We are happy to welcome Al Crosby as the new Department Head of Polymer Science & Engineering. Al has been a member of the PSE faculty since 2002, and he has led a research program focused on bioinspired materials mechanics. He and his group are broadly known for their fundamental and applied advances with regards to polymer adhesion, including the Geckskin technology, cavitation and failure dynamics in synthetic gels and biological tissues, and most recently, high speed and high acceleration movement in soft systems. Al also serves as the Editor-in-Chief for the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Soft Matter, and has served as the President of the Adhesion Society and the academic advisor to the Pressure Sensitive Tape Council. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and a member of the National Academy of Inventors. He co-founded Felsuma, LLC, which commercialized the Geckskin technology.
Al is excited to maintain the strong history of PSE and to work with the faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars, and students to define this field, which is at the center of our society’s most critical challenges. He is committed to enhancing the diversity, equity, and inclusion of all aspects of science and engineering within PSE, across UMass, and beyond. As a first generation college graduate, first Ph.D. in his extended family, and the son of a refugee immigrant, Al has a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels of education, especially in the pursuit of degrees in STEM. This perspective has framed the efforts that he has founded, led, and participated in during his time at UMass Amherst and continues to drive his vision as PSE Head. He aims to create an environment where all community members are treated with kindness, dignity, and respect. These values are the foundation for creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive experiences that lead to success. In his short time in this new role, he has already had a great time meeting many members of the PSE alumni, and he can't wait for even more opportunities to meet and work together with the entire PSE community.
Beyond PSE and his focus on science and education around the world, Al loves spending time with his family. He and his wife, Kerry, have three teenagers (a middle schooler, a senior in high school, and a sophomore in college), and a very friendly, happy dog, Milly! He enjoys spending time outdoors around New England---and is a huge sports fan!