UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A two-day virtual symposium featuring speakers from academia and industry will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, April 14-15, and will discuss the past and future of polymer sciences. The symposium is free and open to the public via Zoom.
The symposium, “Reflections and Future Perspectives of Polymer Science,” will feature an interdisciplinary group of speakers and experts who will reflect on both the past and future of polymer science.
The symposium will feature a plenary and keynote presentation, along with 17 talks by industry and academic speakers.
The plenary presentation, “New Methods for the Synthesis of Sustainable Polymers,” will be given by Geoffrey Coates, the Tisch University Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell University. Coates’ teaching and research interests involve science at the interface of organic, inorganic and materials chemistry. The broader impacts of his research include benign polymers and chemical synthesis, the utilization of renewable resources and materials safe and economical energy storage and conversion.
The keynote presentation, “From Biomass Waste to Performance-Advantaged Polymers: Efficient Routes to Lignin Valorization,” will be given by Thomas Epps, III, the Allan and Myra Ferguson Distinguished Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware. Epps also has a joint appointment in Materials Science and Engineering. Epps’ research interests include nanostructured soft materials from biobased feedstocks, nanotemplating of polymer films and coatings, polymeric materials for ion-conduction membranes (batteries and fuel cells), polymer/MOF composites and nanostructured assemblies for targeted drug delivery and gene therapy.
The symposium is sponsored by the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences’ Department of Materials Science and Engineering and is part of the college’s 125th Anniversary celebration. The symposium is also sponsored by the Material Research Institute and Penn State’s Institutes of Energy and the Environment.