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Cooperative Research Award in Polymer Science and Engineering

The Cooperative Research Award in Polymer Science and Engineering recognizes the cooperative research between industrial and academic or industrial and national laboratory scientists

2024 Award Winner

Frank S. Bates1, Hung-Jue Sue2, Nikhil Verghese3, Ha Pham4

1University of Minnesota, 2Texas A&M University, 3 Dow Chemical Company (Currently SABIC), 4 Dow Chemical Company (retired)

The Cooperative Research Award in Polymer Science and Engineering recognizes the cooperative research between industrial and academic or industrial and national laboratory scientists. The winners of the 2024 Cooperative Research Award are the collaborative research team of Hung-Jue Sue at Texas A&M University, Frank S. Bates at the University of Minnesota, Nikhil Verghese at the Dow Chemical Co. (currently SABIC) and Ha Pham at The Dow Chemical Co. (retired).

Frank S. Bates
University of Minnesota
Frank S. Bates, University of Minnesota
Hung-Jue Sue
Texas A&M University
Hung-Jue, Sue Texas A&M University
Ha Pham
Dow Chemical Company (retired)
Ha Pham, Dow Chemical Company (retired)
Nihkil Verghese,
Dow Chemical Company (Currently SABIC)
Nihkil Verghese, Dow Chemical Company (Currently SABIC)

This close collaboration between industrial and academic researchers addressed the challenge of toughening epoxy resins while enhancing processing performance for industrial applications. The awardees discovered and developed block copolymers of ethylene oxide and butylene oxide that microphase segregate on curing to form nanoscale spherical and “worm-like micelles”. Adding 5% by weight to an epoxy formulation increased the fracture toughness by up to 1900% and more than doubled the elongation at break, accompanied by a reduction in resin viscosity. In a productive collaboration spanning many years, Prof. Frank Bates developed the block copolymers, Prof. Hung-Jue Sue investigated the toughening mechanism, and Dr. Nikhil Verghese and Mr. Ha Pham of The Dow Chemical Company leveraged this understanding to produce commercial products. Their success resulted in 5 papers, 2 series of 21 patents, and a profitable new business for Dow with a family of products trademarked Fortegra™ (currently sold by Olin Corporation).

Some selected publications are below:

Toughening of Epoxies with Block Copolymer Micelles of Wormlike Morphology
Macromolecules 2010, 43, 17, 7238–7243.

Effect of crosslink density on fracture behavior of model epoxies containing block copolymer nanoparticles
Polymer 2009, 50, 19, 4683-4689.

Nanocavitation in Self-Assembled Amphiphilic Block Copolymer-Modified Epoxy
Macromolecules 2008, 41, 20, 7616–7624

Award Details

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. The award is composed of a $5000 prize and $3000 travel allowance shared between the team to present at the Spring ACS national conference.

History

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

Nominations

Nominations are to be submitted by August 1 of each year to the Chair of the PMSE Cooperative Research Award Committee. Nominations will be reviewed by the PMSE Cooperative Research Award Committee. 

Please forward applications to Dr. Howard Creel, 3M [Email]

Award Selection

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.

Past Recipients

Award and Nomination Summary

Purpose

PMSE encourages the development of collaborations across various disciplines and companies. 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 importance to polymer science and technology.

Rules of Eligibility

The award is granted to emerging or established researchers, and nominations are welcome from all sectors of industry, government, and academia. 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.)

Award nominations include members of the PMSE Division.

Nominations Process

Nominations are to be submitted by August 1 for consideration for the award selection process awarding the next calendar year. Submissions should be sent to the Chair of the Committee.

The nomination should include a brief curriculum vitae of the candidate(s) and documentation or 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.

The 2025 Cooperative Research Award deadline will be on August 1, 2024.  Please forward applications or questions on nomination submissions to Dr. Howard Creel, 3M [Email]

Award Selection

Nominations will be reviewed by the PMSE Cooperative Research Award Committee. A award selection will be made based on the review by the award committee.

Award Announcement and Nature

The Cooperative Research Award is announced in December for the next calendar year. The awardee(s) is(are) expected to give a lecture with an associated symposium 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.

Past Award Winners

1994

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

1995

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

1996

Ray H. Baughman, Allied-Signal

1997

Henry K. Hall, Jr., University of Arizona

1998

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

1999

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

2000

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

2001

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

2002

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

2003

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

2004

Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Carnegie Mellon University

2005

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

2006

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

2007

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

2008

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

2009

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

2010

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

2011

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

2013

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

2014

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

2015

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

2016

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

2017

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

2018

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

2019

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

2020

Professor Christopher Bowman, University of Colorado
Professor Timothy Scott, University of Michigan
Dr. Ahmed Abuelyaman, 3M
Dr. Peter Bissinger, 3M
Dr. Bradley Craig, 3M
Karsten Dede, 3M
Dr. Timothy Dunbar, 3M
Dr. Adrian Eckert, 3M
Dr. Babu Gaddam, 3M retiree
Dr. Guy Joly, 3M
Dr. Larry Krepski, 3M retiree
Dr. Joe Oxman, 3M

2021

Eric W. Cochran, Iowa State University
Donald Sjogren, Seneca Petroleum
R. Christopher Williams, Iowa State University

2022

Charles L.Liotta, Georgia Institute of Technology
Bharat I. Chaudhary, Dow Chemical Company
Jeffrey M. Cogen, Dow Chemical Company

2023

Tyler Culp, Penn State University
Enrique Gomez, Penn State University
Manish Kumar, University of Texas at Austin
Mou Paul, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Abhishek Roy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Jeffrey Wilbur, DuPont