PMSE Future Faculty Symposium


The goal of this annual symposium is to highlight and provide a forum for postdocs (~15) working in polymeric materials that are applying to academic positions during that year (i.e., for appointments beginning the next year). The two-day PMSE symposium is held during the Fall National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (location changes annually). The symposium features oral presentations by talented postdocs who have made significant contributions to their respective fields within polymer materials science and engineering (e.g., synthesis, processing, characterization, physics and engineering of polymeric materials.

The 2021 Symposium will be held at the Spring 2022 ACS Meeting.


Selected “PMSE Future Faculty Scholars” will each provide a technical talk describing past research and briefly mention their future research interests. Additionally, they will be invited to participate in a networking reception with one another, keynote speakers, and selected invited guests from academia and other sectors. The PMSE Young Polymer Scientists and Engineering Committee provides oversight to the coordination of the symposium.

All selected participants and speakers are responsible for costs associated with conference travel and registration. Selected scholars must submit their abstracts through the ACS system by the deadline and register for the meeting.


The inaugural symposium was held at the Fall 2018 National ACS Meeting in Boston and featured 22 Future Faculty Scholars, as well as keynote talks delivered by established leaders in the field of polymer science and engineering applying for and starting jobs in academia.


Postdocs working at PhD-granting institutions will be selected as “PMSE Future Faculty Scholars”. Individuals from underrepresented groups are highly encouraged to apply.

Nomination Process

Deadline for Application

Nominations are open between January 1 and February 1 of the year of the Fall symposium. Nominations for 2021 FFS will be open through September 24, 2021.


Postdocs will be selected as “PMSE Future Faculty Scholars” following a nomination process. The candidate’s research must align within the themes of the PMSE division. Nominations are to be made by a research mentor (postdoc or PhD advisor). The nomination package consists of a single PDF containing the following items, in this order:

  1. nomination letter from the mentor (1-2 pages)
  2. Title/abstract of the tentative presentation (abstract ~ 300 words)
  3. Brief bio, similar to faculty department biography (up to 250 words)
  4. Cover letter highlighting research plans and teaching interest/philosophy, similar scope and structure to faculty applications (1 page)
  5. Complete CV, particularly in the format suitable for a faculty search application

The nominating mentor should send the pdf to the organizers (noted below for a given year) with the subject line reading: “Candidate Name/FFS Nomination”.  Nominations may be sent to the current organizers, Prof. Willl Gutekunst (Georgia Tech), Prof. A.J. Boydston (University of Wisconsin) and Prof. Megan Roberston (University of Houston) at

Selection Process

Selection of PMSE Future Faculty Scholars will be made by organizers & ad hoc members of the selection committee based on information provided in the nomination package, including research innovation and productivity during both PhD and postdoc, demonstrated commitment to an academic career (research, teaching, service), and enthusiasm of mentor nomination letter.

Past Future Faculty Scholars

Universities represent affiliations at the time of the conference

Fall 2020 (San Francisco / Virtual)

Davita Watkins (University of Mississippi)
AJ Boydston (University of Wisconsin, Madison)

PMSE Future Faculty Symposium Guest Speakers

  • Alshakim Nelson (University of Washington)
  • Ramesh Jasti (University of Oregon)

PMSE Future Faculty Scholars

  • Céline Calvino Carneiro (University of Chicago)
  • Danielle Fagnani (University of Michigan)
  • Samantha Kristufek (MIT),  Yilei Wu (Stanford)
  • Chao Lang (Penn State)
  • Francesca Lorandi (Carnegie Mellon)
  • Rinat Meir (Columbia)
  • Angelika Neitzel (University of Chicago)
  • Fatemeh Ostadhossein (Stanford)
  • Nicholas Pavlopoulos (Technion Israel Institute of Technology)
  • Hai Qian (University of Illinois, UC)
  • Julia Rho (University of Florida)
  • Johanna Schwartz (Lawrence Livermore National Lab)
  • Peyton Shieh (MIT)
  • Yilei Wu (Stanford)
  • Renxuan Xie (University of California, Santa Barbara)
  • Benjamin Yavitt (Stony Brook University)

Fall 2019 (San Diego)

Emily Pentzer (Texas A&M University)
Cole DeForest (University of Washington)

PMSE Future Faculty Symposium Keynote Speakers

  • Sanat Kumar (Columbia University)
  • LaShanda Korley (University of Delaware)

PMSE Future Faculty Scholars

  • Symone Alexander (Georgia Tech)
  • Kyle Bentz (University of California, San Diego)
  • Graham Collier (Georgia Tech)
  • Heidi Culver (University of Colorado at Boulder)
  • Brian Donovan (University of Colorado at Boulder)
  • Benjamin Elling (Northwestern University)
  • Alan Enciso (Northwestern University)
  • C. Adrian Figg (Northwestern University)
  • Jeffrey Foster (University of Birmingham)
  • Subhadip Goswami (Northwestern University)
  • Tomohiro Kubo (University of Michigan)
  • Ramya Kumar (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
  • Yun Liu (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Alexander Symone (Georgia Tech)
  • Aaron Teator (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
  • Helen Tran (Stanford University)

Fall 2018 (Boston)


Luis Campos (Columbia)
Melissa Grunlan (Texas A&M)
Julie Jessop (Mississippi State)

PMSE Future Faculty Symposium Keynote Speakers

  • Craig Hawker (UCSC)
  • Paula Hammond (MIT)
  • Stuart Rowan (U Chicago)
  • Karen Wooley (Texas A&M)

PMSE Future Faculty Scholars

  • Brooks Abel (Cornell)
  • ​Alessia Battigelli (Brown)
  • Sandra Camarero (Groningen)
  • Evan Darzi (UCLA)
  • Marco Fantin (Carnegie Mellon)
  • Matthew Golder (MIT)
  • Joseph Grim (CU Boulder)
  • Woojin Han (Georgia Tech)
  • Emily Hoff (Cornell)
  • Jovan Kamcev (UC Berkeley)
  • Yoonseob Kim (MIT)
  • Xuesong Li (Wash U St Louis)
  • Danielle Mai (MIT)
  • Sudheendran Mavila (CU Boulder)
  • David Mozhdehi (Duke)
  • Liangqi Ouyang (University of Delaware)
  • Zhe Qiang (Northwestern)
  • Yunyan Qiu (Northwestern)
  • Seunghyun Sim (Caltech)
  • Jeff Ting (University of Chicago)
  • Edon Vitaku (Northwestern)
  • Alex Zhukhovitskiy (UC Berkeley)