Chemical engineering professor Judit Puskas named Austin Chemical Chair


Dr. Judit Puskas

University of Akron professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, Judit Puskas, was named the Austin Chemical Company, Inc. Chair holder in the UA College of Engineering. Through a gift to the University's College of Engineering, Illinois-based Austin Chemical Co., founded in 1976, is funding the position dedicated to education and research.

Puskas' selection as chair was based on her contributions to research and education and on generating interest among students to study chemical engineering.

"Dr. Puskas' commitment to recruiting top-quality chemical engineering students and preparing them to support industry needs not only enhances a critical talent pipeline, but also contributes significantly to the College of Engineering's reputation for academic excellence," says Dr. George K. Haritos, dean of the UA College of Engineering.

Wide-ranging research interests

Puskas earned a Ph.D. in plastics and rubber technology (polymer engineering) at the Technical University of Budapest, Hungary. Before launching her academic career in 1996, she was involved in polymer research and development in the microelectronic, paint and rubber industries. Her present research interests include green polymer chemistry, biomimetic processes and biomaterials, living/controlledpolymerizations, polymerization mechanisms and kinetics, thermoplastic elastomers and polymer structure/property relationships, and probing the polymer-bio interface.

Puskas is an editor of the new Interdisciplinary Reviews in Nanomedicine and NanoBiotechnology WIRE, published by Wiley-Blackwell. She also is a member of the European Polymer Journal advisory board.

Puskas has been published in more than 350 publications, including technical reports. She is an inventor or co-inventor of 26 U.S. patents and applications, and has chaired and organized several international conferences. Puskas was awarded her fourth National Science Foundation and first National Institutes of Health grant in 2010. She is the recipient of several awards, including the 1999 PEO (Professional Engineers of Ontario, Canada) Medal in Research and Development, a 2000 Premier's Research Excellence Award, the 2004 Mercator Professorship Award from the DFG (Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft, German Research Foundation), the LANXESS (previously Bayer) Industrial Chair 1998-2008, and the 2009 "Chemistry of Thermoplastic Elastomers" Award of the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society. She was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering AIMBE in 2010.

As a co-inventor of the polymer used on the Taxus® coronary stent, Puskas helped The University of Akron generate more than $5 million in license fees.

About Austin Chemical Company
Austin Chemical Co., headquartered in Buffalo Grove, Ill., continues to evolve into new areas of services and products supply. As Austin Chemical Co. steadily expands its global relationships with suppliers that offer new technologies, the company continues to grow the valued relationships with its historical suppliers and their associated expertise.

About The University of Akron
The University of Akron is the public research university for Northeast Ohio. The Princeton Review listed UA among the "Best in the Midwest" in its 2011 edition of Best Colleges: Region-by-Region. Nearly 30,000 students are enrolled in UA's 300 associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral and law degree programs and 100 certificate programs at sites in Summit, Wayne, Medina, Holmes and Cuyahoga counties. For more information, visit

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