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History and Mission


PMSE was founded in 1923 as the Paint and Varnish Section, holding it’s first meeting in 1924.  The Division was formed through sustained interest, with the original 1924 meeting rooms being too small to hold the number of people interested in the session content.  The core of the division was chemists and materials scientists working at varnish and paint manufacturers in both industry and academia. In the 1940s, the theoretical research in the polymer field was expanding, and polymerization was spreading into other divisions.  This led to a collaboration of of a High Polymer Forum to cut across multiple aspects of the chemical industry.  In 1949, the Division of High Polymer Chemistry was formed to focus on synthesis and core research of polymers.  Now know as the the Division of Polymer, both division collaborate on joint programming and members can be found within both divisions.

Over the years, the interests of the Division’s members have come to include adhesives, biomedical polymers, composites, polymers for electronic applications, plastics, and many other areas of applied polymer science and technology in addition to traditional coatings-related topics.  The name was changed in 1986 to better reflect the reflect the division’s focus on the nexus of polymeric materials, science, and engineering.

The principal objective of the Division is to promote interest in, and the understanding of, applied polymer science.  This is achieved through regular meetings, publications, professional contacts, and discussions.  Since its founding, the Division has regularly participated in American Chemical Society National Meetings.  The Division frequently co-sponsors symposia with other ACS Divisions and is an active participant in the Macromolecular, Biotechnology, Catalysis & Surface Science, and Materials Science Secretariats. 

PMSE also sponsors topical workshops in conjunction with its technical meetings to provide tutorial reviews of technologically significant fields.  Program planning and operations are carried out by member volunteers.  Your participation is encouraged and welcomed.

Core Principles


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