The Cooperative Research Award in Polymer Science and Engineering is given to recognize the cooperative research between industrial and academic or industrial and national laboratory scientists. The cooperative research must be of significant importance to polymer science and technology.


This award can be an individual award or can be shared by a team comprised of an academic and an industrial scientist or a scientist from national laboratory and an industrial scientist. (Teams of more than two people may be considered.) The awardee(s) is(are) expected to give a lecture at the Spring ACS National Meeting. The award is composed of a $5000 prize, which will be split equally if there are two (or more) awardees. There will also be a plaque, and up to a total of $3000 travel allowance (not to exceed $1500 per person), which can be split equally if there are two (or more) awardees, to attend the meeting, give the lecture, and to be presented with the award.


The award was originally established in the fall of 1992 and is supported by a generous gift from the Eastman Kodak Company.


The nominee(s) for this award must have a documented record (patents, publications, etc.) of sustained, intensive cooperative and collaborative research across the university/industry or national laboratory/industry interface.


Nominations are to be submitted by August 15 of each year to the Chair of the PMSE Cooperative Research Award Committee.

The nomination should include brief curriculum vitae of the candidate(s) and significant evidence of the collaborative research including supporting letter(s) explaining the significance of the research. If the research is carried out by a group of scientists from academia, national laboratory, or industry, the nomination should also highlight the contributions made by each researcher in the group.

Nominations will be reviewed by the PMSE Cooperative Research Award Committee.  The  2020 Cooperative Research Award deadline will be on August 15, 2019.  Please forward applications to Professor Sadhan C. Jana [Email]

2019 Award Winner: Dr. Christopher Stafford¹, Dr. Edwin Chan¹, Prof. Michael Hickner², Prof. Coray Colina³, Dr. James Sturnfield*, Dr. Steven Rosenberg*, and Dr. Abhishek Roy*

¹NIST, ²Penn State, ³University of Florida, *Dow Chemical

The 2019 Cooperative Research Award in Applied Polymer Science recognizes the team of researchers from NIST, Pennsylvania State University, University of Florida, and Dow Chemical for their work on improved materials for reverse osmosis (RO) desalination membranes. The collaborative research team is represented by Dr. Christopher Stafford (NIST), Dr. Edwin Chan (NIST), Professor Michael Hickner (Penn State), Professor Coray Colina (University of Florida), Dr. James Sturnfield (Dow Chemical), Dr. Steven Rosenberg (Dow Chemical), and Dr. Abhishek Roy (Dow Chemical).  This collaborative team from industrial, government and academic research laboratories delivered quantitative models to explain current performance limits and to guide future improvements of RO membrane materials. The work resulted in major breakthroughs in the understanding of the water purification membranes that play a central role in addressing water crisis. The team is credited with simultaneous development of homogenous membrane materials with systematic structural variations, advanced analytical techniques to quantify materials structure, and integrated computational models in a manner that establish fundamental structure-property-processing relationship for RO membranes.

The team was led by Dr. Christopher M. Stafford from NIST. Dr. Stafford received PhD in Polymer Science and Engineering from UMass Amherst and has been at NIST since 2001, first as a post-doctoral researcher (2001-2004) and then as a research staff of Materials Science and Engineering Division. Dr. Edwin P. Chan of NIST received PhD in Polymer Science and Engineering from UMass Amherst and has been working at NIST since 2011. He is currently the project leader of Mechanics of Polymers and Interfaces program at NIST. Professor Michael Hickner is an associate professor of Materials Science and Engineering Department at Penn State. He received PhD in Chemical Engineering at Virginia Tech, worked at Sandia National Laboratory first as a post-doctoral fellow (2003-4) and then as a senior member of the technical staff (2004-7), and joined Penn State in 2007 as an assistant professor of Materials Science and Engineering Department. Professor Coray M. Collina currently a professor of chemistry at University of Florida Gainesville received PhD degree in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University and worked at Penn State during 2007-15 as an associate professor of Materials Science and Engineering. Dr. Steven Rosenberg is currently a research fellow at Dow Waters and Process Solutions of Dow Chemical Company. Dr. Rosenberg received PhD degree in organometallic chemistry from Penn State. Dr. James Sturnfield received PhD is mathematics from Purdue University and has been working at Dow Chemical since 2005 as a research scientist. He recently served as the manager of the project on reverse osmosis membrane modeling-structure relations. Dr. Abhishek Roy is currently at Dow Chemical as a Lead R&D Manager. Dr. Roy received PhD in Macromolecular Science and Engineering at Virginia Tech.


For more information, contact Professor Sadhan C. Jana, University of Akron, Chairman, PMSE Cooperative Research Award Committee, Telephone:  330-972-8293, janas@uakron.edu.

Past Winners



Jean M. J. Fréchet, Cornell University
Hiroshi Ito, IBM
C. Grant Willson, University of Texas at Austin, previously IBM


Leo Mandelkern, Florida State University
C. Stanley Speed and Ferdinand C. Stehling, Exxon Corp.


Ray H. Baughman, Allied-Signal


Henry K. Hall, Jr., University of Arizona


Lynda K. Johnson, DuPont
Maurice Brookhart, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


Jose E. Valentini, Sterling Diagnostic Imaging
Yee C. Chiew, Leslie J. Fina, John Q. Jiang, Rutgers University


James A. Schwindeman, FMC Corporation
Roderic P. Quirk, University of Akron


P.S. Chum, Dow Chemical Company
Anne Hiltner, Case Western Reserve University


Benny Freeman, University of Texas at Austin
Ingo Pinnau, Membrane Technology and Research


Craig Hawker, IBM Almaden Research Center
Thomas Russell, University of Massachusetts, Amherst


Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Carnegie Mellon University


Frank W. Harris, University of Akron
Bruce K. Winker, Rockwell International
Stephen Z. D. Cheng, University of Akron


Steven D. Smith, Proctor and Gamble
Richard J. Spontak, North Carolina State University


Alec Scranton, University of Iowa
Christopher Bowman, University of Colorado at Boulder
Joe Oxman, 3M Corporation
Michael Idacavage, Cytec Industries
John Woods, Henkel Corporation
Donald Herr, National Starch and Chemical


Frank S. Bates, University of Minnesota
Glenn H. Fredrickson, University of California, Santa Barbara
Edward J. Kramer, University of California, Santa Barbara
Dennis A. Hucul, Dow Chemical Company
Stephen F. Hahn, Dow Chemical Company


Robert M. Waymouth, Stanford University
James Hedrick, IBM Almaden Research Center


Nikos Hadjichristidis, University of Athens
David J. Lohse, ExxonMobil Co.


Timothy E. Long, Virginia Tech
Carl L. Willis, Kraton Polymers, LLC


Timothy Bunning, Air Force Research Laboratory
Timothy White, Air Force Research Laboratory
Nelson Tabiryan, BEAM Engineering


Emanuel Gianneliskern, Cornell University
Clois Powell, Texas State University
Gary Beal, Texas State University


Benjamin S. Hsiao, Stony Brook University
Andy H. Tsou, ExxonMobil Chemical Company


Brian Benicewicz, University of South Carolina
Gordon Calundann, Celanese Corporation


Edmund Elce, Promerus LLC/Sumitomo Bakelite Co. Ltd.
Paul A. Kohl, Georgia Institute of Technology


Dr. John Rabolt, University of Delaware, Formerly IBM Almaden Research Center
Dr. D. Bruce Chase, DuPont


Dr. Christopher Stafford, NIST 
Dr. Edwin Chan, NIST
Professor Michael Hickner, Penn State
Professor Coray Colina, University of Florida
Dr. James Sturnfield, Dow Chemical
Dr. Steven Rosenberg, Dow Chemical
Dr. Abhishek Roy, Dow Chemical