Dr. Robert Weiss
Department Chair and Hezzleton E. Simmons Professor of Polymer Engineering
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the website of the Department of Polymer Engineering (DPE) at The University of Akron (UA). DPE is part of the world-renowned College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering at UA, which has about 40 full-time faculty and 350 graduate students and postdoctoral research associates studying the chemistry, physics and engineering of polymeric materials and systems.
The Center for Polymer Engineering was created in 1983 and the Department of Polymer Engineering in 1984. In 1988 the Center was renamed the Institute of Polymer Engineering. The Department is currently comprised of 16 full-time faculty and approximately 130 graduate students. DPE is housed in three buildings -- the 32,000 sq. ft. Polymer Engineering Academic Center (PEAC); the 70,000 sq. ft. Sidney L. Olson Research Center (OLRC); and the 43,000 sq. ft. National Polymer Innovation Center (NPIC).
The Department of Polymer Engineering is strictly a graduate department, offering both the M.S. and Ph.D. degree in Polymer Engineering. The Department awards about 50 Ph.D. and M.S degrees each year. We are pleased that our graduates have gone on to successful careers in industry, government service, and academia throughout the world. Additionally, there are undergraduate students in the College of Engineering and the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences who often work on either independent projects with DPE faculty or who take some of our courses that are suitable as electives for majors in engineering and the physical sciences.
Our faculty members are recognized worldwide for their contributions to polymer research and education, as well as service to the polymer field. The faculty have been recognized with numerous awards and distinctions, ranging from the International Award of the Society of Plastics Engineers and the Melvin Mooney Distinguished Technology Award of the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society, to Fellowships in major polymer-related societies, such as the American Physical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science , American Chemical Society, and the Society of Plastics Engineers. In addition, our younger faculty have been recognized with Faculty Early Career Awards from the National Science Foundation. DPE faculty are actively engaged in various scientific organizations, edit several scientific journals, and have written a number of textbooks and monographs.
Please visit other parts of our website for information on admission procedures, current students, individual faculty and programs, course offerings, and much more. Thank you for visiting the Department of Polymer Engineering.