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Christopher Soles – 2017 PMSE Chair Message

Fellow members of PMSE,

I am humbled to introduce myself as your 2017 Chair of the PMSE Division.  It is my privilege to serve as the next leader of this storied Division of the American Chemical Society.  You might not realize this, but in 2024 our Division will celebrate our 100th anniversary!  That’s a century of polymer science and engineering! 

My day job is in the Materials Science and Engineering Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg Maryland where I lead our Functional Polymers Group.  I have worked at NIST for 19 years where our mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.  This places my own research at the interface between the academic and industrial research communities, a vantage point that is well situated to represent the diversity in PMSE’s membership.  I have served PMSE is a range of capacities, including 3 years as a Technical Program Chair, 2 years as Treasurer, one year as Chair-Elect, one year as Vice Chair, and in 2017 am proud to be your Chair. 

I am passionate about the health of PMSE and committed to increasing the level of service that we provide our members.  Members service is a topic that we here in the PMSE leadership team discuss frequently.  In a time when memberships in professional societies are generally on the decline, the PMSE leadership team is actively searching for ways to enhance to the professional careers of our members and the global health of the polymer science and engineering community.  This passion is reflected in our mission, vision, and core strengths:


To provide a polymer-based forum for the exchange of technical information and foster interactions in materials science and engineering.


A community of polymer scientists and engineers equipped to solve global challenges.


  • Adaptive technical programming at the cutting-edge of polymer science and engineering
  • Access to global network of experts in polymer science and engineering
  • Dedication to the career development of all members

The PMSE leadership team is passionate and dedicated about providing this service to our members.  But we cannot do this unless we hear from you.  As your 2017 Chair, I welcome you to contact me directly (; 301-975-8087) if you have suggestions on how we can better achieve our mission.  To serve our members, we need feedback on how we are doing.

As I transition into this role, I would like to take moment to personally thank our past chair, Dr. Qinghuang Lin from IBM, for his tireless service as your 2016 Chair.  Dr. Lin was personally responsible for several key initiatives that have significantly impacted on the PMSE Community worldwide.  Some of his key initiatives include:

  • Joint programming and scientific exchanges between the Chinese Academies of Science and PMSE
  • Establishment of the Chemistry of Materials Outstanding Paper Award in collaboration with the Inorganic Chemistry Division
  • Establishment of the CME International Graduate Student Award in collaboration with the ACS New York Section

These are tangible, long-standing developments that directly enhance our members.  We all owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Lin for his dedication and perseverance.

Here at PMSE we are always interested in cultivating the next generation of leadership to move our Division forward into the next century.  If you are interested in volunteering or getting involved, please do not hesitate to contact me.  We would love to hear from you.

One of the greatest benefits that we provide our members is up-to-date, dynamic, and flexible programming at the ACS National Meetings every Spring and Fall.  Our technical program chairs encourage you to contact them directly with ideas for future symposia.  For 2017 our Technical Program Chairs are:

Dr. Chad Snyder, NIST, char.snyder@…
Prof. Brad Olsen, MIT, bdolsen@…
Prof. Xinqiao Jia, U Delaware, xjia@…
Dr. Alexander Norman, Exxon Mobil, alexander.norman@…

Here at PMSE we are committed to have a balance in our Technical Program Chairs with representation from industry, academia, and government.  We strongly encourage our members to submit ideas for future symposia from all three of these sectors.  Diversity is key to a healthy society.  We also strongly encourage our foreign members to consider submitting ideas for symposia.  This is an underrepresented aspect of our programming that we would like to address.   IF you have never organized a symposium for PMSE, I would strongly recommend it.  It can be a very rewarding experience.  And having personally organized symposia for several of our sister societies, I can personally attest that support infrastructure in PMSE is unmatched.  We are here to make your job easy.  I highly recommend giving it a try.  Just contact any of the Technical Program Chairs above with your ideas and we can get the ball rolling.

To see what PMSE symposia are currently on the docket, check out our future programming link.  PMSE typically likes to support approximately 10 to 12 technical symposia per National Meeting.  


Christopher L. Soles
Material Sci. & Eng. Division,
Materials Measurement Laboratory
100 Bureau Drive
Gaithersburg, MD  20899-8541

Christopher Soles, 2017 PMSE Chair