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2021 PMSE Fellows Announced

The American Chemical Society Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering (PMSE) has selected a new class of PMSE Fellows for 2021.  The following distinguished PMSE members have been chosen: Gregory Beaucage, Christina U. Thomas, and Bryan D. Vogt. They will be inducted as the twenty first class of PMSE Fellows. PMSE is pleased to welcome this distinguished group of polymer scientists and engineers to the ranks of fellows.  Here is a short description of each of their careers and accomplishments:

Gregory Beaucage – University of Cincinnati

For the development of the Unified Scattering Function and the first use of ellipsometry to study the glass transition in polymers.”

Dr.Greg Beaucage has worked for more than 30 years in polymer science. During this time, he has made major contributions to the use of X-ray, neutrons, and light to understand structure and thermodynamics of polymers and nano-materials. Beaucage’s main contribution is the Unified Scattering Function which enables the study of a variety of disordered materials that display hierarchical structure. The use of the Unified Function has paralleled and enhanced the dramatic development of scattering instrumentation covering wide q-ranges at high flux synchrotron sources around the world. Beaucage has used the Unified Function to study polymers in good solvent, branched polymers with quantification of branch content, star polymers, cyclics, protein folding, graphene and other crumpled planar structures, swollen networks, worm-like micelles, mass-fractal aggregates including studies of diesel engine exhaust streams and soot in flames, printed electronics, and bilayer membranes. Beaucage has also published significant work in the study of crystalline and nanoparticulate orientation in polymer films, and correlation of orientation at multiple length scales with transport, optical, and mechanical properties. Beaucage also pioneered the study of in situ measurements of nanoparticle aggregate growth in flames for the manufacture of polymer pigment and reinforcing filler materials. Beaucage’s work has recently focused on quantification of nanocomposite dispersion using X-ray scattering and thermodynamic, structural, and dynamic studies of worm-like micelles. Beaucage has been active in links between US, UK and African Universities (Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Africa, and Lesotho) in the creation of university spinoff small businesses targeting social development. This work was spurred from a large collaborative project funded by the US Department of State in partnership with the University of Cape Town, Nanopower Africa, which Beaucage directed. Recently the work was supported by a multi-year Fulbright Global Scholar award. He was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2008.

Dr. Cato T. Laurencin – University of Connecticut

“For fundamental, critical, and ground breaking contributions to polymeric materials science and engineering applied to musculoskeletal repair and regeneration.”

Dr. Cato T. Laurencin is the University Professor and Professor of Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Connecticut. He is the Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Chief Executive Officer at the Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering at the University of Connecticut. He received his B.S.E. in chemical engineering from Princeton, his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology from M.I.T. and his M.D., Magna Cum Laude from the Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Laurencin is known as a world leader in biomaterials, polymeric materials science, nanotechnology, stem cell science, drug delivery systems, and regenerative engineering, a field he has pioneered. He has made fundamental and seminal contributions to polymeric materials science and engineering, including the introduction of nanotechnology into the biomaterials field for regeneration. He has created polymer-ceramic systems for the regeneration of hard tissues for which he was named one of the ‘100 Engineers of the Modern Era’ by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Dr. Laurencin is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS), a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE) and received the William Grimes Award and James Bailey Awards from AICHE. He is the recipient of the Percy Julian Medal and was the Henry A. Hill Distinguished Lecturer for the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers and the ACS. In engineering, medicine, science, and technology, he is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering, an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

He is the first individual in history to receive both the oldest/highest awards from the National Academy of Engineering (the Simon Ramo Founder’s Award) and the National Academy of Medicine (the Walsh McDermott Medal). He received the Philip Hague Abelson Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), awarded for “signal contributions to the advancement of science in the United States” for his work in Regenerative Engineering. For his groundbreaking work benefiting humanity, he received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the United States’ highest honor for technological achievement.

Dr. Cristina U. Thomas – 3M

“For inventions and management leadership in using polymeric materials and processes delivering energy savings, worker’s safety, and traffic safety products.”

Dr. Cristina Thomas has more than 27 years of technical and leadership experience in research and development organizations in the Venezuelan oil industry, in IBM (New York) and in 3M (Minnesota). She has undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. She has had a variety of assignments including Global R&D Services Leader, Senior Technical Leader for the Corporate R&D organization, Strategy Manager, Laboratory Manager and Commercialization Manager for the Traffic Safety and Security Division, Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) Technical Black Belt in the former Building Safety Solutions Division and Group Leader of the Materials Modeling Group in the former Advanced Materials Technology Center. Today, her team is responsible for providing services to the R&D community at 3M, including knowledge discovery and analytics, global technical learning and collaboration, government R&D contracts, and global R&D processes. She received the 2019 AIChE Industry Leadership Award and the 2019 AICHE Management Division Award. She has a passion for organizations that move new technologies into markets, for organizational change management and for women’s leadership in science, and engineering. She lives in Stillwater, Minn., with her husband and three children.

Professor Bryan D. Vogt – Pennsylvania State University

“For fundamental and practical contributions to the understanding of the influence of interfaces on the properties of polymers”

Bryan D. Vogt is currently a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. His research interests center around polymer processing and polymers at interfaces. Areas of particular interest include use of block copolymers as templates for functional materials, materials innovation for 3D printing, polymers in nanoconfinement, and structure-properties of hydrophobically modified hydrogels. He received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University and a Ph.D also in chemical engineering from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2003. He was the recipient of an NRC postdoctoral fellowship in 2002 at NIST in the Polymers Division, where he spent 4 years prior to starting his independent academic career. He is a member of ACS (PMSE Division), AIChE (MESD), and APS. He currently serves as an Associate Editor for ACS Applied Polymer Materials. His prior leadership roles in national organizations include stints as the chair of both the polymers area and the materials engineering and science division (MESD) for AIChE, fellowship committees for DPOLY and member at large for PMSE (ACS).