Liu to lead polymer school on interim basis


Dr. Tianbo Liu, A. Schulman Professor in the School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, has been named interim director of the school, effective July 1.

Headshot of man with dark hair against light background.

Dr. Tianbo Liu

“I am honored to have the School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering community's trust to take this important position,” says Liu. “As interim director, my focus is to increase student enrollment, assist the search committee for identifying a permanent director and work with our faculty, the College of Engineering and Polymer Science and UA administrators to implement the new Bachelor of Science program. We need to keep the school’s status as an internationally leading center for polymer-related research.”

Liu has been with the University since 2013. His lab studies the fundamental physical chemistry of macromolecular solution systems, including colloids, surfactants, macroions and biopolymers. Liu earned his Ph.D. from Stony Brook University in New York.

“I have confidence that Dr. Liu will be an excellent addition to our leadership team,” says Dr. Craig Menzemer, interim dean of the College of Engineering and Polymer Science. “We are at a pivotal moment where we can harness the strengths of engineering and polymer programs to become the most sought-after programs in the region. We’re that good and I believe Dr. Liu will help us get there.”

Dr. Mark Soucek, Sundar L. Aggarwal Endowed Professor in the school, will serve as interim assistant director, effective July 1. Soucek joined the University in 2001 and his research is focused on environmentally sustainable coatings.

Liu’s and Soucek’s appointments will last for a one-year term during which the search for the permanent positions will continue.  

Dr. Ali Dhinojwala, H.A. Morton Professor in the school, and previous interim director, is returning to his teaching and research at UA as a faculty member in the school.

Media contact: Alex Knisely, 330-972-6477 or