Cooperative Research Award in Polymer Science and Engineering


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]

2020 Award Winners

Ahmed Abuelyaman¹, Peter Bissinger¹, Christopher Bowman², Bradley Craig¹, Karsten Dede¹, Timothy Dunbar¹, Adrian Eckert¹, Babu Gaddam¹, Guy Joly¹, Larry Krepski¹, Joe Oxman¹, and Timothy Scott³

¹ 3M, ² University of Colorado at Boulder, ³ University of Michigan

The 2020 Cooperative Research Award in Polymer Science & Engineering recognizes the team of researchers from University of Colorado, University of Michigan and 3M for their collaborative research efforts that resulted in a novel technical solution to address the critical problem of shrinkage stress in crosslinked photopolymerized systems using addition fragmentation monomer (AFM) technology and successfully employing this approach to enable several significant product applications. The collaborative research team is represented by 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) and Dr. Joe Oxman (3M).

There are an array of industries and markets that rely on photopolymerized, cross-linkable materials which are used in coatings, adhesives, tissue engineering, photolithography, microfluidics, 3D printing and restorative dental materials. The inherent shrinkage and the associated stress that accompanies the polymerization of materials such as methacrylates and acrylates have resulted in critical material and application limitations across each of these areas for more than 50 years. Previously, numerous attempts and approaches had been attempted by both industrial and academic researchers to address this critical limitation without compromising other key application attributes and requirements. However, none had been fully successful in achieving a viable solution prior to connecting the independent and concurrent research efforts from the Bowman lab and a 3M R&D team in 2006. More specifically, both teams were focused on the aspirational concept of creating a photopolymerizable 4-5-mm-thick “bulk fill” dental composite filling material that could overcome the challenging technical limitations such as high shrinkage stress and the inability to light cure from top to bottom of the filling. In addition, the team could not compromise on other requirements including: excellent mechanical properties, wear resistance, esthetics and the desired handling characteristics. Traditionally, dental composites are placed by dentists in 2-2.5mm increments to mitigate the previously described limitations.  Elegant and seminal work by Bowman and Scott at the University of Colorado related to shrinkage stress reduction utilizing the concept of covalent adaptable networks (CAN’s) or more specifically polymerizable addition fragmentation monomers (AFM’s) was first published in 2005. 3M recognized this as groundbreaking work and supported the research and intellectual property protection which eventually resulted in a key patent being granted to the University of Colorado in 2011 on “Stress relaxation in crosslinked polymers.” Although the technology described in the new patent was a breakthrough, there remained significant limitations that prevented a commercially viable solution, namely difficulties with reactivity, color, and monomer synthesis.  A global team of 3M scientists took on the challenge of applying the “AFM” concept to develop a new class of innovative AFM’s that addressed these limitations. From 2008 through 2014, 3M researchers from multiple laboratories identified, developed, and commercialized an elegant customer-inspired solution utilizing advanced AFM technology as a foundational element to “address the stress”. With a license to commercialize the technology from the University of Colorado, combined with 3M intellectual property, 3M Oral Care Solutions Division has introduced three successful products into the market to date.

This cooperation between the University of Colorado, University of Michigan and 3M is a great example of the value of collaboration between academia and industry. Each participant brought complementary strengths to the table. These collaborations take time, commitment, and perseverance on all sides. In the long run, the scientific advancements and new product introductions make such collaborative investments worthwhile.

Past Winners

From 1994


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


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