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Adhesion Science Short Course - 2024 Registration Open

Registration is now open for the 2024 Short Course

Thank you for your interest in the Adhesion Science Short Course! Registration is now open for the May 13-17, 2024 Short Course. We hope you will consider attending! 


Short Course Information


Held annually in Blacksburg, Virginia

This engaging lecture-laboratory short course is designed for those who produce and/or utilize adhesives and sealants.

Alan Esker teaching the 2018 adhesion science short course
Sample Agenda - Subject to Change.pdf This schedule is for informational purposes only – it does not represent the finalized schedule, and should be considered tentative and subject to change.

Instructors & Areas of Expertise

Michael Bortner CP2S headshot

Michael Bartlett

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2013

Phone: 540-231-4886



Soft multifunctional materials & adhesives; Soft robotics & electronics; Adaptive materials

A man with glasses stands in a long hallway

Scott Case

Reynolds Metals Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Ph.D., Virginia Tech, 1996

Phone: 540-231-3140



Experimental characterization and modeling of engineering materials and structures;  response of lightweight structural materials to combined fire and mechanical loading as well as accelerated test method development to support long-term durability predictions for adhesives and fiber-reinforced composites.

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.

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.

Maren Roman headshot

Michael D. Schulz

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry

Ph.D., University of Florida, 2014

Phone: 540-231-8244



Synthesis of polymers by methods including polycondensation, reversible activation-fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) polymerization, ring-opening polymerization (ROP), and ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP); polymer structure-property relationships; development of materials for biomedical applications; metal-chelating polymers.

Adrian Figg wears a blazer and a striped shirt, and smiles while standing next to a window with greenery outside.

Adrian Figg

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry

Ph.D., University of Florida, 2018



Synthetic polymer chemistry, precise polymer structures, protein-polymer interactions, polymer-polymer interfaces.

Michael Schulz wears a burgundy button down shirt and glasses and smiles with a dimly lit library behind him.

Josh Worch

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry

Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University, 2016

Phone: 540-231-4552



Sustainable polymers - green chemistry, renewable feedstock, material end-of-life; Design and synthesis of soft materials; Structure-property relationships in polymeric materials; Intrinsically recyclable and/or degradable polymers; programmable or adaptive soft materials.

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

Location: Lecture sessions for the 2024 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. 

Travel: The closest airport (Roanoke Blacksburg Regional Airport—ROA) is located in Roanoke, Virginia, about an hour’s ride from Blacksburg. Car rental agencies are available at the airport, as well as rideshare services.

Lodging: MII has a block of rooms available at the Inn at Virginia Tech for short course attendees to reserve at a special group rate. Course registrants can call 540-231-8000 and mention the "Adhesion Science Short Course" to receive the group rate.  Alternatively, rooms in the block can also be reserved online via a special link - please contact after completing your course registration in order to receive this link. Please note that the room block is limited, and therefore the special group rate is available on a first-come, first-served basis.


The cost of the Adhesion Science Short Course is $2,250 per person, with a special discounted rate for students and groups of 3 or more registrants from the same company/institution. If either of these apply to you, please email before registering.

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

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

Around 30 people smile toward the camera while standing on a carpeted overlook in the atrium of the Inn at Virginia Tech.
2022 Short Course Group Photo


Check out our FAQ page for questions.



For more information, please contact us at

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