News Archive

AGPA hosts Inquiry Based Learning Using Polymers 2016 Workshop

The Akron Global Polymer Academy’s (APGA) passion for science and polymers is continuously expanding to educate and intrigue others, and this time its significant impact has reached local teachers.

[Video] Akron maintains Rubber City reputation

WKYC Channel 3's Jasmine Monroe finds out how innovation and adaptability have helped Akron maintain its leadership in the polymer industry.

Polymer outreach welcomes Great Lakes Science Center campers

The Akron Global Polymer Academy (AGPA) at The University of Akron is making great strides in educating young students about the world of science, polymers, and endless possibilities.

Every summer, the Great Lakes Science Center hosts a series of summer camps for middle school students. This year, AGPA hosted visits at UA on June 15, 29, and July 14.

Newkome named KSU distinguished alumnus

George R. Newkome, vice president of research Emeritus and the James and Vanita Oelschlager Professor of Science and Technology in the Department of Polymer Science, will receive the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award from Kent State University at a ceremony in September recognizing him, and other notable Kent alumni and friends.

Polymer Outreach supports expansion of STEM program to local high schools

RC cars and racing game engines? Sounds like fun! And, it’s all in the name of science education!

The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Foundation has awarded the Akron Global Polymer Academy (AGPA) a grant to support the expansion of the Full Throttle STEM program to the nine high schools in the Akron Public Schools (APS) system.

1st Annual CPSPE Battle of the Labs a Huge Success

Thank you and congratulations to all of the research groups that participated in the 1st Annual CPSPE Battle of the Labs! 

The college’s June Safety Focus was a friendly competition between labs and an introduction to the 5S workplace organization (cleaning) system. The level of enthusiasm and friendly competition made the entire experience fun and exciting, all while creating safer and cleaner labs for the faculty and students.

July Safety Focus: HAZCOMM/GHS Training

The July Safety Focus is HAZCOMM/GHS training. All students are required to complete the HAZCOMM/GHS Training module on their Springboard. This is a MANDATORY training required by the University Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety.

[Video] CPSPE is featured in a new JobsOhio video

CPSPE is featured in a new JobsOhio video! Ohio leads the U.S. providing an unparalleled plastic and rubber ecosystem helping more companies achieve long-term success and strategic growth.

Crain's Cleveland Business: Record-breaking event helps illustrate Akron's footing in the polymer science world

Crain's Cleveland Business article highlights the 12th National Graduate Research Polymer Conference hosted by the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering at UA.

Global Partner, East China University of Science and Technology, visits The University of Akron

On June 23, the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering (CPSPE) had the privilege of welcoming longtime, global partner East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) to The University of Akron (UA).

Dhinojwala Group Wins at PiNO

June 10, 2016, three Department of Polymer Science students made nearly a clean sweep at the Polymer Initiative of Northeast Ohio (PiNO) Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. Dharamdeep Jain, Nishad Dhopatkar, and Gaurav Amarpuri, students from the Dhinojwala group, won three of four prizes awarded to graduate students.

Polymer Outreach Program Offers Research Experience for Teachers

This week, the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering’s Akron Global Polymer Academy began the 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. Nine of the educators making up this year’s cohort are from districts in Northeast Ohio and one has traveled from Houston, Texas to participate.

Akron Polymer Technology Services has a Worldwide Impact

Akron Polymer Technology Services (APTS), formerly known as the Akron Polymer Training Center and Applied Polymer Research Center, is making worldwide strides.

Record participation expected at national polymer conference at UA
The latest in polymer research is the focus of the 12th National Graduate Research Polymer Conference, to be held here June 19-22.
Dr. Kevin Cavicchi co-edits special issue of Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics

The Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics has published a special issue on shape-memory polymers. The special issue, called “Shaping Shape-Memory”, was edited by Mitchell Anthamatten of the University of Rochester and Kevin Cavicchi of The University of Akron.

June Safety Focus: Lab Cleaning

The June Safety Focus is a friendly competition between labs and an introduction to the 5S workplace organization (cleaning) system.

The elasticity of creativity in the minds of young inventors
AnnualRubber Band Contest for Young Inventors draws students and their novel ideas from around the nation.
Research Experience For Undergraduates Launches This Year’s Summer Program

The University of Akron’s College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering (CPSPE) offers a unique internship program for undergraduate students in the field of polymer science and polymer engineering. Research Experience for Undergraduates, is an eleven week internship program in which  students from colleges across the United States will work closely with CPSPE faculty to investigate a fundamental question within the disciplines of polymer science and polymer engineering, including chemistry, physics, characterization and biomaterials.

Outstanding researcher works to solve medical challenges

Dr. Matthew L. Becker is one of two recipients of this year’s Outstanding Researcher Award. The awards were presented May 6 at the Founders Day Luncheon.

Tosoh Bioscience LLC and The University of Akron Debut The Tosoh Polymer Chromatography Laboratory at the Goodyear Polymer Center

The Tosoh Polymer Chromatography Laboratory located at the Goodyear Polymer Center offers start-of-the-art Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC) Systems from Tosoh Bioscience for polymer scientists working in academia and industry.

They built a better bandage, and won $7,000
Two graduate students invented an adhesive bandage that allows for easy removal with minimal pain, winning the LaunchTown Entrepreneurship Competition and money to advance their idea.
Polymer Science alumnus wins Young Scientist Award from Science Academy Society in Turkey

Dr. Bülent Akgün, PhD Polymer Science 2007, currently an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey, has been recognized with a 2016 Young Scientists Program (BAGEP) Award by the Science Academy Society in Turkey.

Akron Global Polymer Academy Inspires K-12 Students with Hands-On Polymer Experiences

On April 20th and 27th, 55 students visited the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering and the National Center for Education and Research on Corrosion and Materials Performance. These students earned their field trip to UA through participation in Akron Public School’s First Annual Chemistry Erlenmeyer Flask Three Fold Challenge—a partnership with Chemistry teachers across the district aimed at promoting shared community experiences with other teachers/students and learning through direct experiences and problem-solving.

May Safety Focus: Lab Coats

Lab Coats is the topic for the May Safety Focus. You will be required to wear a lab coat, gloves and safety glasses when you are working in the lab.

Dr. Coleen Pugh’s presentation at ACS National Meeting is identified as “The Best Presentation”

Dr. Coleen Pugh presented a paper entitled “Soy-Based Resins and Fillers for Thermoset Composites” at the 251st American Chemical Society National Meeting in San Diego, California in March 2016. Dr. Pugh’s presentation at the meeting was identified by the session chair, Dr. Don Wardius (of Covestro), as the “Best Presentation” of her session in the symposium on Sustainable Polymers, Processes & Applications.

CPSPE Director of Outreach, Paula Watt, speaks about the benefits of collaboration between industry and research scientists in Plastics News

“University researchers and industry scientists and engineers tend to think differently,” said Paula Watt, outreach director for the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering at The University of Akron. “But collaboration is a necessity.” - Plastics News

Drs. Soucek and Miller receive Roon Foundation Award from American Coatings Association

Dr. Mark Soucek and Kent Miller (Ph.D. 2012, Polymer Engineering) received the second place Roon Foundation Award for their work on a new low-temperature cure-on-command process for coatings. The 2016 American Coatings Association Roon Awards were presented at the American Coatings Show, April 12-14, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Alumnus is co-founder of new Akron Children's Museum

Department of Polymer Science alumnus Ryan Harschuh (Ph.D. 2007) and his wife are the co-founders of the new Akron Children's Museum set to open this summer.

Polymer Outreach inspires over 800 middle and high school students in March

The College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering’s Akron Global Polymer Academy – with the generous help of faculty, staff, graduate students, and volunteers – reached over 800 middle and high school students during the month of March through two major events on campus: The Time Warner Cable Akron Regional Science Olympiad and The Western Reserve District 5 Science Day.

Yipin Duan wins SPE Mettler Toledo Award

Yipin Duan has won the SPE Mettler Toledo Award for 2015-16. He is an accelerated master’s student working in the research groups of Profs. Zacharia and Vogt.

April Safety Focus: Emergencies
April’s safety focus is emergencies. ALL EMERGENCIES and/or ACCIDENTS MUST BE REPORTED IMMEDIATELY!
Two professors add to legacy of prestigious NSF CAREER award recipients
The honorees are Dr. Yu Zhu, polymer science, and Dr. David Simmons, polymer engineering.
Polymer Engineering Student Organization wins SPE Student Chapter Award

Congratulations to our very own Akron Section SPE Student Chapter led by the Polymer Engineering Student Organization (PESO)! The Outstanding Student Chapter Award is the highest honor for a student chapter, recognizing those that display exemplary efforts in industry engagement, operations and planning, community and social outreach and more.

Younjin Min wins Polymer Processing Society Early Career Award

Younjin Min, assistant professor in the Department of Polymer Engineering, will receive the 2016 PPS Early Career Award from The Polymer Processing Society. This award recognizes productivity of early career researchers in the field of polymer processing as judged from the publications, patents, and service to the Polymer Processing Society. Nominees include tenured/tenure-track faculty members, post-doctoral researchers, and researchers working in industry or national laboratories within 6 years of receiving their Ph.D. degree at the time of nomination.

Landis, Becker and Joy to speak at APTC’s biomaterials seminars

Three of UA's leading researchers — Dr. William Landis, Dr. Matthew Becker and Dr. Abraham Joy — will speak during a three-part series on biomaterials hosted by UA’s Akron Polymer Training Center in April.

Supramolecule could one day improve pharmaceutical drug delivery systems

A team led by Dr. George Newkome and Dr. Chrys Wesdemiotis has synthesized and structurally proven a precise and immense supramolecule, which can undergo changes in molecular architecture under varying ambient conditions.

Dozens of prospective students visit the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering

Dozens of prospective students visited Akron on March 4th to explore campus and learn more about the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. Students from 11 different universities toured the National Polymer Innovation Center, the new visualization center, numerous labs and campus.

UA’s ‘RooNited!’ United Way campaign is off and running

Philanthropy = The practice of giving money and time to help make life better for other people. That is what United Way is all about.

By participating, you will contribute to the success and well-being on campus and throughout the Greater Akron community.

March Safety Focus: Electrical Safety

March’s Safety Focus is Electrical Safety. Please check the equipment throughout your lab for the following hazards:

  1. Broken hot plates
  2. Frayed cords
  3. Damaged plugs
  4. Excessive use or permanent use of extension cords
  5. Cords fixed with electrical tape
  6. Combustible material in vicinity of electrical power sources
  7. Daisy chained cords and/or surge protectors
Polymer Science student wins Alan Gent Distinguished Student Paper Award

Dharamdeep Jain, a graduate student in polymer science, won the Alan Gent Distinguished Student Paper Award for the best presentation at this year’s Adhesion Society Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Ali Dhinojwala, the Morton Professor of Polymer Science, is his advisor.

Polymer engineer to be honored for work in coatings
Dr. Mark Soucek will be awarded the prestigious Roy W. Tess Award in Coatings this fall by the American Chemical Society’s Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering.
February Safety Focus Update: Free Eye Exams for CPSPE Students

CPSPE Students:

Diana Woolf, Safety Officer, has made arrangements with the Summit County Health Department to include any eligible student from the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering to provide FREE eye exams through their Prevent Blindness Program.

Students who do not have health insurance coverage that provides vision care may be eligible for a FREE eye exam.

Dr. David S. Simmons' publication featured on

Dr. Simmons' publication An Emerging Unified View of Dynamic Interphases in Polymers is featured on

To learn more about his research, visit:

February Safety Focus: Safety Glasses and CPSPE Prescription Safety Glasses Program

February’s Safety Focus: Safety Glasses and creating awareness for the College’s Prescription Safety Glasses Program. Anytime you are in the lab, transporting or working with hazardous substances safety glasses must be worn. Side Shields must be worn with all personal glasses. The side shields are very inexpensive to purchase. (See example picture on right)

The Prescription Safety Glasses Program: No cost to you for the basic glasses and upgrade options available for additional cost.

Nanotech coating research co-authored by Dr. Yu Zhu featured in multiple reports

Research co-authored by assistant professor Yu Zhu shows how a nanotech coating might offer a new way to de-ice aircraft, wind turbines, and power lines.

Learn more by reading multiple reports from The Asian Age, Nanotechnology Now, Futurity, Controlled Environments, Deccan Chronicle and HeliHub that feature this research.

Polymer engineer receives NSF CAREER Award to study the mystery of glassy materials
Success of this project will accelerate the development of materials in areas ranging from human health to energy economy.
Lubrizol, a leading CPSPE alumni employer, features alumnus Jamel Lawrence

Lubrizol, one of the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering’s leading alumni employers, promotes the values of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Jamel Lawrence, a 2012 graduate of Polymer Science (advisor Dr. Ali Dhinojwala) and Regional Applications Manager at Lubrizol, is featured in new videos "Connect the Culture - Deliver Success" and "African American Resource Group" on the Lubrizol website. Jamel shares his thoughts on how diversity and inclusion are an integral part of who Lubrizol is as a company. “Together we have power” he says.

Click here to watch the videos.

January Safety Focus: All chemicals must be labeled in the hood and work areas

We would like to see all chemicals in the hoods and labs to be labeled. For example: The following photos show squeeze bottles that do not have labels or are impossible to read and a photo that has the bottles labeled appropriately.

Thank you for your continued cooperation towards a safer working environment in 2016.

Congratulations 2015 Helm Fellowship Awardees: Ziqiu Wang, Qing Yu, and Ying Xu

Ms. Ziqiu Wang, Ms. Qing Yu, and Dr. Ying Xu were awarded the 2015 Helm Fellowship. The Robert E. Helm Jr. Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Polymer Science and Biomaterials fund supports research in the biomaterials discipline in the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. Candidates are determined by the biomaterials faculty in collaboration with the Office of the Dean. Preference is given to a deserving post-doctoral researcher, or at the discretion of the College, one or more graduate students who exemplify a strong commitment to leading-edge research in the field of biomaterials.

NSF CAREER award for electrically conducting polymer research
The award will support Dr. Yu Zhu's continued research involving new types of polymers that have fused sites along their molecules, enabling hydrogen bonding.