News Archive

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.

05/03/2017 - Can the Rust Belt become the 'Brain Belt'?

The Christian Science Monitor quotes dean Eric Amis, associate dean Matthew Becker, University of Akron Research Foundation (UARF) senior fellow and Akron Ascent Innovations’ president/chief executive officer Barry Rosenbaum, president emeritus Luis Proenza, and associate professor David Giffels in a report on transforming Akron’s past into a high-tech future.

May 2017 Safety Focus: Campus Emergencies

This month's safety focus is Campus Emergencies. The informational links here provide you access to important safety numbers, tips and guidelines that cover active shooter situations, hazardous weather, police services and contact information for other services on campus.

Japanese delegation inspired by biomimicry in Northeast Ohio
Japanese delegates visiting Cleveland and Akron through the U.S. Department of State made a visit to UA to learn about the innovative work being done here in biomimicry.
The University of Akron wins a trifecta at the ACS Rubber Division Awards

A UA Department of Polymer Science alumnus, Dr. Jimmy Mays, Professor & ORNL Distinguished Scientist at The University of Tennessee, joins two of UA’s prominent professors, Dr. Sadhan Jana of the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering and Dr. Judit Puskas of the College of Engineering, as awardees at The American Chemical Society Rubber Division 191st technical meeting.

CPSPE Staff Spotlight: Sarah Thorley

CPSPE faculty and staff are a vital part to the success of the college. Recently, we asked Sarah Thorley, Department of Polymer Engineering Coordinator of Academic Programs to share her experience working at CPSPE.

Becker inducted as 2017 PMSE Fellow

Congratulations to Dr. Matthew Becker who was recently inducted as one of the newest members of the seventeenth class of PMSE fellows at the San Francisco ACS meeting on April 5.

Polymer science student accepted into ACS Summer School on Green Chemistry & Sustainable Energy

Polymer science student, Abdala Bashir has recently been accepted into the American Chemical Society (ACS) Summer School on Green Chemistry & Sustainable Energy, all expenses paid. The program will be held June 20-27, 2017 at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado.

April 2017 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 scientist William Landis honored for contributions

The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) presented Dr. William Landis, retired professor of polymer science, with the 2017 IADR Distinguished Scientist Award in Basic Research in Biological Mineralization at the organization’s 46th annual meeting in San Francisco on March 22.

Cheng to receive SPSJ International Award

Dr. Stephen Z.D. Cheng has been elected to receive The Society of Polymer Science, Japan (SPSJ) International Award this year at the 66th annual meeting in May. The International Award is the highest honor of the society and is awarded to international scientists over the age of 55 years for both contributions to the field and collaborative activities with Japanese groups.

UA’s Polymer College establishes Akron Masters Program in Taiwan

Dr. Eric J. Amis, dean of the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering and Vice Provost for Research at The University of Akron, recently traveled to Taiwan to visit National Taipei University of Technology. The main objective of the visit was to formally exchange a signed agreement set between Taipei Tech and The University of Akron; this is built upon the foundation of strong connections between Taiwan and the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering.

Researchers' work selected for Virtual Special Issue of I&EC Research

Congratulations to our researchers on their recent publication featured in I&EC Research's "Invited Papers from ACS San Diego"!

Battelle Scientists Meet with Polymer Faculty to Discuss Common Interests in Biomedical Research

The College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering hosted a March 16 visit with Dr. Steve Risser, Research Leader, and Dr. Erik Edwards, Sr. Research Scientist, from Battelle’s Advanced Materials Group.

Polymer outreach another great success at the 2017 King and Friends Science Olympiad

On Sunday, March 5, the King and Friends Science Olympiad had its final competition and awards celebration at the Goodyear Polymer Center, wrapping up another great year where students participated in fun, exciting, and challenging events.

Kaur Awarded Ohio Soybean Council Foundation Scholarship

WORTHINGTON, Ohio - The Ohio Soybean Council Foundation (OSCF) is pleased to announce that Sukhmanjot Kaur of Akron, Ohio has been awarded a $2,500 graduate OSCF scholarship for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Polymer engineering researchers' work published in PNAS

Controlling the organization of nanoparticles into patterns in ultrathin polymer films can be accomplished with entropy instead of chemistry, according to a discovery by Dr. Alamgir Karim, UA’s Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company Professor of Polymer Engineering, and his student Dr. Ren Zhang. Polymer thin films are used in a variety of technological applications, for example paints, lubricants, and adhesives.

A first: University inventor receives three U.S. patents in single day

On Tuesday, March 7, a sole inventor became the first in University history to be awarded three U.S. patents in one day.

It is not uncommon for Professor Joseph Kennedy of Polymer Science to receive three patents in one year, but three in a single day is unprecedented.

CPSPE Staff Spotlight: Melissa Bowman

CPSPE faculty and staff are a vital part to the success of the college. Recently, we asked Melissa Bowman, Department of Polymer Science Coordinator of Academic Programs to share her experience working at CPSPE.

AGPA polymer outreach to host upcoming Science Olympiad

Interested in food science or forensics? What about meteorology, robotics, or electric cars? If science is your thing, The University of Akron campus is the place to be on Saturday, March 11, when nearly 600 students from six area counties will compete in the day-long Spectrum Akron Regional Science Olympiad.

Super Resolution Imaging Helps Determine a Stem Cell’s Future

An interdisciplinary team of researchers, including associate dean for research Dr. Matthew Becker and UA alum Dr. Erin Childers, track a stem cell’s future. Read more

March 2017 Safety Focus: Wellness, Stress & Safety

The March Safety Focus is at the request of a CPSPE student who approached me with concern of accidents that may occur in the lab or otherwise due to increased fatigue or personal stress. The top 2 causes of workplace injuries are fatigue and stress.

Prof. Alan Gent, The University of Akron, and the Adhesion Society's 40th Birthday

On February 26, 2017, at its annual meeting in St. Petersburg, the Adhesion Society celebrated the 40th anniversary of its founding and inaugural annual meeting at The University of Akron's Institute of Polymer Science.

NSF Supports the Future Success of Polymer REU Program

The National Science Foundation continues to contribute to the impact of Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering (CPSPE). NSF has awarded a grant of $344,741 to The University of Akron in support of REU that will start on April 1, 2017.

Polymer Science student to receive John Wiley book award

Dibyendu Debnath, DPS graduate student, has been selected to receive the John Wiley book award in addition to being selected by POLY to be a part of the Excellence in Graduate Polymer Research Symposium in San Francisco this April.

University of Akron researchers collaborate with Argonne and Brookhaven National Laboratories

University of Akron researchers collaborate with Argonne and Brookhaven National Laboratories to develop new measurements to understand the structural changes in electrodes of lithium ion batteries during operation.

February 2017 Safety Focus: Student Safety Violation Policy

The February Safety Focus is the introduction of the new Student Safety Violation Policy. Please read the policy and review the Lab Safety Rules.

Faculty look to snakes and termites to improve daily life
Meet three UA researchers who are investigating nature to advance society.
Thematic issue of Elements magazine guest-edited by Polymer Science professor

Department of Polymer Science professor, Dr. Nita Sahai recently guest-edited a thematic issue of Elements magazine on the topic of the Origins of Life, which was released in December 2016.

Remembering Dr. Howard L. Stephens

Dr. Howard L. Stephens, Professor Emeritus of Polymer Science and Chemistry, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 24, at the age of 97. Dr. Stephens was a good friend to many and did much for the polymer and chemistry programs at UA.

UA’s Polymer College Strengthens International Partnership with French IFP School

The College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering continues to uphold its renowned past and is making great strides in its promising future through cutting edge research, industry partnerships, and important connections with other programs and universities around the world.

This is the second year of a graduate student exchange program with the polymers program of IFP School (French Institute of Petroleum) in Rueil-Malmaison, France. Last year the first graduate students from CPSPE went to IFP School for six weeks, working with IFP faculty and staff, learning about supply chain issues and the connections of the oil and gas industry with the polymer industry.

NASA visitors learn about research efforts at UA
Visitors from NASA toured UA labs conducting research related to NASA interests, and met with students on several College of Engineering design teams.
AGPA polymer outreach helps at local science fairs

The start of a new year commences a fresh start with the Akron Global Polymer Academy's (AGPA) outreach. The outreach extends far beyond polymers in the college and on campus, but expands to a number of local schools and all levels of education.

January 2017 Safety Focus: Chemical Inventories

The January Safety Focus is Chemical Inventories. Please take a look at your chemical storage and inventories this month.  We will have a chemical inventory training on February 10th in GDYR 304 from 9am-10:30am. Please RSVP to to attend the training. EOHS personnel will be available to answer any questions you may have regarding the inventory system.

Recent AGPA polymer outreach prompts excitement for the future

November and December are full of activities and outreach for the Akron Polymer Global Academy. With 16 events, and the gaining of over 3,000 contacts, every moment of outreach is high paced and exciting.

PolyLux reaches next step in product development process
Ph.D. polymer science student Kaushik Mishra created PolyLux, a start-up company, to manufacture a new adhesive technology for bandages.
Novel Nanofiber-based Coalescing Filter Media for Separation of Water Droplets from Ultra-low Sulphur Diesel Fuel

Professor Sadhan Jana and his students Dr. Stuti Rajgarhia and Dr. Rafael Benavides recently reported in Polymer, 93, 142-151 (2016) a facile means of fabrication of nanofibers from solutions of two immiscible polymers in two mutually miscible solvents using gas jet fiber method.

Dr. Stephen Z.D. Cheng's recent work published in PNAS

Dr. Stephen Z.D. Cheng's recent work, "Geometry induced sequence of nanoscale Frank–Kasper and quasicrystal mesophases in giant surfactants," has been published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

December Safety Focus: Lab, Hood, and Personal Safety

December's Safety Focus has an emphasis on Lab, Hood, and Personal Safety! There will be lab inspections and you will receive either a SAFETY STAR or an UNSAFE notice in your work areas. Please take a few minutes during your workday to evaluate the following areas of your personal protection equipment, hood space, and lab areas.

University of Akron, Sandia pair up to bring new polymers
The national lab says it has tons of applications for new materials, from energy infrastructure to medical devices, and is looking to one of the nation's top polymer schools for help.
Alumnus opens new Akron Children's Museum

Alumnus Ryan Hartschuh (PhD, 2007, Polymer Science) and his wife Betsy are the co-founders of the new Akron Children's Museum that opened on Friday, November 25, 2016.

CPSPE visits to China renew and establish University-to-University agreements

Dean Eric Amis holds very highly the college’s relationships with alumni and partners. This fall, he led a delegation, including Associate Dean Kevin Cavicchi and Program Coordinator Ying Wang, to visit numerous universities in China to renew or establish University-to-University cooperative agreements and strengthen these partnerships.

Polymer Engineering chair and professor invited to give inaugural lecture in India

Department of Polymer Engineering chair and professor, Dr. Sadhan Jana has been invited to give an inaugural lecture in India.

The Society of Polymer Science – India has invited Dr. Jana to give the first S. R. Palit Endowment Lecture at the MACRO 2017 International Conference on Polymer Science and Technology to be held in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India on January 8-11, 2017.

APTS provides customized training to team from Indonesia

Akron Polymer Technology Services (APTS) is currently hosting a team of ten scientists and engineers from Badan Pengkajian dan Penerapan Teknologi (BPPT). The team traveled from Indonesia to receive customized training in rubber technology from APTS instructors. The customized training, being held over a three week period, includes topics ranging from raw materials for elastomer compounding to aircraft tire retreading technology.

Dean Amis visits Taipei and meets with CPSPE alumni

In Taipei, hosted by University of Akron alumni, Dean Amis visited Taipei Tech, Tsinghua University, Cheng Kung University, and also the LCY Group. At each place he delivered his talk “Polymers in the Valley of Death: Moving from Discovery to Application”. An alumni reunion dinner was hosted by the Taiwan-Akron Alumni Association with over a dozen alumni in attendance. This established alumni association is a representation of how CPSPE alumni remain connected to The University of Akron beyond their time on campus.

Polymer Engineering Researchers Report Aerogel Microparticles

Aerogels, the extremely light, 90-95% porous solids filled with air with pore diameter between 2-200 nm, are mostly reported in literature as bulk monoliths or sheets of characteristic dimensions several centimeters to hundreds of centimeter. Professor Sadhan C. Jana and his student Dr. Senlong Gu devised an oil-in-oil emulsion strategy, for the first time, to produce micrometer size, spherical aerogel particles with the same properties as the bulk aerogel monoliths.

Knight Foundation creates $3 million endowment for polymer research
The endowment -- the largest for an academic chair in our 146-year history -- allows us to further strengthen our internationally recognized polymer program and will help us attract world-class research faculty.
CPSPE Confers Over a Dozen Student Awards and Fellowships

Graduate students play a crucial role in the development of new technologies under the guidance and supervision of their professors. As such, awards and fellowships are a key component to the career development of these student researchers and scholars, giving them the opportunity and flexibility to focus their efforts on academics and research.

November Safety Focus: Hazardous Waste

November’s Safety Focus is a 4 part series on Hazardous Waste. Every week during the month of November we will focus on a different type of hazardous waste. Please review the attached University of Akron Waste Management Plan and Examples of Waste lists.

AGPA and CPSPE grad students visit GlenOak High School

The Akron Global Polymer Academy is persevering in its mission to provide exciting opportunities for students to experience polymers through hands-on activities and expanding outreach. Recently, AGPA visited GlenOak High School. Particularly, they visited the school’s science club that has organized a Junior Polymer Ambassadors group that will be helping run a polymer STEM day for Oakwood Middle School. The science club is advised by biology teacher, Dori Hess, who participated in the NSF funded Research Experience for Teachers in Polymer Engineering at UA in 2014 and 2015, doing medical research.

Novel Nanofiber Photocatalysts From Cheaper Gas Jet Fiber Method

Professor Sadhan Jana and his student Dr. Monoj Ghosh fabricated a set of mesoporous titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanofibers with length of a few micrometers and controlled diameter in the range 200-300 nm, crystalline grain size 10-50 nm, and anatase crystal content ~60% via calcination at 600°C of precursor nanofibers of polyvinylpyrrolidone and titanium isopropoxide obtained from scalable Gas Jet Fiber spinning process.

Students hit right pitch with their health-related products

The Fitzgerald Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies in the College of Business Administration hosted PitchU on Oct. 15, a class and competition for hopeful entrepreneurs.

AGPA offers hands-on, polymer activities to students and families

Akron Global Polymer Academy (AGPA) is once again, immersed in outreach in order to bring the knowledge of polymers to inquisitive young minds. Thursday, October 13, AGPA visited Warner Girls’ Leadership Academy in Cleveland and ran a Polymer Family Night in which around 90 people were in attendance.

October Safety Focus: Fire Safety & Prevention

The October Safety Focus is Fire Safety & Prevention. Please take a minute and clear away any storage that may be blocking the fire extinguishers, safety showers, eyewash stations and electrical panels. Use the Laboratory Fire Safety Checklist to review your lab. Know your exit route in case of emergency. Be Aware and Know Where your fire extinguisher and fire alarm are located. Know Where the AED (Heart Defibrillator) for your building is located.

Jana and Puskas to be honored by ACS Rubber Division

Two prominent UA researchers are being recognized by The American Chemical Society Rubber Division for their numerous contributions to their fields.

Dr. Sadhan Jana, professor and chair of the Department of Polymer Engineering will receive the George Stafford Whitby Award for Distinguished Teaching and Research.

Independent Control of Elastomer Properties through Stereocontrolled Synthesis

In this paper, a compositionally identical material uses stereochemistry (amount of CIS vs TRANS double bonds) to control mechanical properties.  Significantly, this class of materials is made via step growth polymerization and does not require the use of complicated transition metal catalysts to control stereochemistry as are required by many other elastomers reported in the literature.

Professor outlines ultrasonically aided extrusion

Ultrasonically aided extrusion can compound waste EPDM rubber with polypropylene, by devulcanizing the rubber to break the chemical bond, according to Avraam Isayev, professor emeritus of polymers at the University of Akron.

Preprogramming materials to shape shift at a given time

Dr. Andrey Dobrynin, Professor of Polymer Science, collaborates on research that creates time programmable shape-changing material which has a potential to facilitate the development of novel drug delivery systems.

Polymer Engineering alumnus receives Sandmeyer Award 2016

Alumnus, Dr. Ratan K. Mishra (Polymer Engineering, PhD '12), along with fellow team members from Sika, ETHZ and the University of Colorado Boulder were awarded The Sandmeyer Award 2016, CHF 20'000 for their innovative work in the field of industrial and applied chemistry. Congratulations to Dr. Mishra and the team!

BRIC intensifying cooperation with NASA with new fellowship opportunities

After the successful Biomimicry Summit and Education Forum (BSEF) for Aerospace hosted by NASA Glenn Research Center and in collaboration with Great Lakes Biomimicry and the Ohio Aerospace Institute Aug. 2-4, the Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center (BRIC) is intensifying its cooperation with NASA Glenn.

Boy Scout troop visits CPSPE

The University of Akron’s College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering is not only passionate about spreading knowledge to bright UA minds, but also spreading knowledge to the inquiring minds of young children.

Polymer Engineering Researchers Report Novel Use of Aerogels in Capturing Airborne Nanoparticles

Aerogels are extremely light, 90-95% porous solids filled with air with pore diameter between 2-200 nm. For reference, the diameter of human hair is typically 100,000 nm. The thermal insulation properties of aerogel materials have been exploited for decades.

Dr. Kevin Cavicchi recognized as 2016 top 10 reviewer for Soft Matter

Congratulations Dr. Kevin Cavicchi for being recognized as a top 10 reviewer of Soft Matter in 2016.

UA student brings science lessons to children of Ghana
Alex Nyarko, who is earning a doctorate in polymer science at UA, brings science lessons to where the children are in his native Ghana.
K-12 Polymer Outreach in September

September is a busy month for Akron Global Polymer Academy (AGPA) outreach. On Wednesday, September 14th, AGPA paid a visit to Firestone High School and visited biology teacher Josh Oldham, a participant in this summer’s Research Experience for Teachers. Mr. Oldham taught the lesson he developed during that time.

Sandia National Laboratories and UA to collaborate in materials science
This latest collaboration for the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering will enable new discovery and innovation for both institutions.
September Safety Focus: BACK TO THE BASICS

The September Safety Focus is BACK TO THE BASICS. Please review the UPDATED Lab Safety Rules.