Adhesion Science Short Course

Stay tuned for more info on the 2020 short course. Information below is leftover from the 2019 short course and may be out of date. We are working to finalize details for 2020.

May 18-22, 2020

Blacksburg, Virginia

Learn about our annual lecture-laboratory short course for those who produce or utilize adhesives and sealants.

Alan Esker teaching the 2018 adhesion science short course
2019 Adhesion Science Flyer.jpg 2019 Adhesion Science short course flyer
Adhesion Science Schedule 2019 updated 050619.pdf Schedule as of May 6, 2019

Instructors & Areas of Expertise

Michael Bortner CP2S headshot

Michael Bortner

Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering

Ph.D., Virginia Tech, 2003

Phone: (540) 231-4213



Polymer nanocomposites; nanostructured materials and surfaces; polymer morphology and structure-property relationships; surface and interface phenomena in polymers. Applications: Additive manufacturing, composite processing, smart materials, advanced materials, structural composites, multifunctional coatings. Nanomaterial dispersion and characterization, manufacturing process development, novel nanocomposite characterization techniques, transport at polymer / particle interfaces and in multi-phase systems.

Richey Davis headshot

Richey M. Davis

Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering

Ph.D., Princeton University, 1983

Phone: (540)  231-4578



Physical chemistry and rheology of polymer solutions and colloidal suspensions with emphases on water-soluble polymers and suspensions in aqueous media; polymer adsorption at interfaces; waterborne adhesives; dispersion and processing of fine powders for coating, ceramic and composite applications.

Raffaella De Vita smiles and looks at the camera. She is in her lab and wearing a dark gray suit.

Raffaella De Vita

Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics

Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2005

Phone: 540-231-5905



Mechanical characterization of elastic and viscoelastic properties of soft materials, with special emphasis on the development of new mathematical models and experimental methods.

David Dillard CP2S headshot

David A. Dillard

Adhesive and Sealant Science Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics

Ph.D., Virginia Tech, 1981

Phone: (540) 231-4714



Fracture and time dependent behavior of adhesives, elastomers and other polymeric materials; development of appropriate test methods for adhesive bonds; analytical and numerical (finite element) analysis of stresses in bonded joints; durability measurements and predictions for adhesive bonds.

Alan Esker headshot

Alan Esker

Professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1996

Phone: (540) 231-4601



Solution casting, spin-coating, self-assembly, and the Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) technique for exploration of the physical chemical aspects of polymer dynamics in confined geometries and at surfaces and interfaces. Investigation of contemporary issues affecting nanotechnology like nanofiller reinforcement in polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS)/polymer nanocomposites, magnetic nanoparticle-lipid interactions for drug delivery systems, and biomimetic engineering of cellulose/polymer interfaces in composites. Characterization techniques through neutron scattering and X-ray reflectivity at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and dynamic mechanical and thermal analysis (DMTA), rheology, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), surface light scattering (SLS), the fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) technique, ellipsometry, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and optical (OM), fluorescence (FM), atomic force (AFM), scanning electron (SEM), transmission electron (TEM), and Brewster angle (BAM) microscopy.

Charles Frazier CP2S headshot

Charles E. Frazier

Thomas M. Brooks Professor, Department of Sustainable Biomaterials

Director, Wood-Based Composites Center

Ph.D., Virginia Tech, 1992

Phone: (540) 231-8318



Characterization of the wood-adhesive bondline with emphasis on thermosetting adhesives for wood-based composites, latex adhesives and reactive hotmelts, analysis of the effects of wood-adhesive interactions as they control the morphology and chain dynamics of the bondline, performance evaluation through fracture testing.

Tim Long

Timothy E. Long

Professor, Department of Chemistry

Director, Macromolecules Innovation Institute

Ph.D., Virginia Tech, 1987

Phone: (540) 231-2480



Synthesis and characterization of interfacially active polymeric systems including block, graft, and star copolymers. Interfacial adhesion in polymer blends and polymer coatings on inorganic substrates. Synthesis of block copolymer adhesion promotors and pressure sensitive adhesives via living polymerization methodologies, in-situ FTIR spectroscopic studies on urethane-based adhesive kinetics, synthesis of liquid crystalline and semi-crystalline polyesters, ionomeric hotmelt polyesters with decreased melt viscosity, adhesion studies in semi-conductor fabrication, and adhesion between bio-derived molecules and organic polymer substrates.

John Matson wears a blue checkered shirt and smiles at the camera with the Torgerson study area behind him.

John B. Matson

Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry

Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 2009

Phone: 540-231-3329



Synthesis of polymers by living and controlled methods, including reversible-deactivation radical polymerizations (RDRPs) and ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP). Synthesis, self-assembly and applications of densely grafted polymers, including as pressure-sensitive adhesives. Peptide self-assembly to form nanostructured gels for use in biomedical applications.

Short Course Topics

  • Adhesives and Polymer Design Parameters
  • Adhesives, Sealant, and Waterborne Rheology
  • Adsorption on Surfaces/Surface Energy
  • Classes of Adhesive Structure and Synthetic Methods
  • Stresses in Bonded Joints
  • Surfaces and Surface Preparation
  • Fracture of Adhesive Bonds
  • Viscoelasticity and Applications to Adhesives
  • Adhesive Test Methods
  • Analysis of Surfaces
  • Free Volume and DSC
  • Dynamic Mechanical Methodology
  • PSA Performance and Testing
  • Accelerated Characterization
  • Frontiers in Adhesion Science
  • Wood Adhesion
  • Durability and Design

Course Site and Lodging

Lecture sessions for the 2020 Adhesion Science Short Course will be held at the Inn at Virginia Tech with lab sessions on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. MII will provide transportation to and from the labs. 

The closest airport (Roanoke Blacksburg Regional Airport—ROA) is located in Roanoke, Virginia, about an hour’s ride from Blacksburg. A shuttle service and three major car rental agencies are available at the airport.

MII has reserved a block of rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn at a discounted group rate of $98.00 per night for May 19-24, 2019. To reserve your room, contact the Hilton Garden Inn at 540-552-5005 and mention the “MII Adhesion Science Short Course” or enter the group code "MIIAS" online to get the group rate.


The cost of the Adhesion Science Short Course is $1,700 per person. This tuition covers:

  • Printed course materials and interaction with Virginia Tech's top adhesion science professors
  • 3.2 CEUs through Continuing and Professional Education
  • Sessions in state-of-the-art labs at Virginia Tech
  • Continuous break including coffee and snacks during class time
  • Lunch from Monday-Thursday and Dinner Banquet on Thursday night
  • Access to a room block at a discounted rate through the Hilton Garden Inn

Participants may bring a guest to Thursday's banquet for $50. 

2018 Adhesion Science short course group
2018 Short Course Participants and Faculty


Check out our FAQ page for questions.



For more information, please contact Andrew Tie at or 540-231-3704.

Comments from Past Attendees

"I found this course to be well-detailed and very informative. The course gave a very good overview of the topics related to adhesion. I gained a lot of knowledge this week, which will be beneficial to my career. The physical examples, labs, and demos were all very helpful. Overall, this was a really great course presented by passionate professors."

- Industry Chemist

"This is a great course: it’s well organized, the instructors are top-notch, and the course material is very informative."

- Research Specialist

"Very well presented, handouts contained a lot of information. The course gave a very good overview of materials and structure-properties relationship.  It provided me with knowledge that would otherwise require years of studying to become familiar with. Good overall scope."

- Anonymous

"This has been an excellent course. The instructors demonstrated a keen interest in the topics they presented. I could tell that they were presenting the information to help our understanding rather than just to complete a task."

- Associate Chemist