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Henkel Award for Outstanding Graduate Research in Polymer Science and Engineering

Henkel Award

Purpose

The Henkel Award for Outstanding Graduate Research in Polymer Science and Engineering is given to recognize a graduate student or recent graduate who has completed an outstanding Ph.D. thesis in polymeric research.

Nature

The award consists of a plaque, $2,000 honorarium, and travel support to attend the Fall ACS National Meeting in the year of the award. The award winner is invited to participate in a half-day symposium organized by the primary nominator (usually, the awardee’s thesis advisor). Additionally, the award will be presented at the joint POLY/PMSE awards presentation, typically on Wednesday evening.

History

The award was first awarded in 1991 and is operated under the Polymer Education Committee (POLYED), sponsored by the Polymer Chemistry Division and Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering Division. The award has been previously sponsored by Unilever (1991-2003), National Starch (2006-2008) and AzkoNobel (2008-2013). Since 2014, it has been sponsored by Henkel Corporation. As of 2017, the award scope was expanded to include nominees across all areas of polymer science and engineering.

Eligibility

A nominee must be a member or affiliate of the POLY or PMSE division of ACS and must currently be a PhD candidate or have earned their PhD during the three years prior to January 1 of the award year. Nominees are judged on the basis of their contribution to the thesis research, the quality and level of innovation demonstrated, the impact of their research on the science and technology of synthetic polymers or biopolymers, and their service and contributions to the broader community. Preference will be given to nominees who have not already been recognized by two or more ACS Awards with associated honorary symposia.

Nominations

Award package submission deadline is 25 January of each calendar year

Nominators must be a member or affiliate of the POLY or PMSE division and must be the nominee’s thesis supervisor or someone intimately familiar with the nominee’s work. A complete nomination package comprises:

  • Nominee’s Curriculum Vita (CV) including Education & Training, Awards & Honors, list of Publications, list of Conference Presentations, Professional Activities & Affiliations
  • Synopsis of nominee’s graduate work: 2 pages maximum
  • Nomination letter from the thesis advisor: 3 pages maximum
  • Up to two (2) letters supporting the nomination: 2 pages maximum per letter
  • Up to three (3) representative 1st author publications from the nominee’s graduate work.

Nominees are judged on the basis of their contribution to the thesis research, the quality and level of innovation demonstrated, and the impact of their research on the science and technology of synthetic polymers or biopolymers. Preference will be given to nominees who have not already been recognized by two or more ACS Awards with associated honorary symposia.

Complete nomination packages collated into a single PDF file containing the above items in the specified order should be sent by email to Prof. Jessica Kramer at Prof. Jessica Kramer (jessica.kramer@utah.edu). The title of the email should be “(Year) Henkel Graduate Award” where (Year) is the year of the nomination deadline.

About the Sponsor

Henkel values highly the development of outstanding scientists in the field of polymer science and engineering. Progress in the field is vital for the future development of high performance materials that will enhance current technologies and enable future ones. Thus, Henkel is proud to sponsor this award to demonstrate their commitment recognizing outstanding young scientists.

2021 Award Winner: Jill W. Alty

Advised by: Prof. Frank Leibfarth, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Jill Williamson Alty received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill under the direction of Prof. Frank Leibfarth and co-advised by Prof. Erik Alexanian. During her graduate studies, she developed new technologies and insights into polyolefin C-H functionalization. Her graduate work included studying mechanisms of C-H functionalization reactions, designing reagents for metal-free functionalization, and translating methods to perform these reactions within extruders. Jill also applied this chemistry towards upcycling post-consumer waste materials into ionomers. Currently, Jill is exploring the interface of chemistry and biology as a postdoctoral research scientist working with Prof. Laura Kiessling at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jill’s research accomplishments have been recognized with numerous awards including an ACS Excellence in Graduate Polymer Research award, the UNC Chemistry Department Venable Award Fellowship, and a Clare Boothe Luce Fellowship. Her passion for contributing to the research community is evident as she chaired the Ewha-Luce International Seminar in 2019 and is currently chairing the Polymers Gordon Research Seminar set for 2023. During her graduate studies, Jill was Communications Chair for the Allies for Minorities and Women in Science and Engineering group. She has continued her activism for equality in science within MIT’s Women+ in Chemistry organization.

The 2022 Henkel Award for Outstanding Graduate Research in Polymer Science & Engineering will be presented during a symposium in honor of Dr. Alty at the American Chemical Society National Meeting in Chicago, IL August 21-25, 2022 in the ACS Division of Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering. Over the last 30 years, this award has been jointly administered through the ACS Divisions of Polymer Chemistry (POLY) and Polymeric Materials: Science & Engineering (PMSE), with generous financial support from the Henkel Corporation.

Dr. Jill Alty

Past Winners (1991 – Now)

The previous sponsorship of this award by Unilever (1991-2003), National Starch (2006 – 2008), and AzkoNobel (2008-2013) is greatly appreciated.

1991
Christopher Gorman
Advised by: Robert Grubbs, California Institute of Technology

1992
Richard Register
Advised by:  Stuart Cooper, University of Wisconsin, Madison

1993
Christopher N. Bowman
Advised by: Nicholas Peppas, Purdue University

1994
Timothy J. Deming
Advised by:  Bruce Novak, University of California, Berkeley

1995
Rangaramanujam M. Kannan
Advised by: Julia Kornfield, California Institute of Technology

1996
Kristi S. Anseth
Advised by:  Christopher Bowman, University of Colorado at Boulder

1997
D.-Y. Kim
Advised by: Sukant K. Tripathy, University of Massachusetts Lowell

1998
James J. Watkins
Advised by:  Thomas J. McCarthy, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

1999
Scott G. Gaynor
Advised by: Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Carnegie Mellon University

2000
X. Linda Chen
Advised by:  Samson A. Jenekhe, University of Rochester

2001
Shu Yang
Advised by: Christopher K. Ober, Cornell University

2002
Kristi Kiick
Advised by:  David Tirrell, California Institute of Technology

2003
Christopher Bielawski
Advised by: Robert Grubbs, California Institute of Technology

2006
Jiaxing Huang
Advised by:  Richard Kaner, UCLA

2007
Jason Rolland
Advised by: Joseph DiSimone, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2008
Nikolay Tsarevsky
Advised by:  Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Carnegie Mellon University

2009
Christopher Bettinger
Advised by: Robert Langer, MIT

2010
Haifeng Gao
Advised by:  Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Carnegie Mellon University

2011
Rong Tong
Advised by: Jianjun Cheng, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2012
Garret Miyake
Advised by:  Eugene Chen, Colorado State University

2013
Hua Lu
Advised by: Jianjun Cheng, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2014
Felix Kim
Advised by: Samson Jenekhe, University of Washington

2015
Jessica Kramer
Advised by: Tim Deming, University of California, Los Angeles

2016
Maxwell Robb
Advised by: Craig Hawker, University of California, Santa Barbara

2017
John. W. Colson
Advised by: William Dichtel, Cornell University

2018
Aleksandr V. Zhukhovitskiy
Advised by: Jeremiah A. Johnson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2019
Dr. Jovan Kamcev
Advised by: Profs. Benny D. Freeman and Donald R. Paul, University of Texas–Austin

2020
Dr. Jeffrey Lopez
Advised by: Prof. Zhenan Bao, Stanford University

2021
Austin M. Evans
Advised by: Prof. William R. Dichtel, Northwestern University