Past Seminars

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Prof. Ximin He


Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

"Bioinspired Adaptive Materials based on Smart Hydrogels: Sensing, Solar Harvesting, and Soft Robotics"


Wednesday, September 4


11:15 AM - 12:15 PM


Fralin Auditorium

Ximin He is an assistant professor of Materials Science and Engineering at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Faculty of California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI). Dr. He was postdoctoral research fellow in Wyss Institute of Bioinspired Engineering and School of Engineering and Applied Science at Harvard University. Dr. He received her PhD in Chemistry from University of Cambridge. Dr. He’s research focuses biologically inspired functional smart materials, chemical and biological sensors, actuators with broad applications in materials science, biomedicine, environment, and energy. She has authored/co-authored papers in leading archival journals, book chapters and has a number of patents. Dr. He is the recipient of many young scientist awards including the National Science Foundation CAREER award, Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Program (AFOSR YIP) award, CIFAR Global Scholar, International Society of Bionic Engineering (ISBE) Outstanding Youth Award, Hellman Fellows Award, and UCLA Faculty Career Development Award. Her research on bioinspired homeostatic materials and chemo-mechanical molecule separation have garnered a number of regional and international awards and was featured in >100 international news outlets.

From the cellular level up to the body system level, living organisms are able to sense and adapt to local environment for various functions, from detecting and transporting molecules in the complex bio-fluids to harvesting energy from the environment and generate motions to keep alive. These graceful capabilities arise from the coordination of the chemo-mechanical actions, such as the molecular configuration changes and micro/macroscopic mechanical motions. Stimuli-responsive hydrogels are a class of synthetic materials that can change their volume and physical properties in response to environmental cues including temperature, light, and specific molecules. Inspired by these unique abilities, we have developed a series of dynamic material systems based on hydrogels. This presentation will introduce several novel functionalities that this broad-based platform has demonstrated, ranging from beetle-inspired ultrafast colorimetric sensing of chemical and biological species (Adv. Mater. 2018), autonomous sorting of target molecules in complex biofluids or wastewater (Nat. Chem. 2015), and plant-mimetic adaptive light tracking and harvesting, as well as self-sensing actuators for soft robotics (Sci. Robotics 2019). Overall, the environment-adaptive, dynamic material systems would have broad impacts in areas ranging from wearable sensors to smart devices that regulate energy usage and fully autonomous soft robots.

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Prof. Nick Stephanopoulos

Arizona State University

Assistant Professor,  School of Molecular Sciences and the Biodesign Institute’s Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics

"Hybrid Self-Assembled Nanomaterials from Proteins, Peptides, and DNA"


Wednesday, September 11


11:15 AM - 12:15 PM


Fralin Auditorium

Nicholas Stephanopoulos was born in Athens, Greece, but grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts. He obtained his A.B. in chemistry from Harvard University, followed by a one-year stint to earn a Master’s in chemical engineering at MIT. He then pursued doctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley, working with Prof. Matthew Francis. His research focused on using site-specific bioconjugation chemistry to modify viral capsid nano-scaffolds, in order to create materials for energy, biomedicine, and nanotechnology. After earning his PhD in 2010, he went to Northwestern University for postdoctoral studies, supported by both NIH Ruth Kirschtein and International Institute for Nanotechnology fellowships, working with Prof. Samuel Stupp on self-assembling peptide nanomaterials and their applications to regenerative medicine.

At both Berkeley and Northwestern, Prof. Stephanopoulos became interested in integrating proteins and peptides with DNA nanotechnology. In 2015, he began his independent career at Arizona State University, with a goal to merge these molecules into a new class of hybrid nanomaterials, with applications across a range of fields. He is currently an assistant professor in the School of Molecular Sciences and the Biodesign Institute’s Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics, with affiliate appointments in Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering. Since coming to ASU, Prof. Stephanopoulos has received a number of accolades, including the 2016 Air Force (AFOSR) Young Investigator Award, the 2018 NSF CAREER, and the 2018 NIH Director's New Innovator Award.

The ability to design materials that mimic the complexity and functionality of biological systems is a long standing goal of nanotechnology, with applications in medicine, energy, and fundamental science. Biological molecules such as proteins, peptides, and DNA possess a rich palette of self-assembly motifs and chemical functional diversity, and are attractive building blocks for the synthesis of such nanomaterials. In this talk, we will describe research in creating hybrid materials that incorporate proteins and peptides with DNA nanotechnology to create cages, nanofibers, and 3D crystals with a high degree of programmability and nanoscale resolution. Key to these endeavors will be (bio)molecular design, organic chemistry for linking components in a site-specific fashion, and the tuning of multiple self-assembly "modes" to create hybrid structures. Although the talk will focus on the fundamental chemistry and self-assembly of these systems, we will also discuss potential applications in areas such as targeted cargo delivery, biomaterials for regenerative medicine, and synthesis of virus- and antibody-mimetic nanostructures.

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Prof. Jacinta Conrad

University of Houston

Frank M Tiller Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

"Transport of Nanoparticles through Complex, Crowded Fluids"


Wednesday, September 18


11:15 AM - 12:15 PM


Kelly Hall 310

Jacinta Conrad is a physical scientist studying transport and dynamics within soft, complex materials and matrices. Using a broad range of microscopy, rheology, scattering, and computational methods, her group seeks to understand how microscale particles, including colloids, nanoparticles, bacteria, viruses, and proteins, explore and/or transport through confined and crowded environments containing polymers, macromolecules, or other dispersed species. Insights gained from fundamental studies of these non-equilibrium processes inform the design of new materials for preventing fouling and corrosion, for remediating environmental damage, and for sensitively diagnosing disease. She earned an SB in Mathematics from the University of Chicago and MA and PhD degrees in Physics from Harvard. She worked as a postdoctoral associate in MatSe at Illinois before starting her faculty position at the University of Houston (UH). Currently, she is the Frank M. Tiller Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at UH and serves as an Associate Editor for ACS Applied Nano Materials.

Transport of nanoparticles affects applications ranging from targeted drug delivery to enhanced oil recovery to processing of nanocomposite materials. In each of these applications, nanoparticles must be transported through a complex fluid to reach the desired target, whether a cancerous tumor, the oil-water interface, or a polymer melt. For large particles, the surrounding medium is effectively homogeneous across the surface of the particle, so that the transport properties can be directly related to the bulk fluid properties. For nanoparticles, however, the particle size is comparable to the length scales of heterogeneities in the fluid so that the particle dynamics decouple from bulk properties and are poorly understood. Here, we combine microscopy and scattering experiments with molecular simulation to investigate how nanoparticles transport through two models of complex fluids: polymer solutions, which model viscoelastic liquids, and supercooled and glassy colloidal liquids, which model crowded suspensions. In each setting, we probe how the dynamics of the nanoparticles are coupled to relaxations of the surrounding liquid. The physics elucidated in these studies will grant better control over the transport and dispersion of nanoparticles through complex, heterogeneous materials.

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Prof. Rebekka Klausen

Johns Hopkins University

Associate Professor, Chemistry

"Building Block Strategies to Functional Polymers"


Wednesday, September 25


11:15 AM - 12:15 PM


Kelly Hall 310

Dr. Rebekka S. Klausen grew up in Brookline, MA. She graduated cum laude from Boston College in 2005, where she did research in the laboratory of Dr. Steven D. Bruner. Dr. Klausen completed her doctoral research under the supervision of Dr. Eric N. Jacobsen at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University (2005-2011), where she carried out mechanistic studies on a thiourea and Brønsted acid co-catalyzed Pictet–Spengler reaction. She carried out postdoctoral research with Dr. Colin Nuckolls at the Columbia University Department of Chemistry (2011-2013) on the topic of single molecule electronics.

Dr. Klausen initiated her independent research program at the Johns Hopkins University Department of Chemistry in 2013, where she is now an Associate Professor with tenure. Research in the Klausen Group focuses on bottom-up synthetic approaches to macromolecular materials to enable atomic-level structural precision and control of materials properties. Two current projects in her laboratory are (1) the use of vinyl boranes as a versatile platform for functional polymers and (2) conjugated materials inspired by crystalline silicon.

This talk highlights frontiers in materials science – nonplanar electronics, atomically precise functional polymers, and control of hierarchical structure – and describes synthetic approaches to next generation materials. The discussion will provide insight into how the Klausen Research Group deploys strategic chemical synthesis to identify fundamentally new materials with transformative potential, as well as to refine advanced materials through an understanding of structure-property-performance relationships. Key topics include (1) the design and synthesis of poly(cyclosilane)s, conjugated polymers inspired by the semiconductor crystalline silicon, and (2) the discovery of an innovative synthetic platform to poly(vinyl alcohol)s with atomic-level control of composition, sequence, and stereoregularity. 

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Prof. Michael Bartlett

Iowa State University

Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

"Multifunctional Soft Materials for Electronics and Adhesives"


Wednesday, October 2


11:15 AM - 12:15 PM


Kelly Hall 310

Michael Bartlett is an Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Iowa State University. His research investigates and creates soft multifunctional materials and interfaces with highly tunable mechanical and functional properties for deformable electronics and soft robotics, adaptive materials, and ‘smart’ adhesives. He received his BSE in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2008 and completed his Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2013 studying bio-inspired adhesion. After obtaining his Ph.D. he worked as a Senior Research Engineer in the Corporate Research Laboratory at 3M and as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University before joining Iowa State in 2016.  His research has resulted in publications, patents, media coverage through outlets such as the Discovery Channel, and awards including a DARPA Young Faculty Award, a 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award, and an Outstanding Faculty Award from the Iowa State Engineering Student Council (student nominated). More at:

Multifunctional soft materials and interfaces create intriguing new opportunities to enhance performance through adaptable and programmable properties.  I will discuss two examples of this approach, one that utilizes material composition through liquid-solid hybrid composites for soft machines and deformable electronics and another inspired by kirigami, the art of paper cutting, where material structures are manipulated to create materials with tunable functionality.  For hybrid composites, I will present an all-soft matter approach that combines soft elastomers with dispersions of liquid-phase eutectic Ga-In (EGaIn) metal alloy microdroplets.  Experimental and theoretical investigations show that liquid metal droplets incorporated into elastomers enables exceptional combinations of soft elasticity and electrical and thermal properties with extreme toughness, autonomously self-healing circuits, and mechanically triggered stiffness tuning. For kirigami, I will present a framework for designing materials with highly tunable mechanical and adhesive properties.  This is demonstrated with hybrid cut architectures to create highly tunable mechanical properties, stretchable conductors, and rapid magnetoactive soft actuators which elongate to 330 % strain in ~0.1 s.  Furthermore, by incorporating kirigami-inspired structures at interfaces, we can enhance adhesive force by a factor of ∼100 across a spatially patterned sheet while tuning adhesion in different directions for high capacity yet easy release interfaces.  These approaches provide model systems to study fundamental material properties while enabling electronic skins, soft robots, and ‘smart’ adhesives for a variety of soft matter systems.

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Prof. An-Chang Shi

McMaster University

Professor, Physics and Astronomy

"Non-Classical Ordered Phases of Block Copolymers"


Wednesday, October 9


11:15 AM - 12:15 PM


Kelly Hall 310

An-Chang Shi is a professor of physics at McMaster University. He received B.Sc. in physics from Fudan University in 1982 and Ph.D. in physics from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1988. From 1988 to 1892 he was a Post-Doctoral Fellow and Research Associate at McMaster University. He joined Xerox Research Centre of Canada as a Member of Research Staff in 1992 and moved to McMaster University as an Associate Professor in 1999. He was promoted to Professor in 2004. He received a Premier’s Research Excellent Award in 2000 and was elected to Fellow of American Physical Society in 2010. His has worked on a wide range of topics in condensed matter physics, including crystal shapes, superconductivity and soft matter theory. His current research focuses on the development of theoretic models and methods for polymeric system, the investigation of phase diagrams of block copolymers, and the study of kinetic pathways of transitions between stable and metastable phases.

The observation of ordered phases in hard-condensed matter systems such as metallic alloys has a long history in materials physics. In recent years, intricate periodic and aperiodic order has emerged in a host of soft matter systems including supramolecular assemblies, surfactants and block copolymers. The emergence of complex ordered phases in these diverse systems underscores the universality of emergent order in condensed matter. Due their rich phase behavior, block copolymers provide an ideal system to study the origins and stability of periodic and aperiodic order in condensed matter physics. In particular, recent experimental and theoretical studies have revealed that non-classical ordered phases, such as the Frank-Kasper phases and quasicrystals, could be self-assembled from block copolymers as equilibrium or metastable morphologies. We have examined the occurrence of complex spherical packing phases in block copolymer systems using the self-consistent field theory and showed that a key mechanism of forming complex spherical phases is the conformational asymmetry of the blocks. Furthermore, we have predicted that the segregation of different polymeric species in block copolymer blends provides another mechanism to stabilize spherical packing phases with very different sized-spherical domains. In my presentation, I will summarize recent theoretical and experimental progresses on this fascinating topic and discuss possible future research directions.

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Prof. Stuart Rowan

University of Chicago

Barry L. MacLean Professor for Molecular Engineering Innovation and Enterprise

"Design and Synthesis of Adaptive Polymeric Materials"


Wednesday, October 30


11:15 AM - 12:15 PM


Kelly Hall 310

Stuart J. Rowan is currently the Barry L. MacLean Professor of Molecular Engineering and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Chicago, where he moved in 2016. He also has a staff appointment at Argonne National Labs. Prior to this he was the Kent H. Smith Professor of Engineering in the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering at Case Western Reserve University. Stuart was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and grew up in Troon, Aryshire on Scotland’s west coast.  He received his B.Sc. (Hons.) in Chemistry in 1991 from the University of Glasgow and stayed there for graduate school in the laboratory of Dr David D. MacNicol, receiving his Ph.D. in 1995. In 1994 he moved to the Chemistry Department at the University of Cambridge to work with Prof. Jeremy K. M. Sanders FRS. He moved across the Atlantic (and the continental U.S.) to continue his postdoctoral studies with Prof. Sir J. Fraser Stoddart FRS at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1998. In 1999 he was appointed as an Assistant Professor to the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2005 and became a Full Professor in 2008. He is a NSF CAREER awardee, received the Morley Medal (ACS) in 2013, the CWRU Distinguished University Award in 2015, and the Herman Mark Scholar Award (ACS) in 2015. He is an ACS Fellow, an ACS POLY Fellow and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He is Editor-in-Chief of ACS Macro Letters, and on the editorial advisory board for Chemical Science, ACS Applied Polymer Materials and J. Macromolecular Sci, Pure & Applied Chem. His research interests include investing the use of dynamic chemistry (covalent and non-covalent) in the construction and properties of structurally dynamic and adaptive polymeric materials. His group works on supramolecular polymers, self-healing materials, active/responsive adhesives, stimuli-responsive material and nanocomposites, metal-containing polymers, gels, biomaterials, and developing new synthetic methods for the construction of complex polymeric architectures. 

Nature uses adaptive/responsive materials in a wide range of situations. Many of these materials use reversible bonds and interactions to induce the response. Such dynamic bonds can be defined as any class of bond that selectively undergoes reversible breaking and reformation, usually under equilibrium conditions. The incorporation of dynamic bonds (which can be either covalent or non-covalent) allows access to structurally dynamic polymers and adaptive composites. Such materials can exhibit macroscopic responses upon exposure to an environmental stimulus, on account of a rearrangement of the polymeric architecture.  In such systems, the nature of the dynamic bond not only dictates which stimulus the material will be responsive to but also plays a role in the response itself. Thus, such a design concept represents a molecular level approach to the development of new stimuli-responsive/adaptive materials. We have been interested in the potential of such systems to access new material platforms and have developed a range of new mechanically stable, structurally dynamic polymer and nanocomposite films that change their properties in response to a given stimulus, such as temperature, light or specific chemicals. Such adaptive materials have been targeted toward applications that include healable plastics, responsive liquid crystalline polymers, adhesives, chemical sensors, mechanically dynamic films, and shape memory materials. Our latest results in these areas will be discussed.

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Prof. Michael Bortner

Virginia Tech

Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering

"Additive Manufacturing of Moisture Responsive Cellulose Nanocrystal Polymer Composites"


Wednesday, December 4


11:15 AM - 12:15 PM


Kelly Hall 310

Michael J. Bortner is an assistant professor in Chemical Engineering at Virginia Tech and part of the Virginia Tech Advanced Manufacturing Team (AMT) and the Macromolecules Innovation Institute (MII). His research is in the areas of polymer and composite rheology, and structure-process-property relationships.  He earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a Polymer Option at Penn State, and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Virginia Tech.  Mike spent 10 years in industry focusing on manufacturing process development for novel polymer nanocomposites. His current research efforts at Virginia Tech are focused on development of materials and process technologies, and computational methodologies, to advance the state of the art in 1) polymer based additive manufacturing, 2) cellulose nanocrystals: production, characterization and CNC/polymer composite materials development, and 3) fiber reinforced polymer matrix composites.

Improving material selection for additive manufacturing (AM), otherwise known as 3D printing, has gained significant attention in recent years. Several researchers and companies have been pushed by consumers and industry to stretch the capabilities of the most common form of AM, known as fused filament fabrication (FFF), which involves extrusion of a polymer filament in a layer-by-layer fashion. FFF was originally developed as a prototyping tool and is now progressively challenged each day to produce end use parts for a wide variety of applications.

We have built on the development of a smart mechanically dynamic thermoplastic urethane/cellulose nanocrystal (TPU/CNC) composite, one which can respond to changes in environment simply by moisture exposure, to potentially increase design freedom and realize opportunities for expansion of FFF into new functional products. TPU/CNC composites have been documented to change modulus significantly upon exposure to moisture through decoupling of CNC hydrogen bonding and disruption of the mechanically percolating network. However, the effects of processing on the mechanical response of the composites is not well documented or understood.

In this seminar, we investigate the interplay between processing and structure-property relationships for 3-D printed TPU/CNC composites. We evaluate the impact of melt processing parameters on moisture induced mechanical modulus change following 1) TPU/CNC filament production from a masterbatched, solvent cast composite and 2) subsequent FFF of TPU/CNC filament into functional parts. The interplay between thermal history and shear induced particle orientation are investigated to determine effects on the dynamic modulus change upon moisture exposure. Further, we analyze the impact of geometry on moisture diffusion kinetics, and reversibility of the mechanical modulus change. We present the impact of FFF process parameters on the mechanical response of 3D printed parts, including the ability for the printed composite parts to change and/or hold their shape upon exposure to moisture and/or drying. Finally, we will discuss our preliminary findings on the moisture diffusion mechanisms and their role in the mechanical switching process. These analyses help us understand how processing influences the structure and behavior of the composite, notably on its ability to mechanically adapt upon moisture exposure. This information is critical to successfully realize the ability to design and 3D print complex, mechanically moisture responsive composite structures.

Solvay Seminars

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Prof. Julie Kornfield
California Institute of Technology

"Multiplicity of Morphologies" (abstract)

August 29, 2018

Prof. Sanat Kumar
Columbia University

"Polymer-Grafted Nanoparticle Membranes with Controllable Free-Volume" (abstract)

September 5, 2018

Prof. Jaime Grunlan
Texas A&M University

"Polymer-Based Nanocoatings for Flame Retardancy, Gas Barrier and Thermoelectric Energy Generation" (abstract)

September 26, 2018

Prof. Yan Xia
Stanford University

"Building and Breaking Macromolecular Ladders to Develop Microporous Membranes and Mechanically Responsive Polymers" (abstract)

October 3, 2018

Prof. Jeff Youngblood
Purdue University
"Nano-/Bio- Is Not an Either/Or Choice for Composites" (abstract)
October 10, 2018
Dr. Ahmet Kusoglu
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

"Chemical-Mechanical Interactions in Ion-Conductive Polymers" (abstract)

October 24, 2018

Dr. Erik Hagberg
Archer Daniels Midland

"Routes to High Performance Sustainable Materials from Carbohydrates" (abstract)
November 7, 2018

MII Special Seminars

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Dr. Elaine Yorkgitis
3M Automotive Aftermarket Division Laboratory

"Technical Fables: Stories of Materials R&D at 3M" (abstract)

September 10, 2018


Prof. Ronit Bitton
Ben Gurion University
"Structure-Property Relationships in Multicomponent Polysaccharide-Peptide Hydrogels" (abstract) September 12, 2018
Prof. Feihe Huang
Zhejiang University
"Nonporous Adaptive Crystals (NACs) for Separation and Adsorption" (abstract) October 19, 2018

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Prof. Serkan Ünal
Sabancı University

“High Performance Coatings, Adhesives and Structural Composites from Functional Macromolecules and Nanomaterials” (abstract)

August 14, 2017

Prof. Ting Xu
UC Berkeley

“Supramolecular Nanocomposites: A Possible Path Toward Metamaterials”

August 30, 2017

Prof. Valentin Rodionov

“Functional Surfactants and Macromolecular Architectures for Catalysis, Encapsulation, and Transport” (abstract)

September 6, 2017

Prof. Luis M. Campos
Columbia University
Student Invited Speaker

“Thiophene Rust in Single-Molecule Electronics and Singlet Fission” (abstract)

September 20, 2017

Dr. Andrew Meyer
Wyatt Technology
Special Seminar Series

“Polymers Revealed: Light Scattering Tools for Absolute Macromolecular Characterization” (abstract)

September 22, 2017

Prof. Joshua Sangoro
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

“Structural Dynamics and Ion Transport in Polymerized Ionic Liquids” (abstract)

September 27, 2017

Dr. Joannie Chin

“A Tale of Two ‘burgs : Highlights of a Journey from VT to NIST”

October 4, 2017

Dr. Jan-Michael Carrillo
Oakridge National Labs

“Coarse-grained Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Soft Matter Systems” (abstract)

October 11, 2017

Prof. Kathryn Uhrich
University of California, Riverside

“Polymeric Bioactives: Polymers from Bioactives and as Bioactives” (abstract)

October 18, 2017

Prof. Bryan Vogt
University of Akron

“Processing to Manipulate Nanostructures in Order Nanoporous Films” (abstract)

November 15, 2017

Prof. Alexander Kabanov
University of North Carolina

“Polymeric micelles for drug delivery” (abstract)

November 29, 2017

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Prof. Deb Kelly
Virginia Tech Carilion
Research Institute

"Peering into the Nanoworld Around Us" (abstract)

January 17, 2018

Prof. Alicyn Rhoades
Penn State Behrend

"Flow-Induced Crystallization Across a Broad Temperature Range" (abstract)

January 31, 2018

Prof. Dvora Perahia
Clemson University

"Ionizable Macromolecular: Where Computations Meet Neutron Scattering" (abstract)

February 7, 2018

Prof. Zhiting Tian
Virginia Tech
Mechanical Engineering

"Thermal Transport in Polymers and Hybrid Materials" (abstract)

February 14, 2018

Prof. Sam Stupp
Northwestern University

MII Technical Review Plenary Lecture: "Supramolecular Polymers and their Integration with Covalent Polymers"

MII/Fralin Visiting Scholar Lecture #2: "Linking up with Biology Using Soft Biomaterials"

MII/Fralin Visiting Scholar Lecture #3: "A New Wave of Polymers: A Spectrum of Bonding Among the Mers"

April 18, 2018

April 19, 2018

April 20, 2018

Dr. Adam Rawlett
US Army Research Lab

"Materials Research – Weapons and Materials Research Directorate – U.S. Army Research Laboratory" (abstract)

April 25, 2018

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Wenbin Lin
University of Chicago

“Metal-organic Frameworks for Sustainable Catalysis and Cancer Therapy” (abstract)

September 7, 2016

Kathryn Uhrich
University of California, Riverside

“Polymeric Bioactives: Polymers from Bioactives and as Bioactives” (abstract)

October 26, 2016

Alfredo Alexander-Katz

“Blood Clotting-Inspired Polymer Physics” (abstract)

November 30, 2016

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Kermit Kwan
Solvay Specialty Polymers

“Solvay Sustainable Chemistry for the 21st Century” (abstract)

January 18, 2017

Prof. Thomas H. Epps, III
University of Delaware

“Generating Functional Materials from Nanostructured Polymers” (abstract)

February 1, 2017

Prof. Takeo Suga
Waseda University, Japan

“Controlled Radical Polymerization in Photo-curing: Temporal/Spatial Control on Evolved Gradient Nanostructures” (abstract)

February 10, 2017

Prof. Christopher Bettinger
Carnegie Mellon University

“Edible Electronics: Bioinspired Materials and Structures for Ingestible Batteries” (abstract)

February 15, 2017

Prof. Natalie Arnett
Fisk University

“Synthesis of Phosphonated Hybrid Monomers for use as Additives in Proton Exchange Membrane Polymers for Fuel Cell Applications” (abstract)

March 1, 2017

Prof. Brian Long
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

“Utilizing Coordination-Insertion Based Polymerizations for the Synthesis of Tailored Polyolefins and Gas Separation Membranes” (abstract)

March 15, 2017

Prof. Abraham Stroock
Cornell University

“From Plants to Clouds – How Nanostructured Materials Mediate Transport and Phase Behavior in the Environment” (abstract)

March 22, 2017

Prof. Christoph Weder
University of Fribourg, Adolphe Merkle Institute

“Stimuli-Responsive Supramolecular Polymer Systems” (abstract)

March 29, 2017

Prof. Jason Bara
University of Alabama

“Building Simple and Complex Polymer Materials Inspired by Ionic Liquids” (abstract)

April 12, 2017

Prof. Michael McAlpine
University of Minnesota

“3D Printing Functional Materials and Devices” (abstract)

April 19, 2017

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Prof. Tim Showalter
Univ. of Virginia

“Improving Precision and Comfort for Image-guide Brachytherapy: Better Delivery with Polymer Science” (abstract)

July 7, 2015

Dr. Wei Sun
Drexel University
MII/Fralin Visiting Scholar Lecture

Lecture 3: ” Effect of Bio-ink Viscosity and Printing Process on Cells” (abstract)

September 3, 2015

Lecture 2:  “3D Cell Printing for In vitro Biological Models” (abstract)

September 1, 2015

Lecture 1:  “Bio-3D Printing:  Challenges and Opportunities” (abstract)

August 31, 2015

Prof. Shengfeng Cheng
Virginia Tech

“Molecular Dynamics Modeling of Polymers” (abstract)

September 9, 2015

Dr. Gregory Kamyskowski
TA Instruments

“Practical Applications of Rheology” (abstract)

September 23, 2015

Prof. Jonathan Boreyko
Virginia Tech

“Phase-Change Systems with Dynamic Interfaces:  From Jumping Droplets to Ice Bridges” (abstract)

September 30, 2015

Prof. Jean Duhamel
University of Waterloo

“What can Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer do that Purene Excimer Fluorescence Can’t?” (abstract)

November 4, 2015

Dr. Jeff Linhardt
Google X

“Utilizing 50 year of Research to Develop Smart Contact Lenses” (abstract)

November 11, 2015

Dr. Bert Meijer
Technical University of Eindhoven, Netherlands
MII/Fralin Visiting Scholar Lecture

Lecture 3:  “Supramolecular Materials and Systems – Folded Single-Chain Polymer Nanoparticles; Towards Enzyme Mimics” (abstract)

November 20, 2015

Lecture 2:  “Supramolecular Materials and Systems – Pathway Complexity in the Self-Assembly of Conjugated Materials; Chirality as a Muse” (abstract)

November 18, 2015

Lecture 1:  “Supramolecular Materials and Systems – From Supramolecular Polymers to Functional Materials” (abstract)

November 17, 2015

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Prof. Katerina E. Aifantis
The University of Arizona

“Effects of Matrix Stiffness on Cell Adhesion and Migration”

February 3, 2016

Prof. Scott Phillips
Penn State University

“Chemical Amplification in Polymeric Materials”

February 17, 2016

Prof. Gillian Goward
McMaster University

“Characterizing Locl Synamics in PolyFluoroSulfonic Acids and Li-Ion Battery Electrolytes Using In situ Magnetic Resonance”

February 24, 2016 

Prof. Emillie (Mia) Siochi

“Nanotechnology:  From Science Fiction to Reality”

March 2, 2016 

Dr. Aswini Pradhan
Norfolk State University

“Nanotechnology for Preventative Health Care and Energy”

March 9, 2016

Prof. Zhibin Guan
Univ. of California

“Bio-inspired Design of Dynamic and Self-Healing Polymer Materials”

April 6, 2016

Prof.  Jon Pokorski
Case Western Reserve University

“Polymer Engineering with Proteins:  New Chemistry and Processing Techniques” (abstract)

April 13, 2016

Prof. Xiaoyu (Rayne) Zheng
Virginia Tech

“Polymer Engineering with Proteins:  New Chemistry and Processing Techniques” (abstract)

April 20, 2016 

Prof. Kenneth B. Wagener
University of Florida

“Raising High Density Polethylene’s Melting Point by 40˚C” (abstract)

May 4, 2016

Dr. Travis Baughman
DSM Engineering Plastics

“Materials Based on Designer Polyolefins:  From Olefin Metathesis Copolymers to UHMEPE Materials” (abstract)

May 11, 2016

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Dr. Darin Dotson
Milliken Co.

“Recent Developments in Polyethylene Nucleation” 

September 10, 2014

Prof. Tim St. Pierre
The University of Western Australia

“Magnetic Materials in Medicine:  Applications in Diagnosis, Management, and Treatment of Disease”  

October 15, 2014

Prof. Andres Boydston
University of Washington

“Development of Polymer Mechanochemistry for the Release of Small Molecules”  

October 29, 2014

Prof. Ronit Bitton
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev,

“Hierarchical Structure of Multicomponent Polysaccharide-Based ECM Mimetics”

December 17, 2014

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Assoc. Professor Makoto Yoshida, Asst. Professor Ryota Kose, and Asst. Professor Nakaba Satoshi
Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

“Eco-Materials Research in Japan – Applications for Nanocellulose, New Fungal Enzymes, and Physiological Control”

January 12, 2015

Prof. Lloyd Robeson
Lehigh University

Dr. Lloyd Robeson will present 6 hours of lectures on Transport Properties of Polymers. The topics will include fundamentals, structure-property relationships, gas separations, water purification, and new directions. Dr. Robeson is one of the world’s leaders in this field. MII is sponsoring the event and it is also a requirement for the MACR 5016 class.

March 26 & 27, 2015

Prof. O. Thompson Mefford
Clemson University

“Integrated Approach  for the Fabrication of Multi-functional Metal and Metal Oxide Nanoparticles:Particles, Polymers, and Potential”

April 1, 2015

Dr. Jed W. Pitera
IBM Reserach – Almaden

“Polymer Modeling at IBM Research – Almaden”

April 3, 2015

Dr. David M. Stepp
U.S. Army Research Office

“Materials Design: Where Do We Go from Here?”

April 20, 2015

Prof. Joe Wheeler
Virginia Tech

“The Virginia Tech FutureHAUS, A proposal for an Industrialized Architecture”

April 21, 2015

Dr. Ankit Vora
IBM Almaden Research Center

“Directed Self-assembly of Topcoat-free Polycarbonate Containing High-χ Block Copolymers”  

April 27, 2015

Dr. David Williams
Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine

“Biocompatibility Pathways” (abstract)

April 29, 2015

Dr. Charles Black
Brookhaven Nat’l Lab

“Engineering Material Properties Using Block Copolymers Self Assembly” (abstract)

May 13, 2015

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Prof. Hunaid Nulwala
Carnegie Mellon University / National Energy Technology Laboratory

“Nano Phase Separated Block Copolymers for Gas Separation Membranes” 

August 6, 2013

Prof. Megan Robertson
University of Houston

“Sustainable and Biodegradable Structured Polymers”

September 4, 2013

Dr. Adam Weber

“Understanding Transport in and Properties of Nafion Across Length Scales” 

September 18, 2013

Prof. Matthew Green
University of Delaware

“Tuning Solution Assemblies of Novel Amphiphilic Block Copolymers Through Manipulation of Interfacial Interactions”  

October 4, 2013

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Prof. Joe DeSimone
University of North Carolina

“Co-opting Moore’s Law Design of Shape-specific Particulate-based Vaccines and Therapeutics”

April 4, 2014

Dr. Ad Overbeek
DSM Coating Resins

“DSM as a Life Science and Material Science Company”  

April 14, 2014

Dr. Sri Iyer
Braskem Americas

“North America Energy Transformation and its Impact on Petrochemicals” 

April 23, 2014

Dr. Nathan Ravi
Washington University School of Medicine

“Biomimetic Engineering in Ophthalmology”

May 2, 2014

Dr. Ludwik Leibler
ESPCI ParisTech
MII/Fralin Visiting Scholar Lecture

Lecture 3:  “Adhesion and Organ Repair by Nanoparticle Solutions” (abstract)

May 22, 2014

Lecture 2:  “Vitrimers:  A New Class of Materials” (abstract)

May 20, 2014

Lecture 1:  “Self-healing Rubbers, Super-Processable Plastics and Universally Dispersible Colloids from Supramolecular Assemblies” (abstract)

May 19, 2014

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Prof. David A. Tirrell
California Institute of Technology
MII/Fralin Visiting Scholar Lecture

Lecture 3:  “Reinterpreting the Genetic Code:  From Polymers to Proteomics – Non‐Canonical Amino Acids in the Interrogation of Cellular Protein Synthesis” (abstract)

November 15, 2012

Lecture 2:  “Reinterpreting the Genetic Code:  From Polymers to Proteomics – Proteins that Nature Never Made” (abstract)

November 13, 2012

Lecture 1: “Reinterpreting the Genetic Code:  From Polymers to Proteomics – Proteins that Nature Never Made” (abstract)

November 12, 2012

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Dr. Werner K. Nielsen
Statkraft AS

“Recent Development and Future Opportunities in Osmotic Power” 

March 1, 2013

Dr. Yuichiro Otsuka
Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute

“Production of 2-pyrone-4, 6-dicarboxylic Acid as a Novel Polymer-Based Material from Low Molecular Weight lignin by Metabolic Engineering of Microbial Functions” 

April 22, 2013

Dr. Paul Foreman

“Adhesive Polymers for Transdermal and Transmucosal Drug Delivery”

April 24, 2013

Dr. Ashish Kulkarni

“I Got my PhD in……. Now What?” – Perspective on the Road Ahead” 

April 26, 2013

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Prof. Pedro Miguel Reis

“The Wonders of Thin Objects: Coiling Spaghetti and Pressing on Eggshells” 

August 24, 2011

Prof. Claus-Michael Lehr
Saarland University, Germany
MII/Fralin Visiting Scholar Lecture

Lecture 3: “Drug Delivery Across Biological Barriers: Intestines, Skin and Lungs – The Barrier of the Lungs” (abstract)

October 20, 2011

Lecture 2: “Drug Delivery Across Biological Barriers: Intestines, Skin and Lungs – The Skin Barrier” (abstract)

October 19, 2011

Lecture 1: “Drug Delivery Across Biological Barriers: Intestines, Skin and Lungs – The Gastrointestinal Barrier” (abstract)

October 18, 2011

Prof. Amrinder S. Nain
Virginia Tech

“STEP Polymeric Fiber Manufacturing Platform for Advanced Materials and Tissue Engineering” 

November 30, 2011

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Prof. Coray M. Colina
The Pennsylvania State University

“In-Silico: Expressway to Materials Design” 

February 15, 2012

Prof. Susie H. Pun
University of Washington

“Peptide-based Polymers for Nucleic Acid Delivery” 

April 11, 2012

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Prof. Li Jia
University of Akron

“Cobolt-Catalyzed Carbonylative Polymerization” 

September 15, 2010

Prof. Brent Sumerlin

“New Stimuli-responsive Macromolecules: Polymer-Protein Bioconjugates and “Sweet Tooth” Micelles” 

October 6, 2010

Dr. Larry Wendling

“Innovation at 3M” (MII Technical Conference)

October 12, 2010

Prof. Sungsool Wi
Virginia Tech

“Solid-State NMR Characterization of Highly Chlorine-resistant Di-sulfonated Poly(Arylene ether Sulfone) Random Copolymers for Research Osmosis Applications” 

October 18, 2010

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Prof. Sergey V. Kotomin
State Technical University, Moscow, Russia

“History and Development of Molecular Composites in the World and Russia” 

April 6, 2011

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Dr. Nicole Moore

“The Design, Synthesis, and Characterization of a Novel Polyethylene Glycol Based Gene Delivery System” 

September 22, 2009

Dr. Jamie Messman
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

“Reactive and Functional Polymers from Vinyl Dimethyl Aziactone (VDMA)” 

September 30, 2009

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Prof. Richard Partch
Clarkson University

“Nanoparticles for Cancel and Chemical Overdose Therapies” 

March 4, 2010

Dr. Emmett Crawford
Eastman Chemical Co.

“Development of Tritan Copolyesters” 

March 31, 2010

Dr. Frank Svec
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

“The Hydrogen Fuel Alternative: Is It Real?” 

April 7, 2010

Prof. Wei Chen
Mount Holyoke College

“New Polymers for Nonfouling Applications”

April 28, 2010

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Prof. Lian R. Hutchings
University of Durham

“Functional Materials Synthesised by Controlled Polymer Chemistry”

August 27, 2008

Prof. David Hercules
Vanderbilt University

“Polymer Characterization by Maldi: Some Challenges and Some Successes” and Prof. Tony Gies, Vanderbilt University

October 1, 2008

Dr. Matthew Becker

“Non-Traditional Methods for Characterizing Biomaterial Substrates” 

October 24, 2008

Dr. Joannie Chin

“Characterization of Ambient Temperature Cure Epoxy Used in Boston’s Central Artery Tunnel (“Big Dig”) Ceiling Collapse” 

November 5, 2008

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Dr. Marc T. Cicerone

“Broadband CARS Microscopy – Overview and Applications” 

June 2, 2009

Dr. Al Robertson
Cytec Canada Inc.

“Phosphonium-based Ionic Liquids”

June 12, 2009

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Dr. Russ Gaudiana
Konarka Technologies, Inc.

“Prospects for Solar Energy – Organic Photovoltaics”

October 22, 2007

Dr. Don Schulz

“Polyolefins Their Role in Sustainable Development”

October 23, 2007

Dr. Anthony P. Gies
Vanderbilt University

“Obtaining MALDI Mass Spectra of Insoluble Polymers”

December 6, 2007

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Prof. Justin Barone
Virginia Tech (Biological Systems Engineering)

“Building Biopolymer Structures from Protein Building Blocks”

March 26, 2008

Prof. Paul Gatenholm
Virginia Tech (Materials Science and Engineering)

“Assembly of Polysaccharides into Innovative Biomaterials”

May 7, 2008

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Prof. Ralph H. Colby
Pennsylvania State University

“Electrical and Mechanical Properties of Poly(ethylene oxide)-based Ionomers as Single Ion Conductors” 

September 22, 2006

Prof. Tim Lodge
University of Minnesota

“Self-Assembly of Multicompartment Micelles from ABC Star Copolymers”

October 20, 2006

Speaker, Institution

Seminar Title


Prof. Dan Knauss
Colorado School of Mines

“Polymer Chemistry at the Colorado School of Mines: Branched Polymers, Polymeric Particles, Polylactides, and Iolymers by Nucleophilic A Romatic Substitution” 

April 11, 2007

Mr. Mitchell A. Katz and Dr. Chris Curfman
Needle & Rosenberg, P.C.

“Paradigms in Chemical Patent Law”

April 25, 2007