polymer’ entertains students with zany experiments
Longtime science teacher John Fellenstein hosts ‘Science Fridays’ at Akron’s STEM middle school.
CPSPE Welcomes Rheology & Thermal Instrumentation Scientist

Dr. Meysam Hashemnejad is joining the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering as the Instrumentation Scientist – Rheology & Thermal.

Dr. Roderic Quirk receives Charles Goodyear Medal at ACS Rubber Division Awards Banquet

On May 1, Dr. Roderic Quirk, a polymer science research professor and distinguished professor emeritus in the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, was awarded the Charles Goodyear Medal at the ACS Rubber Division Science & Technology Awards Banquet in Independence, Ohio.

May Safety Focus: CPSPE Picnic / Mental Health Wellness

May's Safety Focus is the CPSPE Picnic / Mental Health Wellness. Taking care of yourself is the key to being more productive in the lab and working safely. The Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering Student Groups have joined their picnics together for a great evening of food and fun. I will host the evening activities with volleyball, relays, and crazy competitions! Come and join some stress free fun!

Tamanna Rahman wins Best Presentation Award at CenTiRe Meeting

Congratulations to Tamanna Rahman (advisor Dr. David Simmons) who recently won the Best Presentation Award in the “New Student” category at the CenTiRe Industrial Advisory Board spring meeting on April 2-3, 2019.

How to Build a Bird’s Nest

The New York Times - Assistant Professor Hunter King, a polymer science professor with expertise in the mechanical properties of bird nests, offered insights into how a nest is built.

Polymer professor’s publication achieves 21,194 downloads

An open access journal paper published by Dr. Erol Sancaktar, a professor in the Department of  Polymer Engineering, and his graduate student, Lan Bai (Polymers 3(1), pp. 427-466, 2011) has reached 21,194 downloads. The paper, titled “Electrically Conductive Epoxy Adhesives,” has had 12,727 abstract views as well.

Polymer College welcomes four new faculty members

The College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering (CPSPE) at The University of Akron (UA) is pleased to announce the hiring of four new faculty members in the areas of polymer chemistry, characterization, computational modeling, and advanced manufacturing.

These hires demonstrate UA’s commitment, support, and investment in polymer research, and the new positions will augment CPSPE’s existing strengths as well as develop research in new emerging areas in polymer science and polymer engineering.

Dr. Cavicchi to speak at Innovation Symposium

On April 18, 2019, Dr. Kevin Cavicchi, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Polymer Engineering, will be speaking at the Association for Rubber Products Manufacturers (ARPM) Innovation Symposium.

Polymer Professors awarded by American Chemical Society, Division of Polymer Chemistry

Dr. Kevin Cavicchi, Dr. Matthew Becker, and Dr. Andrey Dobrynin were recently recognized and awarded by the American Chemical Society (ACS), Division of Polymer Chemistry (POLY) at the ACS National Meeting & Exposition in Orlando, Florida.

Peers recognize Dr. Ali Dhinojwala’s research efforts in adhesion

Dr. Ali Dhinojwala has been announced as the recipient of the 2020 Adhesion Society’s Award for Excellence in Adhesion Science sponsored by 3M. This is the organization’s premier award for “outstanding achievements in scientific research relating to adhesion.”

April Safety Focus: Shut The Sash!

April’s Safety Focus is SHUT THE SASH! If you have chemical fume hoods in your lab, we are asking you to SHUT THE SASH when you are not working in the hood.

Polymer professor co-authors review paper on effects of nanomaterials on the Earth system
Appearing in the publication’s March 29 issue, the article co-authored by Dr. Nita Sahai, can be read online.
Polymer College hosts Science Day at UA

The Western Reserve District 5 Science Day (WRSD) is one of 16 district science fairs held in Ohio each spring under the Ohio Junior Academy of Science. Students from grades 5-12 prepared posters, designs, or prototypes in various disciplines, ranging from botany to computer science, from polymers to biochemistry. This year's event took place on March 16th at The University of Akron’s Student Union and was hosted by the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering’s (CPSPE) Akron Global Polymer Academy (AGPA).

Polymer Outreach hosts Science Olympiad and hundreds of local students

Five-hundred fifty students and forty-four teams: the Akron Regional Science Olympiad hosted by the Akron Global Polymer Academy is a scientific competition that challenges young students to use their teamwork and ingenuity, all while having fun in the name of science! On March 9, 2019, students from dozens of local middle and high schools gathered at The University of Akron’s campus to compete in team events and have an opportunity to qualify for The Ohio State Tournament in April.

Marcos Pantoja awarded Chatterjee Travel Award

The Thermoplastic Materials & Foams Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) recently awarded Marcos Pantoja the Chatterjee Travel Award to attend ANTEC 2019 in Detroit, MI. This award is given to students who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and involvement within SPE. Furthermore, Marcos was selected for this award due to his thermoplastics and foams centered Ph.D. studies.

March Safety Focus: Emergency Eye Wash and Safety Showers (Video Demos by CPSPE Safety Officer)

March’s Safety Focus is the Emergency Eye Wash and Safety Showers. Keep all eye wash stations and safety showers accessible. Why are emergency showers or eyewash stations important? The first 10 to 15 seconds after exposure to a hazardous substance, especially a corrosive substance, are critical. Delaying treatment, even for a few seconds, may cause serious injury.

Snake-like locomotion has many applications for robots [Video]

YouTube - Computerphile - Assistant Professor Henry Astley discussed his research into the "biomechanics of animal locomotion."

Agreement with Le Mans Université yields new opportunities for students and faculty

The president of Le Mans Université, Rachid El Guerjouma, traveled from France this week to visit UA and formally strengthen the existing relationship between our institutions.

Tubing die gifted to UA’s Akron Polymer Technology Services

Akron Polymer Technology Services (APTS) continues to develop industry relevant workforce development courses for the polymer Industry. With the help of industry partners like Extrusion Tooling & Technology Inc. (ETTI), real-world processing equipment is used for hands-on, practical training of industry clients.

Sonal Bhadauriya receives SPE Polymer Modifiers and Additives Division (PMAD) award

Congratulations to Sonal Bhadauriya (advisor Dr. Alamgir Karim) who was recently awarded $2,500 from the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE).

CPSPE Welcomes NPIC Microscopy Instrumentation Scientist

Dr. Jiansheng Feng is starting a new position at UA as an Instrumentation Scientist for the National Polymer Innovation Center and will be overseeing much of the microscopy equipment.

Covestro and UN Environment call for young people to take part

Do you dare to invent the future? Covestro and the United Nations are again calling for nominations for Young Champions of the Earth, the prestigious prize for environmental entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 30, who have big ideas for the world’s future.

February Safety Focus: CPSPE Prescription Safety Glasses Program

February’s Safety Focus is Safety Glasses and creating awareness for the College’s Prescription Safety Glasses Program. Anytime you are in the lab, transporting or working with hazardous substances safety glasses must be worn. Side Shields must be worn with all personal glasses. The side shields are very inexpensive to purchase.

Goodyear Polymer Center teaching labs receive renovations

The teaching laboratories in the Goodyear Polymer Center received a much welcomed revamping, as part of a larger UA renovation project funded by the State.

Undergrad's gecko research presented at national conference

Alexandra Pamfilie, a third-year Williams Honors Scholar majoring in biology and psychology, presented a poster on “gecko adhesive system performance” at the 2019 annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) in Tampa, Fla., earlier this month.

Polymer engineering faculty on editorial board of new journal

The American Chemical Society's Applied Polymer Materials is a new journal that features Dr. Bryan Vogt, professor of polymer engineering, as an associate editor. Dr. Nicole Zacharia, associate professor of polymer engineering, is serving on the journal's editorial advisory board.

UA gets visit from U.S. Department of Defense

Our cutting-edge and groundbreaking research has caught the attention of the U.S. Department of Defense’s U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM).

Ziptastic winner for January announced: Deborah Wilhite

The Staff Employee Advisory Committee (SEAC) is pleased to announce the January Ziptastic Award recipient is Deborah Wilhite.

Polymer purée: UA explores ‘Polymer Science of Cooking’
Common foods, such as ice cream and Jell-O, are used to illustrate the interaction of polymers (large molecules found in plastic, rubber and DNA).
Polymer Science welcomes Junpeng Wang to CPSPE

The Department of Polymer Science is pleased to welcome Assistant Professor Junpeng Wang to The University of Akron’s College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering.

January Safety Focus: 1st Annual CPSPE Safety Day

January's Safety Focus will be a day dedicated to Safety every year – January 16th.  This is the anniversary of the death of Sheri Sangji who lost her life after the UCLA lab explosion. We want to encourage everyone in CPSPE to engage in promoting an atmosphere of safety.

Akron area listed in 50 top performers in US patents

Akron Beacon Journal - Research conducted at UA contributes substantially to Akron's innovation ecosystem. Cesar Lopez Gonzalez, Ph.D., a recent graduate of UA's College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, is referenced in the report.

Eight ways we made the world a better place in 2018
University of Akron faculty and students used their knowledge and talents im many ways this year to improve lives locally, regionally and around the world.
Rubber Band Contest Alumnus Parker Frye Competes for $250,000 with New Invention!

Five Finalist Families are Vying to be Crowned the Next $250,000 Grand Prize Winner in Frito-Lays Variety Packs’ “DREAMVENTION” Contest

Parker Frye is one of the outstanding alumni from The University of Akron's Rubber Band Contest for Young Inventors. Frye finished as a finalist in 2015 (with his invention "Chill-Itch", an adhesive patch to stop itchy bug bites) and took home the grand prize in the Arts & Leisure division in 2017 (with his artwork "LIBERTY: The Sum of Our Parts", an abstract work using light and shadows).

UA-based business wants you to help tackle harmful algae blooms in Lake Erie

The Devil Strip - UA doctoral students Banafsheh Khakipoor and Kelly Siman; Research Scientist Jiansheng Feng; and Assistant Professors Hunter King and Adam Smith are collaborating to develop reliable, cost-effective technology to monitor algal-producing nutrients in fresh water.

Polymer Engineering alumna to be part of Boeing Technical Fellowship

The Department of Polymer Engineering would like to congratulate Dr. Sayata Ghose (PhD 2004, Isayev) on her selection to be a part of the Boeing Technical Fellowship program as an Associate Technical Fellow effective January 2019.

Bounce, University of Akron are proving to be productive partners

Crain's Cleveland Business - Associate Professors Hossein Tavana, Abraham Joy and graduate student Kaushik Mishra are joining the ranks of UA researchers who are collaborating with The University of Akron Research Foundation (UARF) at Akron's Bounce Innovation Hub. Assistant Counsel & Project Manager Elyse Ball noted that Chelsea Monty, an assistant professor in chemical & biomedical engineering, hopes to commercialize her research in 2019.

December Safety Focus: Mercury Thermometer Exchange Program

December's Safety Focus is the Mercury Thermometer Exchange Program. We must eliminate the use of mercury thermometers in the labs. CPSPE Operations/Safety will provide an exchange for your mercury thermometers at no cost to the research group while supplies last.

PPG Research Team Fellowship offers a wealth of knowledge and experience for undergraduate student

PPG has partnered with the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering to offer Research Team Fellowships for undergraduate STEM students pursuing a Minor in Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. These fellowships provide opportunities for students to gain valuable polymers experience and receive scholarship funds, which can have a major impact on their current studies and future careers in polymers.

Polymers take on new importance for Ohio’s economy and educators

The Akron Global Polymer Academy's content specialist, John Fellenstein, is featured in this Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN) article.

Polymer professor’s program to enable STEM pathways for autistic college students

Dr. Ruel McKenzie has helped create a new program to enable STEM pathways for autistic college students. PULSe is a Five-Star Fridays initiative that’s a collaborative effort among the College of Polymer Science and Engineering, LeBron James Family Foundation College of Education and the Office of Accessibility.

Two startup companies receive NSF funding

Two startup companies based on UA technology have received $225,000 each from the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

Polymer outreach collaborates with local NIHF STEM Middle School

Can aluminum rods really sing? Is it possible to carve a pumpkin without a knife? These questions and more were answered recently at Science Fridays! Big Science for Little Learners.

University of Akron polymer research turns toward opioid-related work

Crain's Cleveland Business: The University of Akron's College of Polymer Science and Engineering is finding new applications for polymers — and possibly bolstering its own relevance — by engineering new materials that can integrate with other molecules.

UA's Polymer college, Biomimicry, and Corrosion Engineering featured in Hemispheres Magazine

Hemispheres, the Award-Winning Onboard Magazine for United Airlines, featured CPSPE, Biomimicry, and Corrosion Engineering in it's October 2018 issue. Read the article [PDF]

November Safety Focus: Accident Reporting

November’s Safety Focus is Accident Reporting. All accidents, spills and injuries need to be reported to Environmental & Occupational Health and Safety (EOHS) or the CPSPE Safety Officer. Problems that go unreported may affect other people or building functions. If you do not report an incident and EOHS is alerted by another means, you may be subject to disciplinary action by the university.

Engineers are Studying Birds' Nests

Continuing coverage of Dr. Hunter King's National Science Foundation research is featured on Ray Brown's Talkin' Birds website.

UA professor uses movie monsters to teach biology

Beacon Journal / - A University of Akron professor had no problem scaring up people who wanted to take his class.

The smell of popcorn wafted in the air in the dark theater at the campus student union. Big, dripping-red letters on the screen declared “Monsters Among Us,” giving a hint of what tonight’s lecture would explore.

CPSPE Welcomes NPIC Instrumentation Scientist

Dr. Andrew Knoll is joining the UA community as an Instrumentation Scientist for the National Polymer Innovation Center and will be overseeing much of the spectroscopic characterization equipment.

New bandage means less pain for patients on removal
Prototyping and testing are complete for the bandage, which releases under specific wavelength of light.
Feathers, filaments and physics: Scientist studies mechanics of birds’ nests
Dr. Hunter King's research, funded by the National Science Foundation, could lead to innovations in civil engineering and architecture, transportation and advanced manufacturing.
UIX: Grand Rapids has a plastic problem, and here's who's helping fix it

Meagan Hill Marko, Polymer Engineering (MS 2005), is featured in this article. Read more

Longtime polymer professor earns high honor from American Chemical Society
Dr. Roderic Quirk will receive the 2019 Charles Goodyear Medal in recognition of his many contributions to the rubber industry.
Dr. Mark Foster honored by peers

Dr. Mark Foster, the Thomas A. Knowles Professor in the Department of Polymer Science, has been elected as an American Physical Society Fellow.

Tune in Thursday, 10/11, to hear Dr. Nita Sahai on ‘Exploradio Origins’

Dr. Nita Sahai, the Ohio Research Scholar Professor in the Department of Polymer Science, will be featured this Thursday, Oct. 11, on “Exploradio Origins,” a “weekly series that ponders some of the biggest questions in the universe in 90 seconds.”

Collaborative Research by UA Scientists selected as ACS Editors’ Choice

Scientists from four departments at The University of Akron recently collaborated on research that was reported in an article submitted to ACS Publications. Not only was this article accepted in Macromolecules, but it was also selected to be featured in ACS Editors’ Choice based on recommendations by ACS Journals’ editors.

University of Akron professor emeritus to receive 2019 Charles Goodyear Medal

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—A professor emeritus at the University of Akron will be the next recipient of the Charles Goodyear Medal, the highest honor given by the ACS Rubber Division.

Roderic Quirk, an emeritus distinguished professor of polymer science at the University of Akron, was announced as the medalist during the first day of the Rubber Division's International Elastomer Conference, being held Oct. 9-11 in Louisville.

October Safety Focus: Lab Safety Checks

I will be back in the labs this month leaving these notices to give you a thumbs up or to make corrections. Any violations you receive will need to be corrected immediately. Time to clean up the work spaces and focus on safety in the labs!

You can help solve Lake Erie's harmful algal bloom problem with University of Akron spectrometers

UA Ph.D. student Kelly Siman and Assistant Professor Hunter King are working on a user-friendly spectrometer "that can measure phosphorus and nitrates in water throughout the Lake Erie watershed."

UARF’s Spark Fund announces the completion of its first project

Dr. Abraham Joy, associate professor of polymer science, and his lab have concluded prototyping and testing of a light releasable adhesive invented with funding provided by the University of Akron Research Foundation’s Spark Fund. This marks the successful completion of the first of five projects awarded Spark Funds in 2017.

Polymer faculty continue to earn significant federal research funds
The nearly $4 million received is for topics ranging from designing new materials inspired by a bird’s nest to 3D printing and nanocomposites.
Protecting first responders from opiate exposure is researcher’s goal
Dr. Abraham Joy has been awarded $200K for his solution in the opiate crisis — one that offers greater protection to paramedics and police officers.
Akron 360 Social Event Promotes Polymers at UA

Last week, the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering hosted a social event on the 11th floor of the Goodyear Polymer Center.

University of Akron's College of Polymer Science and Engineering gets increased funding

Interim Dean Ali Dhinojwala is quoted in this Crain's Cleveland Business report.

September Safety Focus: Glass Waste

We have recently found glass waste containers full of capped glass vials filled with chemicals, solvents and dry materials etc. The university cannot dispose of glass waste with chemicals in it. Glass waste vials must be uncapped and contents disposed of properly in Halo, Non Halo, Aqueous or solid waste containers. Caps can be thrown in the garbage with only glass being discarded in the glass waste containers.

‘Synapse Series’ connects art and science here at UA
An origami artist and a Harvard physicist are among the upcoming speakers in annual series that focuses on the intersection of art and science.
Faculty and student teams complete intense I-Corps Teams program

Two teams of faculty, students and a community mentor completed the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps Teams program, a more intense follow-on program to UA’s I-Corps Site. These participating teams each spoke to at least 100 customers as part of a seven-week quest to more precisely define a business model and path to market for a new UA technology.

Polymer Outreach at "Props and Pistons Festival"

This past weekend, the Akron Global Polymer Academy was at the Akron Fulton Airport running an outreach table at the "Props and Pistons Festival". Attendees had the opportunity to have fun and learn about polymers through hands-on activities.

Polymer professor earns award from American Chemical Society
Dr. Matthew Becker's research at the interface of chemistry, materials and medicine is being honored.
Polymer Undergraduate Program Provides Valuable Experience and Positive Impact for Interns

Congratulations to the 17 interns who recently completed the 2018 Research Experience for Undergraduates program!

The REU program was launched in 2004 and has been a success in bringing students from across the country to learn about research methods and polymers here at The University of Akron’s College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering (CPSPE).

CPSPE Welcomes Staff Hires – MRC Manager and Director of Operations

It is with great pleasure that the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering welcomes new staff hires Dr. Jessi Baughman and Dr. Jason Randall.

August Safety Focus: 2018 Lab Safety Rules Review

Please review our 2018 LAB SAFETY RULES and the CPSPE Student Violation Policy. CPSPE Student Safety Violation Policy

Welcome to Akron, 'Middle City, USA'

UA's College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering is noted for helping to diversify the local economy and serve as an economic driver for the region.

“Inquiry Based Learning Using Polymers” provides valuable learning experience for middle and high school teachers

Each year the Research Experience for Teachers (RET) in Polymer Engineering Program provides valuable learning experience for middle and high school teachers from across the country. Participants travel to UA in order to learn about research methods and develop new lesson plans to take home to their students. But before they take their lesson plans back to their classrooms, they need to test them out. That’s where the workshop “Inquiry Based Learning Using Polymers” comes in.

Polymer college celebrates retirement of Dr. Stephen Cheng

Earlier this week, the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering celebrated the retirement of Dr. Stephen Z.D. Cheng, former dean of the college and Frank C. Sullivan Distinguished Research Professor of Polymer Science.

Polymer researcher taking a look at tire reinforcement

A group of researchers in the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering were awarded a CenTiRe grant of $70,000 to help fund their research of using polymers to improve tire rubber durability. The team is being led by Dr. Li Jia, at right, an associate professor of polymer science, and Dr. Robert Moore, a professor of physical and polymer chemistry at Virginia Tech.

UA’s Sport Science Academy and Akron Global Polymer Academy team up for STEM in Sport Camp

Last week, the School of Sport Science and Wellness Education: Sport Science Academy (SSA) hosted a 3-day STEM in Sport camp that had their participants learning about the concepts of STEM that are embedded in the world of sports.

July Safety Focus: Old Chemicals and Samples Disposal

In an effort to reduce the amount of chemical samples left from previous students and no longer needed, we are repeating our safety focus from October 2017.

Polymer professor develops safer component for lithium batteries
The UA research could improve the safety and performance of lithium batteries.
Dr. Tianbo Liu appointed as the next Chair of the Department of Polymer Science

The College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Tianbo Liu as the next Chair of the Department of Polymer Science effective July 2018.

AGPA welcomes Women In Engineering campers

Summer camp season on the University of Akron campus is in full swing, and the Akron Global Polymer Academy has been busy helping make these experiences memorable for the visiting campers.

Slime-making craze has become a big business

Content Specialist John Fellenstein comments on outreach conducted by CPSPE's Akron Global Polymer Academy in this Chemical & Engineering News article.

Ph.D. student explores 3D printing in New Mexico
Adam Woods is spending the summer in Albuquerque at Sandia National Laboratories to learn the process for building a custom 3D printer system.
Summer 2018 Welcomes New Teachers to the RET Program

The College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering’s Akron Global Polymer Academy recently began the 2018 Research Experience for Teachers in Polymer Engineering (RET) program. This program, funded by NSF Award Number EEC-1542358, sponsors ten high school science teachers who will work for eight weeks conducting polymer research in a lab of a CPSPE faculty member. By the end of the program, those teachers will have developed new lesson plans to introduce STEM to their classrooms in innovative ways.

Built to Last: Modification Strengthens 3D-Printed Plastics

Professor Bryan Vogt and his research group are conducting the research featured in this Design News article.

Research on spider glue resolves sticky problem
The way spider glues function in humid conditions provides clues for better commercial adhesives.
June Safety Focus: Compressed Gas Cylinders

The June Safety Focus topic was requested by a student. Please review the following information. Video: Myth Busters Compressed Cylinder Experiment. This is a great resource for cylinder safety: University of Saskatchewan Cylinder Guide.

Polymer-Focused Outreach Group Continues to Inspire and Educate Students in the 10th Edition of the Rubber Band Contest for Young Inventors

The Rubber Band Contest for Young Inventors is an annual nation-wide competition that challenges young students to design and create an invention or artwork that utilizes at least 1 rubber band in some way. The results each year are astounding, and the 2018 contest was no exception.

U Akron team develops Mn-based high performance anode for Li-ion batteries

Green Car Congress - May 28, 2018 - Researchers led by Professor Bryan Vogt and Associate Professor Yu Zhu conducted the research in this article.

Polymer College’s 2018 Research Experience for Undergraduates Program Begins

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, launched in 2004, has been a success in bringing students from across the country to learn about research methods and polymers here at The University of Akron’s College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. The 2018 summer internship program began May 29th and will offer 11 weeks of competitive research and career development experience to 17 students.

Polymer professor demonstrates research in bone-defect repair to Congress
Dr. Matthew Becker, the W. Gerald Austen Endowed Chair of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, was selected to demonstrate to Congress his work and research with technological advances in contributions to veterans’ health.
Spider glue resolves sticky problem

Graduate student Saranshu Singla, UA alums Gaurav Amarpuri and Nishad Dhopatkar, Professor Todd Blackledge, and Interim Dean Ali Dhinojwala collaborated in research that was originally published in

2018 Polymers Appreciation Day Student Poster Winners Announced!

Congratulations Nicholas Teo (left), Adam Woods (center), and Fang Peng (right) on being selected as the top 3 entries of the LORD Corporation student poster competition at this year’s Polymers Appreciation Day for Alumni & Industry!

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

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.

A Polymer Playground: Akron Global Polymer Academy Consults on Science Center’s New TapeScape Exhibit

Cleveland’s Great Lakes Science Center has found a brand new way to make science come alive, and it comes in the form of polymers.

Isayev Welcomed to Prestigious EU Academy of Sciences

Dr. Avraam Isayev is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus within the Department of Polymer Engineering, a research advisor to dozens of masters and doctorate students, a highly awarded and published researcher, and now a member of the EU Academy of Sciences.

Improving 3-D printing of plastic parts

Professor Bryan Vogt, Adjunct Professor Miko Cakmak, and their colleagues are conducting the research featured in this American Chemical Society article.

Polymer Family Nights at Bath Elementary School

Bath Elementary School is the most recent scene of an AGPA Polymer Family Night.

May Safety Focus: Lab Inspections

The May Safety Focus will be Lab Inspections. It is our intention to do lab inspections twice a year during the spring, fall and anytime a lab has multiple violations.

Safety officer is first woman to run Ironman Triathlon in full firefighter gear
Diana Woolf will be the first woman in the world to do an Ironman and Half Ironman in full firefighter gear.
Dr. Xiong Gong recognized as winner of 2017-18 Outstanding Researcher Award

Congratulations to Dr. Xiong Gong, Professor of Polymer Engineering, who has been selected as the recipient of UA's 2017-18 Outstanding Researcher Award.

College students to share startup ideas at free LaunchTown event Monday

A University of Akron student is cooking up a way to keep some medicines from breaking down at higher temperatures.

On Monday, polymer science student Cesar Lopez Gonzalez will bring his innovation to the 12th annual LaunchTown business idea competition.

Chameleon-like elastomers — champions of quick color change
University of Akron polymer researcher helps to discover synthetic biological tissue that also changes color like chameleon skin.
Polymer professor joins medical and biological engineering elite
Dr. Matthew Becker was honored for developing novel families of degradable polymers for use in additive manufacturing, regenerative medicine and drug delivery.
CPSPE Supports Education at the Black Male Summit

This weekend marked the 11th annual Black Male Summit at The University of Akron, a crossroads of leadership and empowerment for black men. A disproportionate number of black men do not graduate from four-year colleges, and the summit aims to prevent this by preparing black students for success. The emphasis on education and excellence is very familiar to the staff and faculty of CPSPE, many of whom attended the summit.

Connecting with CFNC

Clean water and air, as well as products such as petroleum based fuels that are free of contaminants, are made possible by filtration. Filtration design, in turn, is enabled by multi-disciplinary technologies. That is why the Coalescence Filtration Nanofibers Consortium (CFNC) at The University of Akron (UA) was established by research leaders from both the College of Engineering (COE) and the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering (CPSPE).

April Safety Focus: Extension Cords and Electrical Safety

The April Safety Focus is Extension Cords and Electrical Safety. Please review your labs and office areas for unsafe use of extension cords.

APTS and UARF Assist in Organization of “Innovation Day” at UA

Eighteen visitors from six countries in one day - Innovation Day, to be exact. This event was created for Smithers-Oasis, a company dedicated to advancing the science of floriculture utilizing innovative technologies. Innovation Day was hosted on The University of Akron’s campus on March 20, thanks to several helping hands, including those of Jim Currie, the Manager of Training and Testing at Akron Polymer Technology Services and Barry Rosenbaum, Senior Fellow with the University of Akron Research Foundation (UARF).

CPSPE Welcomes New Assistant Manager for Polymer Testing

CPSPE would like to welcome Doug Terry to the college and The University of Akron today as the Assistant Manager for Polymer Testing with Akron Polymer Technology Services.

Polymer College hosts Science Day

Where else could you find robotics, mathematics, medicine, botany, and so much more, than at the Western Reserve District 5 Science Day (WRSD) at the University of Akron? This event has enriched STEM subjects for middle school and high school students across Ohio thanks to many generous sponsors and dedicated individuals at the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. This year’s all-day event took place March 17th at UA’s Student Union.

AGPA Polymer Outreach hosts Science Olympiad

Seven hundred students, forty-seven teams, forty-six events, and fifty-eight different rooms: there are not many scientific competitions out there that are as challenging, or as much fun, as the Akron Regional Science Olympiad hosted by the Akron Global Polymer Academy. On March 10, 2018, students of all ages from dozens of middle and high schools flocked to The University of Akron’s campus with their smarts and their excitement to learn.

March Safety Focus: Hood Safety

The March Safety Focus is hood safety. I am going to inspect all the hoods this month for cleanliness and adherence to the lab safety rules regarding hoods. The hoods have recently digressed and it feels like a good time for some spring cleaning! To use your hood safely, you should know how it works to keep you safe. Please see the attached hood safety videos below.

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.

CPSPE Alumnus and SKYi Founder Wins Gold at PLASTINDIA

Many talented academics, entrepreneurs, and industry professionals have gotten their start at the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, and we love hearing about their successes in life after CPSPE. Alumni like Dr. Sachin Jain, Founder and Director of SKYi Composites, make us proud.

Polymer Engineering Alumnus Rings the Nasdaq Closing Bell in Honor of New Company

With the ring of a bell, CPSPE alumnus Murthy Simhambhatla announced to the world that his company, Evolus Inc., is officially on the market. After over a decade in the industry, Simhambhatla still calls his time in the Department of Polymer Engineering a life-changing experience.

AGPA Talks STEM in Sports at NEXT Conference

Moving forward and creating were two major themes at the 2018 New Explorations in Teaching Conference at The University of Akron. This was the third annual NEXT conference hosted by UA, and the first attended by the Akron Global Polymer Academy.

Polymer Professor publishes “Nonlinear Polymer Rheology,” after a decade of intensive research

It was a project ten years in the making. Dr. Shi-Qing Wang, Kumho Professor in the Department of Polymer Science, worked for a decade toward his goal: a massive book on polymer rheology, rooted in knowledge discovered here at The University of Akron since 2004. Dr. Wang’s work was realized with the publication of his book, Nonlinear Polymer Rheology: Macroscopic Phenomenology and Molecular Foundation.

STEM Education through Sport

The UA Women’s Basketball team collaborated with Director Victor Pinheiro and Assistant Lecturer Melissa Dreisbach of the School of Sport Science and Wellness, as well as Akron Global Polymer Academy (AGPA) Content Specialist John Fellenstein from the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, to offer 5th-8th grade girls the opportunity to learn STEM Education through Basketball.

One of the largest technology transfer agreements in UA history signed with 21MedTech
Both UA and 21MedTech have ongoing research in the applications of these technologies in drug delivery and resorbable medical devices.
Akron Global Polymer Academy Talks Polymers at SECO Symposium

Robotics, gardening, coding, and polymers: they all have something in common. They are topics at the 2018 Science Education Council of Ohio (SECO) Symposium, where our own John Fellenstein will be speaking later this month.

BASF Tour Introduces Students to Industry Safety Standards

Safety Officer Diana Woolf has been a guiding force in bringing industry-standard safety measures to our facilities, but this week she brought CPSPE to the industry.

Polymer Engineering welcomes Ruel McKenzie to CPSPE

The Department of Polymer Engineering is pleased to welcome Assistant Professor Ruel McKenzie to The University of Akron’s College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering.

Developing an alternative to opioids: UA professor’s research gains $2 million state grant and interest of large drug company [Akron Beacon Journal]

Continuing Coverage: The Akron Beacon Journal features the incredible, groundbreaking opioid research of professor Matthew Becker and his team. Polymer science professor Andrey Dobrynin is also mentioned in the article and is involved in the project.

Polymer Professor Receives Morand Lambla Award

Dr. Bryan Vogt, a professor in the Department of Polymer Engineering, was honored as an outstanding young professor in polymer processing by the 33rd International Conference of the Polymer Processing Society (PPS).

New Year, New Schools for the AGPA

In December 2017 the Akron Global Polymer Academy (AGPA) took part in a STEM Leadership Cadre for teachers seeking hands-on educational experiences. Programs like this one are always good networking opportunities, and this one was no different. Thanks to valuable connections made during this workshop, the AGPA has been invited to two new schools to provide students with fun, unique polymer education.

January Safety Focus: Chemical Inventory and Storage

The January Safety Focus is Chemical Inventory and Storage. Please take a look at your chemical storage and inventories this month.

The Akron Global Polymer Academy Works with Great Lakes Science Center to Help TapeScape Stick the Landing

Tunnels, nets, and tape: it’s TapeScape, an interactive exhibit made almost entirely from packing tape. Different TapeScape exhibits have been featured in several facilities since 2011, and now one is popping up in Cleveland at the Great Lakes Science Center with a little assistance from the Akron Global Polymer Academy (AGPA).

Polymer researcher leading the charge to improve battery life
Dr. Yu Zhu is heading a project to extend the amount of time between battery charge.
Dean Amis featured in Tire Technology International

Polymer research at UA is front and center in this issue of Tire Technology International, featuring an interview with Dean Eric Amis. Dr. Amis will be speaking at the upcoming Expo, which will be the biggest TTI Expo yet! Read the article

It’s Not Just Rocket Science - It’s Polymers!

Recently, representatives from NASA reached out to the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering’s Akron Polymer Technology Services (APTS) to customize a course in material science for their technicians.

Higher Education Collaboration in Polymers and Biomimicry

The College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering is a leading resource in higher education STEM, which is why CPSPE and the Akron Global Polymer Academy have teamed up with the Summit Educational Service Center to form a STEM leadership cadre.

Polymer professor awarded $2 million for leading research in fighting opioid epidemic
Dr. Matthew Becker’s pioneering research has received the largest grant given to a higher education institution as part of the Third Frontier Commission effort combatting the opioid crisis.
Becker Awarded $2M by State of Ohio for Opioid Research

Dr. Matthew Becker, W. Gerald Austen Professor of Polymer Science & Polymer Engineering, has been awarded $2,000,000 by the State of Ohio’s Third Frontier Commission. Competitive grants totaling $10M were awarded to support scientific breakthroughs to solve the national opioid crisis. The awards are part of Ohio's two-pronged strategy to drive innovative research and development in opioid and addiction science.

PPG Foundation donates $40,000 to polymer research mentorship program
Funds will assist selected student researchers and their doctoral student mentors in this new program.
Turkish Academy of Sciences Recognizes DPS Alumnus with Prestigious Outstanding Young Scientist Award

A CPSPE alumnus has been awarded with the 2017 Outstanding Young Scientist Award by the Turkish Academy of Sciences. Dr. Bülent Akgün, currently Associate Professor of Chemistry at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey, earned his PhD in Polymer Science in 2007 under Dr. Mark Foster.

December Safety Focus: Emergency Scenarios

The CPSPE safety team came up with this month’s safety focus!  This month I will schedule to present a short emergency scenario during group meetings.  This will take approximately 20 minutes and  we will review what to do if an emergency occurs in your work area.  I will work with each faculty member to accommodate their scheduling needs.

Dr. Sadhan Jana Invited to Deliver 33rd Kamath Memorial Lecture in India

Dr. Sadhan Jana is Chair of the Department of Polymer Engineering and a recognized researcher and educator. While he began his academic career here in the United States, Dr. Jana received his first two degrees in Chemical Engineering from two universities in India. Now, the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers has invited Dr. Jana back to his country to deliver the 33rd Aker Powergas’s Prof. N.R. Kamath & Mrs. Ruzena Kamath Memorial Lecture at its annual conference.

Polymer Film Developed by University of Akron Research Team Could Help Fight Opioid Epidemic

News 5 Cleveland - AKRON, Ohio - Groundbreaking research at the University of Akron could make a major difference in the battle against the opioid epidemic.

Scientists, led by Polymer Science Professor Dr. Matt Becker, have developed a polymer film that could be implanted after knee, hip, shoulder and hernia surgeries.

Polymer Outreach Sponsors Akron Mini Maker Faire

They call it the Greatest Show and Tell on Earth; it’s a one-of-a-kind venue that showcases creativity, technology, and ingenuity. It’s the Maker Faire, a gathering of inventors, educators, artists, and engineers. “Makers” of all kinds can come together to share what they have created and teach anyone who is willing to learn.

University of Akron Researchers Create New Non-Toxic Pigments Inspired By Bird Feathers

WKSU - Professor Ali Dhinojwala and graduate student Weiyao Li discuss research conducted by Dhinojwala, Li, Mario Echeverri, and Xiaozhou Yang.

Xploration Station: Nature Knows Best features UA Polymer Researchers

Drs. Ali Dhinojwala and Abraham Joy, Professors at the Department of Polymer Science, are well known for their research in biomimicry, the science of applying natural characteristics to new technology. Recently their work caught the attention of Xploration Station: Nature Knows Best, a syndicated television show dedicated to exploring all things science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The show’s host, Danni Washington, and a camera crew traveled to The University of Akron to interview them about their research.

November Safety Focus: Update Lab Emergency Information Forms

It has been almost 2 years since we updated the mandatory laboratory emergency contact information. This information provides a recognized and easily understood system for identifying specific hazards in the labs. It also provides pertinent information for emergency personnel.


This year the Akron Global Polymer Academy is wrapping up October with a full week of polymer-related Halloween fun!

The College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering Celebrates Women in Science

It’s always a good day to celebrate women in Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, but the second Tuesday of October is the perfect day. Why? It’s Ada Lovelace Day, a holiday founded by Suw Charman-Anderson in 2009 to honor women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Polymer Science Grad Assistant Brings Home “Best Poster in Neural Engineering” from Annual Biomaterials Day Conference

The College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering’s very own Cecília Margarida Mendes Motta, a graduate assistant in the Department of Polymer Science, won “Best Poster in Neural Engineering” at the Annual Biomaterials Day Conference on October 6th.

Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering Students Win Over 2017 CenTiRe Meeting

On October 5th in Akron, students from both departments of the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering walked away from the 2017 CenTiRe meeting with winning titles, proving yet again that CPSPE’s hard-working students have the tools and knowledge that they need to succeed in the industry.

Horizon Science Academy Hosts Polymer Family Night

High school science teacher Elif Polat was busy on campus this summer participating in The University of Akron’s Research Experience for Teachers in Polymer Engineering, an 8-week program funded by the National Science Foundation. RET aims to increase teachers’ knowledge of topics such as polymer engineering and enable them to take what they have learned back to the classroom.

A Partnership in the Making: Polymer College Welcomes Delegation from Malaysia

October 2nd was not just another Monday at The University of Akron. UA hosted a delegation of six representatives from Malaysia, all of whom are part of the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA). The NCIA is an organization dedicated to facilitating socio-economic growth in Malaysia, and now they are tasked with building what will be called “The Rubber City” on a 1,254-acre plot of land near the border of Malaysia and Thailand.