November, 2012
Research develops ‘second skin’ military fabric to repel chemical and biological agents

Military uniforms of the future may offer a new layer of critical protection to wearers thanks to research by polymer scientists and colleagues at several other institutions who are developing a nanotube-based fabric that repels chemical and biological agents.

Polymer Science professors Kenneth Carter and James Watkins, collaborating with team leader Francesco Fornasiero of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), recently received a five-year $1.8 million grant to design ways to manufacture the new material as part of a $13 million project funded by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency. It’s estimated that the new uniforms could be deployed in the field in less than 10 years.

August, 2012
Researchers win $2 million NSF grant to develop self-folding polymer sheets for new materials

A group of scientists and mathematicians led by physicist Christian Santangelo has won a National Science Foundation (NSF) Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) grant for 2012, one of only 15 given to investigators at 26 institutions and totaling nearly $30 million.

Santangelo and colleagues including polymer scientist Ryan Hayward are experts in developing self-folding polymer sheets, which take advantage of origami principles to provide highly tunable mechanical responses. Their four-year, $2 million grant is part of EFRI’s Origami Design for the Integration of Self-assembling Systems for Engineering Innovation (ODISSEI) program for developing new mechanical meta-materials.

July, 2012
Polymer scientist Alejandro Briseño, Kinesiology alumna receive presidential early career awards

President Barack Obama has named polymer scientist Alejandro L. Briseño to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the federal government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

June, 2012
Geckskin Does Some Heavy Lifting!

Geckos provide an innovative model for UMass scientists.

View video at: YouTube

March, 2012
Geckskin team wins $900,000 international grant

Duncan Irschick, Biology, and Al Crosby, Polymer Science and Engineering, with Walter Federle of Cambridge University, have been awarded a three-year, $900,000 grant from the Human Frontiers Science Program (HFSP) in Strasbourg, France, to study bioadhesion in geckos and insects.

March, 2012
Shape of Things to Come: Mimicking nature's complex shaping

Inspired by nature's ability to shape a petal, and building on simple techniques used in photolithography and printing, researchers Ryan Hayward of Polymer Science and Engineering, Christian Santangelo of the Physics Department and their colleagues have developed a new tool for manufacturing three-dimensional shapes easily and cheaply, to aid advances in biomedicine, robotics and tunable micro-optics.

February, 2012
Stick to It!: Gecko feet lead to super-adhesive 'Geckskin'

If you are inspired and intrigued by gecko feet, it turns out you are not alone. If you aren't, perhaps you should be. It seems that for ages, biologists have been amazed by the power of gecko feet, which let these five-ounce lizards produce an adhesive force roughly equivalent to carrying nine pounds up a wall without slipping. Now, a team of polymer scientists and a biologist have discovered exactly how the gecko does it, leading them to invent "Geckskin," a device that can hold 700 pounds on a smooth wall.

January, 2012
Scientists design new nanotech technique for lower-cost materials repair

In the super-small world of nanostructures, a campus team of polymer scientists and engineers has discovered how to make nano-scale repairs to a damaged surface equivalent to spot-filling a scratched car fender rather than re-surfacing the entire part. The work builds on a theoretical prediction by chemical engineer and co-author Anna Balazs at the University of Pittsburgh.

October, 2011
'Nanostructure' process to streamline production of magnetic material

Polymer Science and Engineering's Gregory Tew and colleagues have designed a completely new and simpler method of preparing ordered magnetic materials by coupling magnetic properties to nanostructure formation at low temperatures.

September, 2011
Thomas Russell Receives 2011 Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity

Tom was honored at the Seventh Annual Faculty Convocation on Friday, September 16, 2011. He was one of six acclaimed faculty members who were presented with the Award.

Read more: 7th Annual Faculty Convocation