2021 PMSE CME Student & Mentor Awards–ACS Global Outstanding Graduate Student & Mentor Awards in Polymer Science and Engineering

2021 Award Winner

The ACS Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering (PMSE) and the Chemical Marketing & Economics Topical Group of the American Chemical Society (CME), are proud to announce the winners of the ACS Global Outstanding Graduate Student Award in Polymer Science and Engineering and the ACS Global Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award in Polymer Science and Engineering.  The winners and their mentors will present their work at the “POLY: Fourth CME NASA Symposium: Chemistry for Resilient Human Space Exploration,” and will be recognized at the symposium afternoon session on August 23, 2021 (registration: www.cme-stem.org) as well as acknowledged at the PMSE/POLY Plenary Lecture and Awards Reception on Wednesday, August 25, 2021.

Dr. Austin M. Evans

Austin M. Evans is currently exploring the interface of chemistry and physics as a postdoctoral research scientist working under the guidance of Latha Venkataraman and Colin Nuckolls at Columbia University. Austin completed his Ph.D. as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow at Northwestern University with William R. Dichtel, where he studied the polymerization of macromolecular sheets. Austin is passionate about scientific mentorship, which drove his multi-year involvement in the MORE@NU mentoring program.

Dr. Evans will present his work, “Two-Dimensional Polymers and Their Applications” in the “POLY: Fourth CME NASA Symposium: Chemistry for Resilient Human Space Exploration,” at the upcoming ACS meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Adam’s mentor is Professor William Ditchel.


Prof. William Ditchel

Prof. William (Will) Ditchel was born in Houston, Texas, but spent most of his impressionable years growing up in Roanoke, Virginia. He was an undergraduate student at MIT, then earned his PhD at UC-Berkeley under the supervision of Prof. Jean M. J. Fréchet. He next moved to Los Angeles for a joint postdoctoral appointment with Prof. Fraser Stoddart, then at UCLA, and Prof. Jim Heath, then at Caltech. Prof. Dichtel began his independent career in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell University in 2008 and moved to Northwestern University in the summer of 2016 as the Robert L. Letsinger Professor of Chemistry.

Prof. Ditchel will present his work, “Synthesis Supramolecular Polymerization of Nanotubes Based on Protonation-Induced Assembly of Macrocycles” in the “POLY: Fourth CME NASA Symposium: Chemistry for Resilient Human Space Exploration,” at the upcoming ACS meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. Prof. Ditchel’s mentee is Dr. Austin Evans.


Dr. Qi Zhang

Dr. Zhang obtained his BSc (2015) and PhD degree (2020) at East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST, Shanghai, China). He completed his PhD thesis about dynamic supramolecular materials in the group of Prof. He Tian (ECUST), which was awarded as the winner of IUPAC-Solvay International Award for Young Chemists in 2020. In Nov. 2019, he joined the Feringa group as a visiting researcher and started his postdoc position since May, 2020. He will continue to pursue the intriguing chemistry of disulfide polymers in Feringa group under the funding of Marie-Curie Individual Fellowship.

Dr. Zhang will present his work, “The road to intrinsically dynamic materials: disulfide chemistry as a solution” in the “POLY: Fourth CME NASA Symposium: Chemistry for Resilient Human Space Exploration,” at the upcoming ACS meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Zhang’s mentor is Professor He Tian and his Co-Mentor is Professor Ben Feringa.


Prof. He Tian

Prof. He Tian is member of the Chinese Academy of Science and Fellow of the TWAS – the World Academy of Science – for the advancement of science in developing countries. His current research interests include supramolecular machines and switches and development of interdisciplinary material science that determine the electronic and optical properties of materials. He serves now as Vice President of Chinese Chemical Society. Prof. Tian is now Associate Editors of ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces and Science China: Chem. He has been listed as a Highly Cited Researcher in Chemistry (2014-2020 by Web of Science).

Prof. Tian will present his work, “Dynamic Assembling for Smart Materials” in the “POLY: Fourth CME NASA Symposium: Chemistry for Resilient Human Space Exploration,” at the upcoming ACS meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. Prof. Tian’s mentee is Dr. Qi Zhang.


Prof. Ben Feringa

Prof. Ben L. Feringa obtained his PhD degree at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands under the guidance of Professor Hans Wynberg. After working as a research scientist at Shell in the Netherlands and the UK, he was appointed in 1988 full professor at the University of Groningen and named the Jacobus H. van’t Hoff Distinguished Professor of Molecular Sciences in 2004. He was elected Foreign Honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is member and vice-president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences. In 2008 he was appointed Academy Professor and was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands. In 2016 he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on molecular machines development. His research interests includes stereochemistry, organic synthesis, asymmetric catalysis, optopharma, molecular switches and motors, self-assembly and molecular nanosystems..

Prof. Feringa will present his work, “Molecular Motors for Responsive Materials” in the “POLY: Fourth CME NASA Symposium: Chemistry for Resilient Human Space Exploration,” at the upcoming ACS meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. Prof. Feringa’s mentee is Dr. Qi Zhang.