News Archive

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.

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.

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-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.

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.

October Safety Focus: Old Chemicals and Samples Disposal

Need more storage space? Here is your chance to dump old samples and chemicals that are no longer needed, unknown who they belong to or have deteriorating containers. All you have to do is print and fill out the attached form. Bring the items with the completed form to the designated location on the scheduled dates. Do not transport chemicals across campus. Only chemicals from the building that is scheduled for drop off will be accepted. Ex.) NPIC labs cannot drop off at Goodyear or Olson.

UA Biomimicry Researchers Featured at Nature-Inspired Exploration for Aerospace Summit

October 4th, 2017 is the beginning of the Nature-Inspired Exploration for Aerospace Summit, a gathering of the scientific community that promotes new research and technology in fields like biomimicry. The three-day event held at the Ohio Aerospace Institute in Cleveland, Ohio, will feature many speakers and presentations in addition to a reception and group tour held at UA’s Goodyear Polymer Center and Integrated Biosciences Department.

Thanking the Nelson Family Scholarship for Promoting Polymer Education

Scholarships are vital to many students’ success throughout their college careers, and often even beyond graduation. Financial aid programs such as the Nelson Family Scholarship in Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering can open a lot of doors for our students, while encouraging them to study polymers. On Friday UA hosted a luncheon for the Nelson Scholars to meet alumni Harvey S. Nelson, the co-CEO of Main Street Gourmet and the founder of the Nelson Family Scholarship.

Safety Officer Diana Woolf Spreads the Word on Reducing Risk at Case Western

The College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering counts on Safety Officer Diana Woolf every day to make sure that students and faculty are working in safe environments. Since she has joined our staff she has worked hard to implement big changes on campus, and it has resulted in the prevention of numerous injuries and incidents. Now, Woolf will be sharing her knowledge with Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in order to give their safety culture a jump-start.

Calling Bright Young Inventors for a Contest of Polymer Creativity

Are you ready to stretch your imagination? The Rubber Band Contest for Young Inventors is accepting submissions for 2018! The contest that encourages critical thinking and inspires kids to learn about the world of polymers is kicking off for its 10th year.

Bird feathers inspire production of dyes that don’t fade
Researchers take their cues from nature to produce long-lasting hues that will have many applications — from clothing and paint to cosmetics.
International Elastomer Conference Features Several CPSPE & UA Speakers

The College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering is actively involved in many facets of the polymer industry. Every year around 4,000 members of the polymer community gather to attend the International Elastomer Conference, and CPSPE will be heavily involved in the 2017 event in Cleveland, Ohio.

Sahai Group Wins Best Poster Award At ISSOL Conference

The Sahai Group won the Best Poster Award at the XVIIIth International Conference on the Origin of Life at San Diego, CA, in mid-July. Dr. Punam Dalai (pictured on right), a post-doctoral scientist, and CPSPE graduate student, Ms. Putu Ustriyana (pictured on left), are the first and second authors on the study, and Dr. Nita Sahai, Professor and Ohio Research Scholar at UA’s Department of Polymer Science, is the senior author. Their poster for the study titled “Ion Tolerance and Preferential Selectivity of A Lipid in Binary Lipid Systems: An Evolutionary Approach to Modern Membranes” was selected as the winner and was presented by Dalai at the conference.

New Roos Meet the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering

During the first week of classes freshman can find booths set up all over campus to advertise clubs and student organizations, or simply for directions to get to their next class. This year during Welcome Week, the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering set up shop on campus to spread the word about our college, its renowned programs of study and its brand new minor.

Theodore Hammer Awarded 2017 PCI/Axalta Scholarship

Congratulations to Polymer Science major Theodore Hammer on being awarded the $5,000 PCI/Axalta Scholarship for 2017.

Hammer’s dedication and academic record earned him the scholarship that will help fund his second year studying at The University of Akron’s College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering.

Spark Fund announces first three awards to innovators on campus

Spark Fund – a University of Akron Research Foundation initiative to fund prototyping and testing to lead to more technology licenses – has announced $255,000 in funding to support its first three funded projects.

September Safety Focus: Back to the Basics 2017


Thank you for helping make CPSPE a safer place! This month I want to review our Lab Safety Rules and focus on some of the safety issues I see every day during my walk through. Please review the UPDATED Lab Safety Rules.

Welcome New Students to the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering

The College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering (CPSPE) is gearing up for the start of the 2017-2018 school year. Student orientation took place on August 25th as CPSPE welcomed 81 new students from eight different countries.

RET Students Learn New Ways of Teaching at Akron’s STEM Middle School

What type of school do teachers dream of working for? What is your idea of the ideal teaching job?

The University of Akron has had a partnership with The National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM Middle School, a place that aims to teach and to learn differently, since its inception. It is one of many important partnerships the school maintains to promote STEM education. On the afternoon of August 10th the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering facilitated a tour of the middle school for grad students and teachers participating in the Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program.

New Lecture Series Named in Honor of the Late Professor James Lindsay White

The University of Akron’s Department of Polymer Engineering (DPE) has launched a new lecture series named in honor of the late Professor James Lindsay White, who founded the DPE.

Dean Emeritus Frank N. Kelley Returns to Speak to Leadership in Akron

On Wednesday, August 16th, more than 30 Akron-community leaders stepped into the Goodyear Polymer Center to hear Dean Emeritus Frank N. Kelley give a lecture on the history of polymers in Akron.

Kelley was an alumnus of The University of Akron before coming on board as a faculty member, and served UA for 28 years before retiring as Dean of the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering in 2007. Kelley remains a friend and consultant for many polymer-related companies in Akron. 

CPSPE Scholarships Supporting Students in Polymers

Congratulations to the four Chemical Engineering students who have been awarded scholarships due to their academic achievement and specialization in polymers: Elisabeth Meyer, Nicholas Neill, Isaac O’Brien, and Gregory Brown.

Scholarship programs like these provide valuable opportunities and open doors for students, which is why The University of Akron disburses more than $22 million in scholarships each year. The College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering is proud to be a part of that tradition, and now more than ever CPSPE is encouraging students to study polymers by providing scholarship aid through The Nelson Family Scholarship in Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, and The George Clinton and Julia Lucille Fouts Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Forging Friendships and Gaining Research Experience in REU 2017

Congratulations to the 18 interns who have recently completed the 2017 Research Experience for Undergraduates program!

REU, 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. This year’s successful internship program, directed by Polymer Science Professor Dr. Mesfin Tsige, ended on August 11th. It consisted of eleven weeks of research and career development including visits to places like regional polymer-based companies and a national laboratory.

Fall Semester Brings New Master’s Program in Polymers to UA

This fall the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering (CPSPE) has a plan to help industry professionals receive their master’s degree in polymer science and polymer engineering.

August Safety Focus: Labeling

The CPSPE Safety Team met in July and one of the safety concerns we discussed was the lack of labeling chemicals in the hoods. Please focus this month on labeling your chemicals in the hood. This is in addition to shutting the sash at all times you are away from your hood. We will be reviewing the hoods for labels, and because it is a CPSPE safety rule, it is subject to the Student Safety Violation Policy.

“Inquiry Based Learning Using Polymers” Gives Teachers the Tools to Succeed

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 to Host Ohio Federal Research Network’s First Meeting of the Minds

On July 13th, the Ohio Federal Research Network (OFRN) will be holding the first formative meeting for the special interest group regarding organic polymer technologies and products at The University of Akron's National Polymer Innovation Center (NPIC) and Polymer Engineering Academic Center.

July Safety Focus: CPSPE Safety Team Recruitment

This month I would like to recruit 12 students to become our CPSPE Safety Team. This team will help encourage safety from the peer level and be part of a team to continue our mission towards a safer CPSPE. I would like to see an equal ratio of students from both Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. This will be a TEAM not a committee and focused on positive change to enhance safety.

New Polymer Additive Manufacturing Course Delivers Cutting-Edge Technology To Industry

The College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, as one of the top polymer programs in the world, is helping industry keep pace with cutting-edge technology. Akron Polymer Technology Services (APTS) is utilizing the facilities of the Goodyear Polymer Center to provide modeling and additive manufacturing training to industry professionals.

AGPA Promotes STEM with Great Lakes Science Center Summer Camp

This year the Akron Global Polymer Academy had the great pleasure of hosting a group of kids from the Great Lakes Science Center’s Summer Science Camp. This year’s visit will be the third field trip that the students have made to The University of Akron, and it won’t be the last! The kids had a blast exploring real scientists’ labs, interacting with animals, and learning all about science with AGPA Content Specialist, John Fellenstein.

The "Science of Spider-Man" Features UA Researchers at Awesome Con

Science and comic book nerds, assemble! The world of polymers is joining the world of comic books and cosplay for one weekend to teach Spider-Man fans all about Peter Parker’s powers.

It’s back! CPSPE’s Research Experience for Teachers program is under way for the summer of 2017

Beginning Tuesday, eleven high school and middle school teachers will be coming to campus to work with research groups on subjects like chemistry, biology, and engineering. They will be working in CPSPE labs for eight weeks, at the end of which they can walk away with research experience that will help them develop new curriculum to take back to their classrooms.

CPSPE Staff Spotlight: John Fellenstein

CPSPE wouldn’t be the same without its amazing staff. We recently spoke with John Fellenstein, Content Specialist for the Akron Global Polymer Academy, about his role at CPSPE.

Major Success for UA at MSNO Conference

The University of Akron and the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering experienced huge success at the Microscopy Society of Northeast Ohio’s sixty-first annual May Conference.

Summer Sun Brings Polymer Outreach to Light

The Akron Global Polymer Academy (AGPA) has been hard at work recently in several locations, including The Akron Children’s Museum and Canal Park, home of the Akron RubberDucks.

As always, the Akron Global Polymer Academy is making magic happen!

On Saturday John Fellenstein, Content Specialist for the Akron Global Polymer Academy (AGPA), grabbed his wand and his cauldron and arrived at the Akron-Summit County Public Library for Potions Class at Potter Faire, Akron.

Potter Faire was held by the library to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter book’s publication. For one afternoon only, the library was transformed into Hogwarts, and kids of all ages could come and learn magic like Harry.

Researcher named one of the nation’s top young scientists
Matthew Becker, associate dean of polymer science, leads a team that develops new medical devices and regenerative medicine applications.
June Safety Focus: Unattended Experiments / New Form

This month's safety focus is Unattended Experiments / New Form. All unattended experiments that take place over night or during the day REQUIRE this form. This form provides EOHS and the fire department pertinent information regarding your experiment if there should be an emergency in your lab, or the building.

Akron Global Polymer Academy Awards $1,000 to Winners of Rubber Band Contest for Young Inventors

It’s no stretch of the imagination to picture students from across the nation coming together to celebrate creativity, engineering, science, and polymers. This happens every year during the annual Rubber Band Contest for Young Inventors.

Origins Institute Explores the Origin of Life, the Universe, and Everything

Professor Nita Sahai discusses her research to identify the origins of life on earth.

Polymer College’s 2017 Research Experience for Undergraduates Program Begins

May 30th marked the first day of orientation for this year’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. This summer, 18 students will participate in research and career development activities, discuss their research progress, and visit regional companies and a national laboratory.

Kevin Cavicchi awarded the William C. Zekan Memorial Service Award

Associate dean Kevin Cavicchi was awarded the William C. Zekan Memorial Service Award and professor Sadhan Jana provided the keynote address at the Akron Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers May 15 meeting.

Congratulations to Laurel Lohrey - Zipstastic Award winner for May

Please make an effort to congratulate Laurel Lohrey as the winner of the Ziptastic Award for May. She is the coordinator of training and testing in the Dean’s Office in the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering (CPSPE).

UA’s prolific inventor inspires younger generations
Sixth graders at Dodge Intermediate School in Twinsburg enjoyed their visit with Dr. Joseph Kennedy, who talked about inventions, patents and his journey to America.
AGPA Outreach Shows Kids the Fun Side of Science

The Akron Global Polymer Academy (AGPA) is once again combining fun and science to get kids interested in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics). On May 23rd, twelve students and three teachers from The University of Akron’s childcare center came to the Polymer Engineering Academic Center to learn more about polymers with content specialist and educator John Fellenstein.

Akron SPE Section Hosts Networking Event at CPSPE

On Friday, May 19, the Akron SPE section hosted the Ohio SPE Networking Event at the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering.

Polymer College Partners with Local High School to Offer Students Hands-On Research Experience

St. Vincent-St. Mary High School has had a partnership with The University of Akron to encourage students in STEM since 2009. In coordination with Dr. Matt Becker, students have had the opportunity to partner with professors in their field of research to learn the scientific process through hands-on experience.

UA receives part of $7.5 million grant to develop innovative uses for melanin
Researchers will work to understand how melanin is synthesized by natural organisms, and use synthetic melanin to develop new kinds of advanced materials.
Polymers Appreciation Day student poster winners announced!

Congratulations Guodong DengVrushali Bhagat, and Elena Silantyeva 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!

CPSPE Staff Spotlight: Diana Woolf

CPSPE faculty and staff are a vital part to the success of the college. Recently, we asked Diana Woolf, College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering Safety Officer to share her experience working at CPSPE.

Dean Emeritus, Dr. Frank N. Kelley awarded the inaugural CPSPE College Alumni Award during Polymers Appreciation Day

On May 12, the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering held Polymers Appreciation Day, a one day symposium celebrating the outstanding achievements of the college’s alumni and students.