The University of Akron (UA) is celebrating its sesquicentennial anniversary this year and the first semester-long course titled “Chemistry of India Rubber” was taught 130 years ago in 1910. Since then, the production of plastics and rubber has surpassed all other materials, such as metals, by weight and volume. Northeast Ohio is recognized as the Polymer Valley with around 2,400 polymer related companies and 50% of the North American plastics processed within a 250 miles radius of Akron.
The School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering's research is carrying forward this tradition in developing the next generation of polymers for energy storage and harvesting; polymers using sustainable resources; polymers for controlled drug release and biomedical applications; and polymeric materials inspired by natural materials. Our faculty members and students are leading the effort in developing new chemistry and processes for our sustainable future.
Please explore our Research Clusters below to learn more about our ongoing research and potential opportunities to collaborate in these new emerging areas.