October, 2010
Doctoral programs on the rise: Among the best in NRC ranking

The recently released National Research Council (NRC) rankings of 5,000 doctoral programs may be difficult to decipher but one conclusion is clear - some of the nation's best programs are right here.

Of the 39 fields of study in which the campus was eligible to be assessed, four programs- food science, kinesiology, linguistics, and polymer science and engineering - are ranked among the country's top programs, public or private.

October, 2010
Center for UMass Amherst-Industry Research on Polymers Celebrates 30 Years of Practical Collaboration

The nation’s oldest industry-university collaborative research center, established by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1980, will celebrate its 30th anniversary of partnerships this month during a three-day conference at the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus, Oct. 12-14.

The Center for UMass Research on Polymers (CUMIRP) was one of several centers funded by NSF beginning 30 years ago to bring basic research to industry for practical applications and new technologies, says James Capistran, center director.

September, 2010
Doctoral Programs Shine in NRC Rankings

A dozen doctoral programs here made impressive showings in rankings released this week by the National Research Council. The campus's nationally recognized programs in Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Linguistics, Polymer Science and Psychology remain among the nation's strongest. These programs were highlighted in the 1995 National Research Council (NRC) study, and over the ensuing decade continued their leadership.

August, 2010
Battery Alternative Could Lighten Load for Soldiers

American soldiers today carry so many electronic devices in their field packs that the weight of batteries alone is a concern, leading the Department of Defense to enlist polymer scientist Bryan Coughlin and others to develop a lighter-weight power source.

August, 2010
On the edge of a fold...

Two papers by UMass Amherst polymer scientists and physicists appeared recently in the prestigious journal, Physical Review Letters, offering insight into what determines the size and shape of wrinkles in soft materials. Editors highlighted both in a synopsis, singling the investigations out as worthy of special interest. "The experiments offer complimentary insights into how defects, such as an edge or a fold, influence the presence of wrinkles and could prove helpful in understanding the formation of wrinkles in biological tissue," they noted.

August, 2010
Maria Santore Honored by the American Chemical Society

The American Chemical Society named Maria Santore of the Polymer Science and Engineering one of 192 new Fellows, honored for their outstanding achievements in and contributions to the science, the profession and service to the society. She will be honored at the society's fall national meeting in Boston on Aug. 22-26.

July, 2010
Obituary: Robert Lenz, Retired University Professor, Co-Founder Polymer Science and Engineering Department

Robert (Bob) Lenz, one of the founding members of the Polymer Science and Engineering Program at the University of Massachusetts, died Friday July 2, 2010.

May, 2010
Obituary: Richard J. Farris, Retired Distinguished University Professor, Polymer Science and Engineering Department

Richard J. Farris, a wide-ranging researcher who mentored and advised scores of graduate students in the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering over a career that spanned more than 33 years, died May 25 in Leeds.

March, 2010
Novel Foams Reduce Fire Risk

Treating soft furnishings with toxic flame-retardants could be avoided in the future thanks to a new non-flammable polymer developed by US scientists.

Polyurethanes are used in a wide variety of common products, including upholstery and mattresses, in the form of flexible foams. However, they are naturally combustible and flame-retardants must be added to meet safety regulations, but these can bring further disadvantages.

March, 2010
Chinese Scientists Expand Ties During Polymer Workshop at UMass Amherst

The Department of Polymer Science and Engineering (PSE) could be headed toward a “sister department” relationship with a polymer physics and chemistry laboratory at the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry (CIAC) in China, according to department head David Hoagland.