Dr. James Eagan
Department of Polymer Science
Dr. James M. Eagan develops synthetic methodologies for the synthesis of new polymers, with a focus on polyolefin materials. He joined the University of Akron in 2019 as an assistant professor after working at Aramco Performance Materials and Ascribe Bioscience. He graduated from Emory University in 2009 with a B.S. in Chemistry suma cum laude and received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Columbia University in 2014. Dr. Eagan’s thesis work, under the direction of Professor Scott A. Snyder, investigated the Diels-Alder cycloaddition as a general strategy for the total synthesis of oligomeric sesquiterpenes natural products. Following his doctoral studies, under the guidance of Professor Geoffrey W. Coates at Cornell University, Dr. Eagan studied the synthesis and properties of polyolefin block copolymers. This research focused on combining the two most abundant plastics, polyethylene and polypropylene, into mechanically robust blends through the use of multiblock copolymers.
Plastics are essential to modern life. However, the pervasive use and careless disposal of these materials has resulted in economic wastefulness and created an environmental catastrophe. Research in the Eagan lab is focused on how plastics can be deployed pragmatically to address the needs of today, without compromising the future. Utilizing the tools of chemistry and catalysis, we synthesize new polymeric materials for sustainable applications. These molecules provide tools for understanding polymer behavior and technologies for improving recycling, degrading plastics, and enhancing polymer performance.
- J. M. Eagan, J. Xu, R. D. Girolamo, C. W. Macosko, C. M. Thurber, A. M. LaPointe, F. S. Bates, G. W. Coates. Combining polyethylene and polypropylene: Enhanced performance with PE/iPP multiblock polymers. Science. 2017, 355, 814–816. (Recipient of 2017 AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize.)
- Xu, J. M. Eagan, S. Kim, S. Pan, B. Lee, K. Klimovica, K. Jin, T. Lin, C. J. Ellison, A. M. LaPointe, G. W. Coates, F. S. Bates. Compatibilization of isotactic polypropylene (iPP) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) with iPP-PE multiblock copolymers. 2018, 51, 8585–8596.
- G. J. Domski, J. M. Eagan, A. M. LaPointe, R. D. Girolamo, G. Talarico, G. W. Coates. Development of Isoselective Living Pyridylamidohafnium Catalysts for Propylene Polymerization Using a Combined Experimental and Theoretical Approach. ACS Catalysis. 2017, 7, 6930–6937.
- B. K. Long, J. M. Eagan, M. Mulzer, G. W. Coates. Semi-Crystalline Polar Polyethylene: Ester-Functionalized Linear Polyolefins Enabled by a Functional-Group-Tolerant, Cationic Nickel Catalyst. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 7106–7110.
- Ph.D., 2014, Columbia University
- B. Sc., 2009, Emory University