World Polymer Congress - June 24-29, 2012 - Virginia Tech Campus - Blacksburg, VA - USA

Plenary Speakers

Sunday, June 24, 2012:


Niyazi Serdar Sariciftci
TITLE: Organic and Bio-Organic Polymers for Sustainable Optoelectronics

Professor Sariciftci is Ordinarius Professor for Physical Chemistry and the Founding Director of the Linz Institute for Organic Solarcells (LIOS) at the Johannes Kepler University of Linz/Austria ( He studied at the University of Vienna (Austria) and graduated as PhD in physics in 1989. After two years postdoctoral study at the University of Stuttgart (Germany) he joined the Institute for Polymers and Organic Solids at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA, by Prof. Alan J. HEEGER, Nobel leaurate 2000 for Chemistry. His major contributions are in the fields of photoinduced optical, magnetic resonance and transport phenomena in semiconducting and metallic polymers. He is the inventor of conjugated polymer and fullerene based solar cells. Prof. Sariciftci published over 500 publications, received over 22000 citations (h-index 65), 8 books and educated several academic and industrial scientists. He also initiated seven spin off companies for organic optoelectronics. In his research, Sariciftci focusses on the solar energy conversion into electricity (photovoltaic) as well as into chemical energy using CO2 recycling. He is recipient of several prizes among them the National Science Prize of Turkey 2006 and the Austrian Scientists of the year Prize for Research 2008. He received the Medal for Humanity of the City of Linz 2009 and the Kardinal Prize for Science of the Archbishop in Vienna 2010. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), Fellow of SPIE, and member of several societies such as American Chemical Society, Materials Research Society, Austrian Chemical Society and Austrian Physical Society. In 2011 Sariciftci received honorary doctorate from the Abo Academy in Finland. In a ranking of Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) Sariciftci is ranked #14 of the world's material scientist top 100 list.


Professor Kazunori Kataoka, The University of Tokyo
TITLE: Medical Innovation through Polymer Chemistry ~Supramolecular Structures of Block Copolymers as Smart Nanodevices for Gene and Drug Delivery~

Kazunori Kataoka is a Professor in the Department of Materials Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo, Japan. He has been Professor of Biomaterials at the Graduate School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo, Japan since 1998. Since 2004, he has been appointed joint position as Professor of the Division of Clinical Biotechnology at the Center for Disease Biology and Integrative Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, the University of Tokyo. He received B. Eng. (1974) in Organic Chemistry, M.Eng. (1976) and Ph.D. (1979) in Polymer Chemistry from the University of Tokyo. He had held professorships at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Tokyo Women's Medical College (1979-1989) and Department of Materials Engineering at Tokyo University of Science (1989-1998) before joining the faculty of the University of Tokyo in 1998. He was a Visiting Professor at University of Paris XIII, France (1992, 1996), Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan (2007), Ludwig-Maximillians University (LMU), Munich, Germany (2008), and Zhejiang University, Hanzhou, China (2010). He served as the Adjunct Director of the Biomaterials Center at the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), Japan from 2001-2004.

He is President of the Society of Polymer Science, Japan (2010-), Vice President of the Controlled Release Society (2010-), Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) (1999-) and Fellow of Biomaterials Science and Engineering (FBSE) (2004-). He has received several awards, including the Award of the Japanese Society for Biomaterials (1993), Outstanding Paper Award of the Controlled Release Society (1995), Award of the Society of Polymer Science, Japan (2000), Clemson Award in Basic Research, Society for Biomaterials, USA (2005), Barré Award, University of Montreal (2006), Founder's Award of Controlled Release Society (2008), NIMS Award, National Institute of Materials Science, Japan (2009), and The Prize for Science and Technology (Research Category), The Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan (MEXT) (2010). He has more than 400 publications and is on the editorial board of twelve international journals. He is Editor of Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition, Associate Editor of Biomacromolecules (American Chemical Society), and Associate Editor of Biomaterials. His current major research interest is supramolecular materials for nanobiotechnology, particularly focusing on gene and drug delivery.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Professor Robert H. Grubbs, California Institute of Technology
TITLE: Controlled synthesis of functional polymers

Robert H. Grubbs is currently the Victor and Elizabeth Atkins Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA, where he has been a faculty member since 1978. Before moving to Caltech, he was at Michigan State University from 1969 to 1978 achieving the rank of Associate Professor. The research group of Grubbs is involved in the design, synthesis, and mechanistic studies of complexes that catalyze basic organic transformations. The major focus of the group over the past few years has been on the olefin metathesis reaction. To optimize the utility of this reaction, new catalysts have been developed that are extremely tolerant of organic functional groups. Due to their high-activity, functional group tolerance, and ease of use, these ruthenium based catalysts have found wide applications in organic and polymer synthesis. He has 500+ publications and 115+ patents based on his research.

Professor Grubbs awards have included Alfred P. Sloan Fellow (1974-76), Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (1975-78), Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (1975), ACS National Award in Organometallic Chemistry (1988), Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (1990), ACS Award in Polymer Chemistry (1995), Nagoya Medal of Organic Chemistry (1997), Fluka Reagent of the Year (1998), Mack Memorial Award (1999), Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry (2000), ACS Herman F. Mark Polymer Chemistry Award (2000), ACS Herbert C. Brown Award for Creative Research in Synthetic Methods (2001), ACS Arthur C. Cope Award (2002), ACS Award for Creative Research in Homogeneous or Heterogeneous Catalysis (2003), Richard C. Tolman Medal (Southern California Section ACS - 2003), ACS Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry (2003), Pauling Award Medal (2003), Bristol-Myers Squibb Distinguished Achievement Award in Organic Synthesis (2004), Kirkwood Medal (2005) (New Haven Section, ACS), Paul Karrer Gold Medallion (2005) (University of Zurich), August-wilhelm-von-Hofmann-Denkmunze (2005) (German Chemical Society), Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2005), Havinga Medal (2006) (Leiden University), Golden Plate Award (2006) (Academy of Achievement), and Tetrahedron Most Cited Paper 2003-2006 Award ("Olefin Metathesis"), Tetrahedron Letters Most Cited Paper 2005-2008 Award ("A Neutral, Water-Soluble Olefin Metathesis Catalyst Based on an N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligand"), ACS Award for Creative Invention (2009), Gold Medal of the American Institute of Chemists (2010), ACS Roger Adams Award in Organic Chemistry (2011). He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences (1989), Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1994), the Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2006), Fellows of the American Chemical Society (2009), ACS Polymer Division Fellow (2010).

DSM Performance Materials Award 2012


Professor Geoffrey Coates
Geoffrey W. Coates, Tisch University Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (USA) has been named as the recipient of the DSM Performance Materials Award 2012 in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the advancement of the materials sciences. The award - which carries a cash prize of EUR 50,000 - will be presented to Professor Coates at the IUPAC World Polymer Congress 2012 to be held at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA (USA) during the plenary session on the morning of June 25. Professor Coates will deliver an award lecture on the occasion, titled "New Polymers from Old Monomers: Advances Enabled through Catalyst Design and Discovery". On the same day, a special DSM-IUPAC Performance Materials Symposium will be held in the afternoon.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Professor Eugenia Kumacheva, University of Toronto
TITLE: Building Nanopolymers: Lessons from Polymer Physics and Chemistry

Eugenia Kumacheva is Professor of Chemistry at the University of Toronto. She has cross-appointments in the Department of Chemical Engineering and The Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering. She received her Ph.D. degree in Physical Chemistry of Polymers at the Institute of Physical Chemistry (Russian Academy of Science) and did her postdoctoral research at the Weizmann Institute of Science and the University of Toronto.

Professor Kumacheva's research group is involved in several areas of soft matter, including self-assembly, polymers, colloids, thin films, hybrid materials, gels and microfluidics.

Professor Kumacheva has more than 160 publications, 2 books, and 16 patents. Her awards and distinctions include Canada Research Chair in Advanced Polymer Materials, Macromolecular Science and Engineering Award, Fellowship to the Royal Society of Canada, Japan-Canada WISET lectureship, Killam Fellowship, International Chorafas Foundation Award in Physics and Engineering, and L'Oreal-UNESCO Award "For Women in Science".

Professor Kumacheva serves on Advisory Boards in the Waterloo Institute of Nanotechnology (Canada), Advanced Science Institute (RIKEN) (Japan) and the Brookhaven National Laboratory (USA). She served or serves on the Advisory or Editorial boards of Polymer Bulletin, Soft Matter and Colloid polymer Science.


Professor Xi Zhang, Tsinghua University
TITLE: Single-molecule Force Spectroscopy and Polymer Interactions

Xi Zhang is a full professor of the Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. His research interests are focused on superamphiphiles, supramolecular polymers, Se-containing polymers, polymer thin films and single-chain polymers. He is senior editor of Langmuir and has served as Editorial Board Members of several journals, including Chemical Communications, Polymer and Polymer Chemistry. In 2007, he was selected as a member of Chinese Academy of Sciences. Since 2010, he is vice president of Chinese Chemical Society.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Professor Jean M. J. Fréchet, University of California, Berkeley, and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Title: Starting a 21st Century Science and Technology University: the KAUST model

Jean Fréchet was born in France and received his first university degree at the Institut de Chimie et Physique Industrielles (now CPE) in Lyon, before moving to the US to earn Ph.D. degrees in organic and polymer chemistry from the State University of New York and from Syracuse University. He joined the Chemistry Faculty at the University of Ottawa in Canada in 1973 then moved to Cornell University in 1987 as the IBM Professor of Polymer Chemistry and Peter J. Debye Chair of Chemistry. In 1997, Jean Fréchet joined the faculties of Chemistry and of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, later being named Henry Rapoport Chair of Organic Chemistry and a Scientific Director of the Molecular Foundry, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He currently serves as Vice President Research at KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A member of the US National Academy of Science and the US National Academy of Engineering, he is the author of about 900 research publications with over 50,000 citations (H 116) and the recipient of about 80 US patents. His research at the interface of organic and polymer chemistry is directed towards functional macromolecules, their design, synthesis, and applications.


Professor Bernadette Charleux, Laboratory for the Chemistry and Processes of Polymerization, France
TITLE: Polymer synthesis in water: recent developments and challenges

Bernadette Charleux received a PhD degree from the University Claude Bernard in Lyon, France, under the supervision of Dr. Christian Pichot. She was working on the elaboration of functionalized particles for medical diagnostic applications. She then spent 6 months at the CNRS center of Thiais, France, working in the domain of conducting polymers. During that period she got a permanent CNRS researcher position to work in the field of cationic polymerization in the group of Professor Jean-Pierre Vairon, at the Laboratoire de Chimie des Polymères at the University Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris, France. She received the Habilitation in 2000 and was appointed full Professor in 2001. Since september 2009, she is a Professor at the University Claude Bernard Lyon 1, senior member of the Institut Universitaire de France and director of the research unit Chemistry Catalysis Polymer and Processes. In recent years she focused her research on controlled/living radical polymerization in dispersed systems and on the synthesis of amphiphilic block copolymers and their self-assemblies.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Benny D. Freeman
Benny Freeman is the Kenneth A. Kobe and Paul D. and Betty Robertson Meek & American Petrofina Foundation Centennial Professor of Chemical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. He has been a faculty member for more than 20 years. He completed his graduate training in Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, earning a Ph.D. in 1988. In 1988 and 1989, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Ecole Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la Ville de Paris (ESPCI), Laboratoire Physico-Chimie Structurale et Macromoléculaire in Paris, France. Dr. Freeman's research is in polymer science and engineering and, more specifically, in mass transport of small molecules in solid polymers. He currently directs 15 Ph.D. students, 1 postdoctoral fellow, and 4 visiting scientists performing fundamental research in gas and liquid separations using polymer membranes and barrier packaging. His research group focuses on structure/property correlation development for desalination and vapor separation membrane materials, new materials for hydrogen separation and natural gas purification, nanocomposite membranes, reactive barrier packaging materials, and new materials for improving fouling resistance and permeation performance in liquid separation membranes. His research is described in more than 300 publications and 15 patents/patent applications, and he has co-edited 5 books on these topics. He has won a number of awards, including the Roy W. Tess Award in Coatings from the PMSE Division of ACS (2012), the ACS Award in Applied Polymer Science (2009), the AIChE Institute Award for Excellence in Industrial Gases Technology (2008), and the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program Project of the Year (2001). He is a Fellow of the AAAS, AIChE, ACS, and the PMSE Division of ACS. He has served as chair of the PMSE Division of the ACS, chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Membranes: Materials and Processes, President of the North American Membrane Society, chair of the Membranes Area of the Separations Division of the AIChE, and he has also served as Chair of the Separations Division of AIChE. He is a co-founder of Advanced Hydro, Inc. (


Professor Katharina Landfester, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz
TITLE: Designing nanoparticles in miniemulsions: From nanolithography to bio-medical applications

Katharina Landfester studied chemistry at the technical university of Darmstadt. For her diploma thesis, she was at the Ecole d'Application des Hautes Polymères in Strasbourg (Professor M. Lambla). In 1995, she received her doctoral degree in physical chemistry from the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz after working with Professor H.W. Spiess at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research on the synthesis and characterization of core-shell latexes by transmission electron microscopy and solid state NMR. After spending another year as a group leader at the institute, she moved for a doctoral stay at the Lehigh University (Professor M. El-Aasser) where she first came in contact with the miniemulsion technique. She returned to Germany in 1998 joining the group of Professor M. Antonietti at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Golm. There, she led the miniemulsion group working on new possibilities in the synthesis of complex nanoparticles. In 2002, she got her habilitation in physical chemistry at the University of Potsdam. In 2003, she accepted a chair (C4) of macromolecular chemistry at the University of Ulm. Since 2008, is director at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research.

Banquet Speaker:


Robert J. Lang, Alamo, California,
Title: From Flapping Birds to Space Telescopes: The Modern Science of Origami

Robert J. Lang is recognized as one of the foremost origami artists in the world as well as a pioneer in computational origami and the development of formal design algorithms for folding. With a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Caltech, he has, during the course of work at NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Spectra Diode Laboratories, and JDS Uniphase, authored or co-authored over 80 papers and 45 patents in lasers and optoelectronics as well as authoring, co-authoring, or editing 12 books and a CD-ROM on origami. He is a full-time artist and consultant on origami and its applications to engineering problems but keeps his toes in the world of lasers, most recently as the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics from 2007-2010. He received Caltech's highest honor, the Distinguished Alumni Award, in 2009.

Friday, June 29, 2012


Professor Michael Rubinstein, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
TOPIC: Polymer physics helps us breathe easier

Michael Rubinstein is John P. Barker Distinguished Professor at the Department of Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has been on the faculty at UNC since 1995 following 10 years at Kodak Research Laboratories, post-doctoral fellowship at Bell Labs, and a PhD from Physics Department at Harvard. Rubinstein's research interests are in the area of theoretical soft condensed matter physics with an emphasis on polymer physics. His main scientific contributions include theories of polymer entanglements, dynamics of reversible networks, and models of charged polymers. His recent scientific interests are in applications of polymer physics to biological systems, such as airway surface layer of a lung and development of molecular models of polymer gels and networks including those with self-healing properties. In 2003 he published a textbook "Polymer Physics" (together with Ralph H. Colby from Penn State University) that became very popular and is currently used as a standard textbook in many universities world-wide. He is the winner of APS Polymer Physics Prize and served as the Chair of Polymer Physics Division of APS.


Professor E. W. "Bert" Meijer, Eindhoven University of Technology
TITLE: Consequences of cooperativity in supramolecular polymers

Bert Meijer is distinguished university professor and professor of Organic Chemistry at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). He is also scientific director of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems at the TU/e. He studied Chemistry in Groningen and received his PhD in 1982 cum laude on the topic of stereochemistry and chemiluminescence. After 10 years of industrial research at Philips Research in Eindhoven and DSM Research in Geleen he moved to the TU/e in 1991. Since 1995 he is also an adjunct professor at the Radboud University in Nijmegen and since 2006 visiting professor at the University of California in Santa Barbara. He is member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences and the Royal Dutch Society of Science. In 2001 he received the SPINOZA award, in 2006 the ACS award for polymer chemistry of the American Chemical Society and in 2010 the AkzoNobel award. He is an editor of the Journal of Polymer Science; Polymer Chemistry and member of a number of editorial boards, including Angewandte Chemie and the Journal of American Chemical Society. His research group is focused on supramolecular chemistry with special attention for stereochemistry, functional (bio)materials, self-assembly, chemical biology and complex molecular systems.

IUPAC Award Winner


Professor Ali Khademhosseini
Third Polymer International/IUPAC Award Winner

Ali Khademhosseini is an Associate Professor at Harvard-MIT's Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST), Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) as well as an Associate Faculty at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired engineering. He is also a Junior Principal Investigator at Japan's World Premier International - Advanced Institute for Materials Research (WPI-AIMR) at Tohoku University where he directs a satellite laboratory. Currently he is a Harrington fellow at the Biomedical Engineering Department of the University of Texas- Austin. His research is based on developing micro- and nanoscale technologies to control cellular behavior with particular emphasis in developing microscale biomaterials and engineering systems for tissue engineering. Currently, his laboratory is developing technologies to control the formation of vascularized tissues with appropriate microarchitectures as well as regulating stem cell differentiation within microengineered systems.

Dr. Khademhosseini's interdisciplinary research has been recognized by over 25 major national and international awards. He is the only person to receive early career awards from three major engineering discipline societies: electrical (IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology award / IEEE Nanotechnology award), chemical (AIChE Colburn award) and mechanical engineering (ASME YC Fung award). He is also the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor given by the US government for early career investigators. In 2011, he received the Pioneers of Miniaturization Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry for his contribution to microscale tissue engineering and microfluidics. In addition, he has received the young investigator awards of the Society for Biomaterials and the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society-North America. He has also received the American Chemical Society's Viktor K. Lamer award and the Unilever award and has been recognized by major governmental awards including the NSF Career award and the Office of Naval Research young investigator award. In 2007, he was named a TR35 recipient by the Technology Review Magazine as one of the world's top young innovators. He has also received major recognitions from other organizations including the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening Innovation Award, a Sloan fellowship as well as the IAMBE and the Coulter foundation early career awards. For his PhD work he received the BMW Scientific Award, considered as one of the most prestigious international prizes for a young scientist of any field.


Continuing and Professional Education @ Virginia Tech