Center for UMass / Industry Research on Polymers
CUMIRP


November 2012

Research develops ‘second skin’ military fabric to repel chemical and biological agents

Military uniforms of the future may offer a new layer of critical protection to wearers thanks to research by polymer scientists and colleagues at several other institutions who are developing a nanotube-based fabric that repels chemical and biological agents.

Polymer Science professors Kenneth Carter and James Watkins, collaborating with team leader Francesco Fornasiero of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), recently received a five-year $1.8 million grant to design ways to manufacture the new material as part of a $13 million project funded by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency. It’s estimated that the new uniforms could be deployed in the field in less than 10 years.

Read full article at: In The Loop

August 2012

Researchers win $2 million NSF grant to develop self-folding polymer sheets for new materials

A group of scientists and mathematicians led by physicist Christian Santangelo has won a National Science Foundation (NSF) Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) grant for 2012, one of only 15 given to investigators at 26 institutions and totaling nearly $30 million.

Santangelo and colleagues including polymer scientist Ryan Hayward are experts in developing self-folding polymer sheets, which take advantage of origami principles to provide highly tunable mechanical responses. Their four-year, $2 million grant is part of EFRI’s Origami Design for the Integration of Self-assembling Systems for Engineering Innovation (ODISSEI) program for developing new mechanical meta-materials.

Read full article at: In The Loop

July 2012

Polymer scientist Alejandro Briseño, Kinesiology alumna receive presidential early career awards

President Barack Obama has named polymer scientist Alejandro L. Briseño to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the federal government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. 

Read full article at: In The Loop

June 2012

Geckskin Does Some Heavy Lifting!

Geckos provide an innovative model for UMass scientists.

View video at: YouTube

March 2012

Geckskin team wins $900,000 international grant

Duncan Irschick, Biology, and Al Crosby, Polymer Science and Engineering, with Walter Federle of Cambridge University, have been awarded a three-year, $900,000 grant from the Human Frontiers Science Program (HFSP) in Strasbourg, France, to study bioadhesion in geckos and insects.

Read full article at: In The Loop

March 2012

Shape of Things to Come: Mimicking nature's complex shaping

Inspired by nature's ability to shape a petal, and building on simple techniques used in photolithography and printing, researchers Ryan Hayward of Polymer Science and Engineering, Christian Santangelo of the Physics Department and their colleagues have developed a new tool for manufacturing three-dimensional shapes easily and cheaply, to aid advances in biomedicine, robotics and tunable micro-optics.


Read full article at: In The Loop

February 2012

Stick to It!: Gecko feet lead to super-adhesive 'Geckskin'

If you are inspired and intrigued by gecko feet, it turns out you are not alone. If you aren't, perhaps you should be. It seems that for ages, biologists have been amazed by the power of gecko feet, which let these five-ounce lizards produce an adhesive force roughly equivalent to carrying nine pounds up a wall without slipping. Now, a team of polymer scientists and a biologist have discovered exactly how the gecko does it, leading them to invent "Geckskin," a device that can hold 700 pounds on a smooth wall.

Read full article at: In The Loop

January 2012

Scientists design new nanotech technique for lower-cost materials repair

In the super-small world of nanostructures, a campus team of polymer scientists and engineers has discovered how to make nano-scale repairs to a damaged surface equivalent to spot-filling a scratched car fender rather than re-surfacing the entire part. The work builds on a theoretical prediction by chemical engineer and co-author Anna Balazs at the University of Pittsburgh.

Read full article at: In The Loop

October 2011

'Nanostructure' process to streamline production of magnetic material

Polymer Science and Engineering's Gregory Tew and colleagues have designed a completely new and simpler method of preparing ordered magnetic materials by coupling magnetic properties to nanostructure formation at low temperatures.

Read full article at: In The Loop

September 2011

Thomas Russell Receives 2011 Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity

Tom was honored at the Seventh Annual Faculty Convocation on Friday, September 16, 2011. He was one of six acclaimed faculty members who were presented with the Award.

Read more: 7th Annual Faculty Convocation

July 2011

Laying groundwork for next-generation flexible photovoltaics

Ryan Hayward of the Polymer Science and Engineering department has received a five-year, $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to improve understanding of the fundamentals for the next generation of lightweight and flexible electricity-conducting polymers.

Read full article at: In The Loop

June 2011

Briseno Wins Young Investigators Program Award from US Navy

Alejandro Briseno, who joined Polymer Science and Engineering faculty in 2008, has won the U.S. Navy's high-profile Young Investigators Program (YIP) award, with a three-year, $510,000 grant to support his research on how organic semiconductor nanostructures can be used as tools for understanding fundamental processes of charge transport in solar cells.

Read full article at: In The Loop

November 2010

Ryan Hayward among 100 outstanding young researchers to receive a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)

The White House has announced that cell biologist Magdalena Bezanilla and polymer scientist Ryan Hayward are among 100 outstanding young researchers to receive a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). It is the highest award bestowed by the United States government upon scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Read full article at: In The Loop

October 2010

Doctoral programs on the rise: Among the best in NRC ranking

The recently released National Research Council (NRC) rankings of 5,000 doctoral programs may be difficult to decipher but one conclusion is clear - some of the nation's best programs are right here.

Of the 39 fields of study in which the campus was eligible to be assessed, four programs- food science, kinesiology, linguistics, and polymer science and engineering - are ranked among the country's top programs, public or private.

Read full article at: In The Loop

October 2010

Center for UMass Amherst-Industry Research on Polymers Celebrates 30 Years of Practical Collaboration

The nation’s oldest industry-university collaborative research center, established by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1980, will celebrate its 30th anniversary of partnerships this month during a three-day conference at the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus, Oct. 12-14.

The Center for UMass Research on Polymers (CUMIRP) was one of several centers funded by NSF beginning 30 years ago to bring basic research to industry for practical applications and new technologies, says James Capistran, center director.

Read full article at: UMass Amherst New Office

September 2010

Doctoral Programs Shine in NRC Rankings

A dozen doctoral programs here made impressive showings in rankings released this week by the National Research Council. The campus's nationally recognized programs in Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Linguistics, Polymer Science and Psychology remain among the nation's strongest. These programs were highlighted in the 1995 National Research Council (NRC) study, and over the ensuing decade continued their leadership.

Read full article at: In The Loop

August 2010

Battery Alternative Could Lighten Load for Soldiers

American soldiers today carry so many electronic devices in their field packs that the weight of batteries alone is a concern, leading the Department of Defense to enlist polymer scientist Bryan Coughlin and others to develop a lighter-weight power source.

Read full article at: In The Loop

August 2010

Maria Santore Honored by the American Chemical Society

The American Chemical Society named Maria Santore of the Polymer Science and Engineering one of 192 new Fellows, honored for their outstanding achievements in and contributions to the science, the profession and service to the society. She will be honored at the society's fall national meeting in Boston on Aug. 22-26.

Read full article at: In The Loop

August 2010

On the edge of a fold...

Two papers by UMass Amherst polymer scientists and physicists appeared recently in the prestigious journal, Physical Review Letters, offering insight into what determines the size and shape of wrinkles in soft materials. Editors highlighted both in a synopsis, singling the investigations out as worthy of special interest. "The experiments offer complimentary insights into how defects, such as an edge or a fold, influence the presence of wrinkles and could prove helpful in understanding the formation of wrinkles in biological tissue," they noted.

Read full article at: In The Loop

July 2010

Obituary: Robert Lenz, Retired University Professor, Co-Founder Polymer Science and Engineering Department

Robert (Bob) Lenz, one of the founding members of the Polymer Science and Engineering Program at the University of Massachusetts, died Friday July 2, 2010.

Read full article at: Gazettenet.com

May 2010

Obituary: Richard J. Farris, Retired Distinguished University Professor, Polymer Science and Engineering Department

Richard J. Farris, a wide-ranging researcher who mentored and advised scores of graduate students in the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering over a career that spanned more than 33 years, died May 25 in Leeds.

Read full article at: In The Loop

March 2010

Novel Foams Reduce Fire Risk

Treating soft furnishings with toxic flame-retardants could be avoided in the future thanks to a new non-flammable polymer developed by US scientists. 

Polyurethanes are used in a wide variety of common products, including upholstery and mattresses, in the form of flexible foams. However, they are naturally combustible and flame-retardants must be added to meet safety regulations, but these can bring further disadvantages. 

Read full article at: RSC.org

March 2010

Chinese Scientists Expand Ties During Polymer Workshop at UMass Amherst

The Department of Polymer Science and Engineering (PSE) could be headed toward a “sister department” relationship with a polymer physics and chemistry laboratory at the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry (CIAC) in China, according to department head David Hoagland.

Read full article at: In The Loop

March 2010

Nanotech Expert Mark Tuominen Testifies on Capitol Hill

Leading nanotechnology researcher Mark Tuominen this week provided expert advice to Congress on where and how federal spending can better bolster nanomanufacturing. Tuominen, a professor of physics and co-director of the MassNanoTech Institute, said the purpose of his March 17 testimony was to boost research and development and to foster university-industry partnerships.

Read full article at: In The Loop

December 2009

Western Massachusetts Partners Announce $600,000 Federal Grant and Collaborative Commitment to Boost Competitiveness of Precision Manufacturing Industry

The precision manufacturing industry in Western Massachusetts received a major boost today with the announcement of a $600,000 federal grant to foster innovative practices through a partnership with the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The two-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) follows an earlier state investment of $650,000 in industry competitiveness through the MTC’s John Adams Innovation Institute, and will be enhanced by a newly formed partnership between academic, workforce development and industry leaders in the region.

Read full article at: UMass Amherst Office of News & Media Relations

Read related article at: In The Loop

July 2009

NIH funds study of new antibiotics to combat food-borne disease

A research team led by polymer scientist Gregory Tew that includes biotech firm PolyMedix, Inc. of Radnor, Pa., has received a first-year, $977,658 grant to study and develop new antibiotics against food-borne and related illnesses. Funding, to be shared by the University and PolyMedix, is from the National Institutes of Health’s Cooperative Research Partnerships for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Disease.

Read full article at: In The Loop

July 2009

Michael F. Malone Named Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement at UMass Amherst

Michael F. Malone has been named vice chancellor for research and engagement at the University of Massachusetts Amherst by Chancellor Robert C. Holub. Malone, whose appointment is effective Aug. 17, has served as dean of the College of Engineering at UMass Amherst since 2004.

Read full article at: UMass News

May 2009

Professor Greg Tew Receives $100K from Gates Foundation to Support Global Health Research Project

A $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will support a global health research project conducted by polymer scientist Gregory Tew to pursue ideas that have never before been tested in fighting infectious diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis and diarrhea.

Read full article at: In The Loop


May 2009

UMass Amherst Campus Chosen for Multimillion Dollar Energy Frontier Research Center

UMass Amherst has been chosen to host a new multimillion-dollar Energy Frontier Research Center to pursue advanced scientific research as part of a federal science initiative announced by President Obama.

Read full article at: In The Loop

February 2009

'Transformative' method produces smallest, most perfect, ultradense polymer films ever

Like many creative but essentially conservative scientists, Tom Russell of Polymer Science and Engineering, in more than 30 years of research, would rarely use the term “truly transformative” about his work. Until now.

Read full article at: In The Loop

Read article at: MSNBC.msn.com

January 2009

Associate Professors Al Crosby and Todd Emrick Lead Polymer Research Conference

The recent election of associate professor Al Crosby as vice-chair of the West Coast Polymer Gordon Research Conference highlights the campus’ leadership of the most prestigious conference on polymer research, according to his colleague, associate professor Todd Emrick, the rising chair of the conference.

Read full article at: In The Loop

January 2009

Scientists Develop 'Smart' Compound That Defeats Drug-Resistant Bateria

Scientists from the Polymer Science and Engineering Department and the University of Illinois have developed a smart new synthetic compound that not only targets some drug-resistant bacteria and kills them, but the new antibiotic takes away the germs’ most potent defense – the mutation that could provide new resistance will also kill them, leaving no escape.

Read full article at: In The Loop

January 2009

The Carnegie Foundation Names University of Massachusetts Amherst as a "Community-Engaged University"

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has named University of Massachusetts Amherst a “Community-Engaged University” under a rigorous classification process developed to document community engagement in the college curriculum, and separately in external outreach and partnerships.

Read full article at: UMass Amherst News

September 2008

Materials Research Science & Engineering Center (MRSEC) Receives $13.3M NSF Grant for Polymer Research Studies

The Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) has received a six-year, $13.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study nanoscale polymer assemblies, polymers in highly charged solvents for potential use for drug delivery and harnessing thin-film instabilities for specialized sensors.

Read full article at: In The Loop

September 2008

Professor Thomas McCarthy Receives Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity

Professor Thomas McCarthy, Polymer Science and Engineering, is one of seven exceptional UMass faculty members who will be presented with an award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity at the fourth annual Faculty Convocation at UMass Amherst.

Read full article at: UMass Amherst News

August 2008

Computer Science Professor Jim Kurose Named Interim Dean of the College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics (NSM)

Kurose’s appointment is for two years and a search for a permanent dean is planned for the 2009-10 academic year. A national search is underway for a Nursing dean and Swinney will serve until an appointment is made.

Read full article at: In The Loop

June 2008

Research by Professor Maria Santore and Colleagues Highlighted in Nature Nanotechnology

Polymer scientist Maria Santore and her colleagues have developed a novel surface containing tiny nanoparticles that can capture and manipulate much larger particles in a flowing solution with great precision. Santore’s research, performed in collaboration with chemist Vincent Rotello and chemical engineer Jeffrey Davis, was recently featured in Nature Nanotechnology.

Read full article at: In The Loop

June 2008

Plastics Containing 'Smart Elements' Can Detect Mercury in Water, says Researchers

Campus researchers, led by Professor Greg Tew of UMass Amherst Polymer Science & Engineering, have developed plastics containing “smart elements” that can instantly detect the presence of mercury at or below the drinking water standard set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, even when other metals are present in the solution.

Read full article at:  In The Loop


April 2008

Professor Al Crosby Receives 2008 Rohm & Haas New Faculty Award

Professor Al Crosby has received the 2008 Rohm & Haas New Faculty Award.  According to the Rohm & Haas website, "The Rohm and Haas TCO New Faculty Award recognizes a non-tenured faculty member at an accredited university for his/her outstanding research achievement or potential in chemistry, polymers or materials science.  Candidate nominations and selection of the award recipient are conducted by Rohm and Haas technologists.".  Congratulations Al!

March 2008

Assistant Professor Ryan Hayward Receives $475K Career Award from NSF

Ryan Hayward, assistant professor of Polymer Science and Engineering, has received a five-year, $475,000 CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to conduct research on hydrogels, materials that can absorb hundreds of times their weight in water and undergo huge changes in volume.

Read more at:  In The Loop


February 2008

Professor Thomas Russell Elected to the National Academy of Engineering

On February 8, 2008, the National Academy of Engineering announced the election of 65 new members as well as 9 foreign associates.  According to the NAE Release statement, "Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer.  Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature," and to the "pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."

Read more at:  NAE News and In The Loop


January 2008

Research Images Featured in Art Exhibit at Science & Engineering Library

"Images from VISUAL,” an exhibit of works from the Ventures in Science Using Art Laboratory (VISUAL), is on display through April 29 at the Integrated Sciences and Engineering Library in the Lederle Graduate Research Center lowrise.

Read more at:  In The Loop


November 2007

Professor Al Crosby To Receive Young Adhesion Scientist Award

At the upcoming Adhesion Society meeting, Professor Al Crosby will be honored with the Adhesion Society’s Young Adhesion Scientist Award. This is the first time this award will be given. The purpose of the Young Adhesion Scientist Award is to recognize a young scientist or engineer for conducting outstanding and fundamental research in adhesion science. For more information about the Adhesion Society and the awards, please visit their website at http://www.adhesionsociety.org. To view Professor Crosby’s website and see his current research, please visit http://www.pse.umass.edu/~acrosby/.  Congratulations Al!

October 2007

Professor Greg Tew Receives 2007 Herman F. Mark Young Scholar Award

At the 234th ACS National Meeting and Exposition in Boston , MA , August 2007, Professor Gregory N. Tew was awarded the 2007 Herman F. Mark Young Scholar Award by the American Chemical Society Division of Polymer Chemistry.  Professor Tew received the award from the Division Chair James Moore.  Congratulations Greg!


September 2007

Professor James Watkins Receives Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity

Professor James Watkins will receive the Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity at the 2007 UMass Amherst Faculty Convocation on September 21, 2007. This is the third year the Chancellor and Provost will be granting these awards.  Chancellor Cole and Provost Seymour will honor these eight distinguished faculty members at the Convocation.  A luncheon will follow the ceremony. Also honored will be John J. Clement, Teacher Education and Curriculum; Eric A. Decker, Department of Food Science; Walter B. Denny, Art Department; Nancy Folbre, Economics Department; Patty S. Freedson, Kinesiology Department; Jeffrey W. Holmes, Department of Music and Dance; Sabina Murray, English Department.  Congratulations to Professor Watkins on his accomplishment.


September 2007

Professor Shaw Ling Hsu Receives Outstanding Leadership Award


Professor Shaw Ling Hsu received the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Outstanding Leadership Award at the NSM Convocation on September 4, 2007.  The award was given to Professor Hsu by Dean George M. Langford who remarked on Professor Hsu’s outstanding leadership during the 2006-2007 academic year.  Also in attendance at the NSM Convocation were President Jack Wilson, Interim Chancellor Thomas W. Cole, Jr. and Provost Charlena Seymour.

August 2007

Professor Todd Emrick Awarded Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Grant by The Center of Excellence in Apoptosis Research


The Center of Excellence in Apoptosis Research (CEAR) interdisciplinary postdoctoral fellows program has awarded a grant to faculty members Todd Emrick, Polymer Science and Engineering, and Priscilla Clarkson, Kinesiology.

Read more at:  In The Loop


July 2007

Fire-Retardant Synthetic Polymer Article in July 2007 Issue of Materials World Magazine

"Scientists from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA, have created a flame-retardant synthetic polymer that does not require conventional and potentially harmful halogen additives."

Click here to read full article

May 2007

New Fire-Resistant Plastic Developed


A new fire-resistant synthetic polymer was recently developed by scientists at UMass Amherst.  A news article highlighting and detailing this development was published in both UMass Amherst's In The Loop weekly bulletin and at Businessweek.com recently.

Click here to read full article in Businessweek.com

Read more at:  In The Loop


May 2007

Polymer Science & Engineering Unveils NEW Website


The Polymer Science & Engineering Department at UMass Amherst has launched its new website.  Updated for easier navigation, more informative web pages and an overall new look and design, this website reflects the high quality and standards that the PS&E Department diligently works to maintain.

Click here to go to the new PS&E home page

April 2007

Professor Emeritus William J. MacKnight Receives Society of Plastics Engineers International Award

Distinguished Professor Emeritus William J. MacKnight will be the recipient of the 2007 Society of Plastics Engineers International Award. The Award will be presented at the ANTEC meeting, May 6, in Cincinnati OH.


April 2007

Professor Kenneth Carter Wins Percy L. Julian Award

Polymer Scientist Kenneth R. Carter has won the Percy L. Julian Award for significant contributions in pure and applied research in chemistry presented at the national conference of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) in Orlando, Fla. last week. Congratulations Ken!

Click here to read more


April 2007

Dr. Tisato Kajiyama Receives UMass Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award

The Polymer Science & Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts is proud to announce Dr. Tisato Kajiyama is the 2007 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award.  This award is bestowed upon alumni who have demonstrated distinguished service to the university.

Click here for printed article

Read more at: In The Loop


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