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Charles G. Overberger Award

The Charles G. Overberger International Prize for Excellence in Polymer Research recognizes an outstanding researcher or team for significant contributions in further polymer education.

2021 Award Winner

Prof. Zhenan Bao
Stanford University

The 2021 recipient of the Chares G. Overberger Awards goes to Dr. Zhenan Bao at Stanford University.

Sponsored By

Co-sponsored by PMSE, this award is administered by POLY and presented biennially. Please see the POLY division page for additional details.

Award Selection

The award is presented biennially by the American Chemical Society POLY Division with support from the PMSE Division.

Past Recipients

Nominations and Award Process


The recipient will present an address at the following Annual Macromolecular Science & Engineering Symposium (typically held in October). Travel expenses, a monetary prize, and a plaque will be present at this special event. The recipient will also receive special recognition at the Spring ACS National Meeting of the same year.


This award was established in 2013 in honor of Charles G. Overberger, an American chemist specializing in polymer research and education. He was an internationally known expert on organic polymer chemistry and adviser, consultant, editor or author of hundreds of technical papers.

Charles G. Overberger (1920-1997) was awarded a B.S. in 1941 at the Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D at the University of Illinois in 1944, where he continued to work as a research assistant for two years. From 1946 to 1947, he had a DuPont Post-Doctoral Fellowship at MIT, then became assistant professor of Chemistry at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. In 1951, he became professor and associate direction of the Polymer Research Institute. Between 1955 and 1963, he was chairman of the chemistry department, and from 1964 to 1967 Dean of Science and Director of the Polymer Research Institute. He was president of the American Chemical Society in 1967.

He joined the University of Michigan as a processor and chair of chemistry, where he also acted as the Vice President for research from 1972 to 1983. He founded the Macromolecular Research Center in 1968 and was director until 1987.


A nominee must me a member or affiliate of the POLY Division of ACS.


Nomination packages should be sent by email as a single PDF file to Julie Pollak  ( Full details of the current requirements can be found on the POLY Division webpage.

Full List of Award Winners

2021 Zhenan Bao

2019 Kenneth Wagener

2017 Craig Hawker

2015 Krysztof Matyjaszewsi

2013 James McGrath