News Archive

University of Akron researchers collaborate with Argonne and Brookhaven National Laboratories

University of Akron researchers collaborate with Argonne and Brookhaven National Laboratories to develop new measurements to understand the structural changes in electrodes of lithium ion batteries during operation.

February 2017 Safety Focus: Student Safety Violation Policy

The February Safety Focus is the introduction of the new Student Safety Violation Policy. Please read the policy and review the Lab Safety Rules.

Faculty look to snakes and termites to improve daily life
Meet three UA researchers who are investigating nature to advance society.
Remembering Dr. Howard L. Stephens

Dr. Howard L. Stephens, Professor Emeritus of Polymer Science and Chemistry, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 24, at the age of 97. Dr. Stephens was a good friend to many and did much for the polymer and chemistry programs at UA.

Thematic issue of Elements magazine guest-edited by Polymer Science professor

Department of Polymer Science professor, Dr. Nita Sahai recently guest-edited a thematic issue of Elements magazine on the topic of the Origins of Life, which was released in December 2016.

UA’s Polymer College Strengthens International Partnership with French IFP School

The College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering continues to uphold its renowned past and is making great strides in its promising future through cutting edge research, industry partnerships, and important connections with other programs and universities around the world.

This is the second year of a graduate student exchange program with the polymers program of IFP School (French Institute of Petroleum) in Rueil-Malmaison, France. Last year the first graduate students from CPSPE went to IFP School for six weeks, working with IFP faculty and staff, learning about supply chain issues and the connections of the oil and gas industry with the polymer industry.

NASA visitors learn about research efforts at UA
Visitors from NASA toured UA labs conducting research related to NASA interests, and met with students on several College of Engineering design teams.
AGPA polymer outreach helps at local science fairs

The start of a new year commences a fresh start with the Akron Global Polymer Academy's (AGPA) outreach. The outreach extends far beyond polymers in the college and on campus, but expands to a number of local schools and all levels of education.

January 2017 Safety Focus: Chemical Inventories

The January Safety Focus is Chemical Inventories. Please take a look at your chemical storage and inventories this month.  We will have a chemical inventory training on February 10th in GDYR 304 from 9am-10:30am. Please RSVP to to attend the training. EOHS personnel will be available to answer any questions you may have regarding the inventory system.

Recent AGPA polymer outreach prompts excitement for the future

November and December are full of activities and outreach for the Akron Polymer Global Academy. With 16 events, and the gaining of over 3,000 contacts, every moment of outreach is high paced and exciting.

PolyLux reaches next step in product development process
Ph.D. polymer science student Kaushik Mishra created PolyLux, a start-up company, to manufacture a new adhesive technology for bandages.
Novel Nanofiber-based Coalescing Filter Media for Separation of Water Droplets from Ultra-low Sulphur Diesel Fuel

Professor Sadhan Jana and his students Dr. Stuti Rajgarhia and Dr. Rafael Benavides recently reported in Polymer, 93, 142-151 (2016) a facile means of fabrication of nanofibers from solutions of two immiscible polymers in two mutually miscible solvents using gas jet fiber method.

Dr. Stephen Z.D. Cheng's recent work published in PNAS

Dr. Stephen Z.D. Cheng's recent work, "Geometry induced sequence of nanoscale Frank–Kasper and quasicrystal mesophases in giant surfactants," has been published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

December Safety Focus: Lab, Hood, and Personal Safety

December's Safety Focus has an emphasis on Lab, Hood, and Personal Safety! There will be lab inspections and you will receive either a SAFETY STAR or an UNSAFE notice in your work areas. Please take a few minutes during your workday to evaluate the following areas of your personal protection equipment, hood space, and lab areas.

University of Akron, Sandia pair up to bring new polymers
The national lab says it has tons of applications for new materials, from energy infrastructure to medical devices, and is looking to one of the nation's top polymer schools for help.
Alumnus opens new Akron Children's Museum

Alumnus Ryan Hartschuh (PhD, 2007, Polymer Science) and his wife Betsy are the co-founders of the new Akron Children's Museum that opened on Friday, November 25, 2016.

CPSPE visits to China renew and establish University-to-University agreements

Dean Eric Amis holds very highly the college’s relationships with alumni and partners. This fall, he led a delegation, including Associate Dean Kevin Cavicchi and Program Coordinator Ying Wang, to visit numerous universities in China to renew or establish University-to-University cooperative agreements and strengthen these partnerships.

Polymer Engineering chair and professor invited to give inaugural lecture in India

Department of Polymer Engineering chair and professor, Dr. Sadhan Jana has been invited to give an inaugural lecture in India.

The Society of Polymer Science – India has invited Dr. Jana to give the first S. R. Palit Endowment Lecture at the MACRO 2017 International Conference on Polymer Science and Technology to be held in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India on January 8-11, 2017.

APTS provides customized training to team from Indonesia

Akron Polymer Technology Services (APTS) is currently hosting a team of ten scientists and engineers from Badan Pengkajian dan Penerapan Teknologi (BPPT). The team traveled from Indonesia to receive customized training in rubber technology from APTS instructors. The customized training, being held over a three week period, includes topics ranging from raw materials for elastomer compounding to aircraft tire retreading technology.

Dean Amis visits Taipei and meets with CPSPE alumni

In Taipei, hosted by University of Akron alumni, Dean Amis visited Taipei Tech, Tsinghua University, Cheng Kung University, and also the LCY Group. At each place he delivered his talk “Polymers in the Valley of Death: Moving from Discovery to Application”. An alumni reunion dinner was hosted by the Taiwan-Akron Alumni Association with over a dozen alumni in attendance. This established alumni association is a representation of how CPSPE alumni remain connected to The University of Akron beyond their time on campus.

Polymer Engineering Researchers Report Aerogel Microparticles

Aerogels, the extremely light, 90-95% porous solids filled with air with pore diameter between 2-200 nm, are mostly reported in literature as bulk monoliths or sheets of characteristic dimensions several centimeters to hundreds of centimeter. Professor Sadhan C. Jana and his student Dr. Senlong Gu devised an oil-in-oil emulsion strategy, for the first time, to produce micrometer size, spherical aerogel particles with the same properties as the bulk aerogel monoliths.

Knight Foundation creates $3 million endowment for polymer research
The endowment -- the largest for an academic chair in our 146-year history -- allows us to further strengthen our internationally recognized polymer program and will help us attract world-class research faculty.
CPSPE Confers Over a Dozen Student Awards and Fellowships

Graduate students play a crucial role in the development of new technologies under the guidance and supervision of their professors. As such, awards and fellowships are a key component to the career development of these student researchers and scholars, giving them the opportunity and flexibility to focus their efforts on academics and research.

November Safety Focus: Hazardous Waste

November’s Safety Focus is a 4 part series on Hazardous Waste. Every week during the month of November we will focus on a different type of hazardous waste. Please review the attached University of Akron Waste Management Plan and Examples of Waste lists.

AGPA and CPSPE grad students visit GlenOak High School

The Akron Global Polymer Academy is persevering in its mission to provide exciting opportunities for students to experience polymers through hands-on activities and expanding outreach. Recently, AGPA visited GlenOak High School. Particularly, they visited the school’s science club that has organized a Junior Polymer Ambassadors group that will be helping run a polymer STEM day for Oakwood Middle School. The science club is advised by biology teacher, Dori Hess, who participated in the NSF funded Research Experience for Teachers in Polymer Engineering at UA in 2014 and 2015, doing medical research.

Novel Nanofiber Photocatalysts From Cheaper Gas Jet Fiber Method

Professor Sadhan Jana and his student Dr. Monoj Ghosh fabricated a set of mesoporous titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanofibers with length of a few micrometers and controlled diameter in the range 200-300 nm, crystalline grain size 10-50 nm, and anatase crystal content ~60% via calcination at 600°C of precursor nanofibers of polyvinylpyrrolidone and titanium isopropoxide obtained from scalable Gas Jet Fiber spinning process.

Students hit right pitch with their health-related products

The Fitzgerald Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies in the College of Business Administration hosted PitchU on Oct. 15, a class and competition for hopeful entrepreneurs.

AGPA offers hands-on, polymer activities to students and families

Akron Global Polymer Academy (AGPA) is once again, immersed in outreach in order to bring the knowledge of polymers to inquisitive young minds. Thursday, October 13, AGPA visited Warner Girls’ Leadership Academy in Cleveland and ran a Polymer Family Night in which around 90 people were in attendance.

October Safety Focus: Fire Safety & Prevention

The October Safety Focus is Fire Safety & Prevention. Please take a minute and clear away any storage that may be blocking the fire extinguishers, safety showers, eyewash stations and electrical panels. Use the Laboratory Fire Safety Checklist to review your lab. Know your exit route in case of emergency. Be Aware and Know Where your fire extinguisher and fire alarm are located. Know Where the AED (Heart Defibrillator) for your building is located.

Jana and Puskas to be honored by ACS Rubber Division

Two prominent UA researchers are being recognized by The American Chemical Society Rubber Division for their numerous contributions to their fields.

Dr. Sadhan Jana, professor and chair of the Department of Polymer Engineering will receive the George Stafford Whitby Award for Distinguished Teaching and Research.

Independent Control of Elastomer Properties through Stereocontrolled Synthesis

In this paper, a compositionally identical material uses stereochemistry (amount of CIS vs TRANS double bonds) to control mechanical properties.  Significantly, this class of materials is made via step growth polymerization and does not require the use of complicated transition metal catalysts to control stereochemistry as are required by many other elastomers reported in the literature.

Professor outlines ultrasonically aided extrusion

Ultrasonically aided extrusion can compound waste EPDM rubber with polypropylene, by devulcanizing the rubber to break the chemical bond, according to Avraam Isayev, professor emeritus of polymers at the University of Akron.

Preprogramming materials to shape shift at a given time

Dr. Andrey Dobrynin, Professor of Polymer Science, collaborates on research that creates time programmable shape-changing material which has a potential to facilitate the development of novel drug delivery systems.

Polymer Engineering alumnus receives Sandmeyer Award 2016

Alumnus, Dr. Ratan K. Mishra (Polymer Engineering, PhD '12), along with fellow team members from Sika, ETHZ and the University of Colorado Boulder were awarded The Sandmeyer Award 2016, CHF 20'000 for their innovative work in the field of industrial and applied chemistry. Congratulations to Dr. Mishra and the team!

BRIC intensifying cooperation with NASA with new fellowship opportunities

After the successful Biomimicry Summit and Education Forum (BSEF) for Aerospace hosted by NASA Glenn Research Center and in collaboration with Great Lakes Biomimicry and the Ohio Aerospace Institute Aug. 2-4, the Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center (BRIC) is intensifying its cooperation with NASA Glenn.

Boy Scout troop visits CPSPE

The University of Akron’s College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering is not only passionate about spreading knowledge to bright UA minds, but also spreading knowledge to the inquiring minds of young children.

Polymer Engineering Researchers Report Novel Use of Aerogels in Capturing Airborne Nanoparticles

Aerogels are extremely light, 90-95% porous solids filled with air with pore diameter between 2-200 nm. For reference, the diameter of human hair is typically 100,000 nm. The thermal insulation properties of aerogel materials have been exploited for decades.

Dr. Kevin Cavicchi recognized as 2016 top 10 reviewer for Soft Matter

Congratulations Dr. Kevin Cavicchi for being recognized as a top 10 reviewer of Soft Matter in 2016.

UA student brings science lessons to children of Ghana
Alex Nyarko, who is earning a doctorate in polymer science at UA, brings science lessons to where the children are in his native Ghana.
K-12 Polymer Outreach in September

September is a busy month for Akron Global Polymer Academy (AGPA) outreach. On Wednesday, September 14th, AGPA paid a visit to Firestone High School and visited biology teacher Josh Oldham, a participant in this summer’s Research Experience for Teachers. Mr. Oldham taught the lesson he developed during that time.

Sandia National Laboratories and UA to collaborate in materials science
This latest collaboration for the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering will enable new discovery and innovation for both institutions.
September Safety Focus: BACK TO THE BASICS

The September Safety Focus is BACK TO THE BASICS. Please review the UPDATED Lab Safety Rules.

UA’s polymer college offers one-of-a-kind program in the U.S.
New professional master’s degree blends coursework across polymer science and engineering with classes in business and law.
Celebration of generous donation to Polymer College

As a leader in polymer science and polymer engineering, the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering (CPSPE) continues to focus on polymer innovations and applications of research. In order to achieve these goals, the College develops industry partnerships and offers state-of-the-art facilities and cutting edge equipment to faculty, students, and industry.

On August 30, 2016 the College held an event to celebrate Babcock & Wilcox’s (B&W) generous donation of Raman spectroscopy equipment installed in the National Polymer Innovation Center.

University of Akron researchers find thin layers of water can become ice-like at room temperature spotlights the work of Dr. Ali Dhinojwala and graduate students Nishad Dhopatkar and Adrian Defante into the behavior of thin layers of water between two charged surfaces. It turns out the water exhibits ice-like tendencies at room temperature. The research could lead to better ways to minimize friction in a variety of settings.

ACS POLY-PMSE Student Chapter at The University of Akron is established

We are pleased to announce that the student run organization affiliated with the American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Polymer Chemistry (POLY) and the Division of Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering (PMSE) is now at The University of Akron.

Welcome New Students to the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering!

The College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering (CPSPE) is preparing for the start of another fantastic semester as it welcomed over one hundred new students from ten different countries at the new student orientation on Friday, August 26, 2016. Forty-one PhD students, 4 Masters students, and 56 Akron Masters Program students were welcomed to the Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering programs.

The super-organism behind Nature’s skyscraper

The international publication Laboratory News features the research of Dr. Hunter King, Assistant Professor of Polymer Science and Biology, regarding the mounding behavior of termites and the impact on passive human architecture.

Dean Emeritus Frank N. Kelley speaks to rising leaders in the Akron community

As part of Leadership Akron’s Class 33 Akron City Tour, Dr. Frank N. Kelley, Dean Emeritus of The University of Akron’s College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, spoke Wednesday at UA’s Goodyear Polymer Center to rising leaders in the Akron community. Dr. Kelley is an alumnus of both the University and the Leadership Akron program. His grandson, also Frank Kelley, who is part of the current Jr. Leadership class, joined members of the current Signature Class 33 for the talk entitled “Background and Importance of Polymers for the Akron Region and Ohio”.

WXIX-TV and WOIO-TV report that UA alum Dr. Murthy Simhambhatla has been named CEO and President of Alphaeon Corporation

ALPHAEON Corporation, a social commerce company in lifestyle healthcare, today announced that Murthy Simhambhatla PhD has been appointed CEO and President by the ALPHAEON Board of Directors. Dr. Simhambhatla replaces Robert E. Grant who was recently appointed as Vice Chairman of the ALPHAEON Board of Directors.