UA polymer scientists recognized as fellows


Dr. Coleen Pugh

Two University of Akron polymer scientists have been named as fellows, by two renowned professional societies, for distinguished contributions to their fields. Dr. Coleen Pugh, professor of polymer science, was named an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) fellow, and Dr. Ali Dhinojwala, chair of the Department of Polymer Science and Morton Professor of Polymer Science, was elected as a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS).

Pugh was designated as an AAAS fellow for her advancement of science and its application to serve society. Pugh is recognized for bringing the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program to the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering in 2003 and serving as its director through 2009. Pugh’s research on the synthesis and phase behavior of liquid crystals and topologically different polymers and her role as editor of Macromolecules contribute to her distinction as an AAAS fellow.

The AAAS has designated fellows, who are selected by their peers, since 1874. Pugh is the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering’s third faculty member honored with the distinction.

Dr. Ali Dhinojwala

Dhinojwala was honored recently as an APS fellow for his contributions of applying physics to science and technology. Dhinojwala is acknowledged for developing surface-sensitive techniques to study polymeric surfaces and interfaces to understand properties. Specifically, he is noted for his groundbreaking research on spider silk and gecko feet hairs and how such attributes as adhesion, contraction and friction have applications in technology. Such as with AAAS, APS fellowship is a distinction marked by peer recognition. Dhinojwala is the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering’s fifth APS fellow.

“Drs. Pugh and Dhinojwala have made tremendous scientific and societal contributions and their fellowships in these two prestigious societies accentuate their advancements of the field,” says Dr. Stephen Z.D. Cheng, dean of the UA College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering.

Media contact: Denise Henry, 330-972-6477 or