About the School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering
FROM RUBBER TO SUSTAINABLE POLYMERS, LEADING THE FIELD FOR MORE THAN A CENTURY.
In 1909, Dr. Charles M. Knight, a professor at Buchtel College, had the foresight to teach the world’s first course in rubber chemistry, preparing students for careers in the booming rubber industry in Akron, the “Rubber Capital of the world".
By World War II, the rubber chemistry program was so well regarded that the U.S. government contracted with The University of Akron to establish the Rubber Research Laboratory to aid in the development of synthetic rubber needed for the war effort.
As the polymer industry grew and diversified so did the research at the School evolving into areas such as coatings, nano-composites, flexible electronics and biomedical applications.
What to know about the expanding programs in designing sustainable materials, advancing biomaterials and biomimicry research.
- Offers cutting edge academic and research programs in polymer chemistry, physics and engineering, with degrees at the levels of a Doctoral or Master's and an undergraduate minor.
- Houses state-of-the-art polymer characterization and processing facilities for research, training, and testing, which is managed by Ph.D. level research scientists.
- Home to the Akron Global Polymer Academy (AGPA) that reaches more than 20,000 students and teachers annually. AGPA hosts Science Olympiads, the District 5 Science Day, and the Rubber Band Contest for Young Inventors each year.
- Offers a unique master’s degree for international students; Akron Master’s Program (AMP), where 3rd year undergraduates come from abroad to UA for 2 years to complete both their degrees and obtain a master’s.
- Offers polymer technology services with workforce training courses in rubber and plastic technology. In addition, it runs a testing service for industry and start-ups.
The University is surrounded by excellent cultural diversity and post-academic opportunities. Located in Northeast Ohio, Akron is home to several small and large industries, as well as nearby government laboratories.