Mingtao Chen

Novel responsive block copolymer synthesis through living polymerization

My research focuses on the synthesis of novel responsive polymers with secondary interactions using either controlled radical polymerization (RAFT) or living anionic polymerization. We investigate the morphologies, thermomechanical and rheological properties of block copolymers with either or both hydrogen bonding and electrostatic interaction. Our current study focus on the fundamental understanding of the meso-scale morphological changes of thin electro-responsive films under external voltage. Our research also involves the development of a new environmental-friendly reactive adhesive.


Justin Sirrine

Synthesis of Low Tg Photocurable Oligomers + Polymers for Microsterolithography

My research focuses on the synthesis and characterization of novel polyester-, polyether- and poly(dimethylsiloxane)-containing oligomers and polymers for mask projection microstereolithography, a subset of additive manufacturing. I am interested in step growth polycondensation, free-radical photocuring kinetics, and interlayer adhesion in 3D printed objects.

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Ryan Mondschein


Synthesis and Characterization of High Performance Polyesters and Polyetherimides

Ryan’s current research entails the synthesis and characterization of various polymers including aliphatic and semi-aromatic polyesters, polyetherimides, and phosphonium ionenes.  Typical synthesis includes monomer preparation and purification, polymerization techniques including melt polymerization and high temperature solution polymerization, and purification involving precipitation and dialysis.  General thermal (DSC, TGA), compositional (SEC, NMR), thermomechanical/rheological (Rheology, DMA, HDT), and mechanical (Tensile, Flexural) characterization are commonly employed to determine structure-property relationships, while more specialty analytical techniques (O2 Permeation, Ion Permeation, in situ FTIR, SEM, TGA-SA, XRD, and POM) enable further fundamental and application specific understanding.

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Katherine Valentine

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Design and Performance of Novel Liquid Crystalline Polyesters

Liquid crystalline polyesters is a widely utilized area of high performance polymers that has found value in the aerospace and electronic industries. My research focuses on the synthesis of novel semi-aromatic and fully-aromatic liquid crystalline copolyesters through step-growth melt transesterification and acidolysis techniques. Strategic variation of monomers afford a wide range of processing temperatures, morphologies, and mechanical properties. Our primary focus is on the fundamental understanding of these structure property relationships through thermal, structural, and mechanical characterization which will be essential to expanding the use of these unique polymers into new areas.

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Kevin Drummey

Bioinspiration as a Template for Designing Functional Materials and Enhancing 3D Printing

Bioinspired materials make use of the diverse non-covalent interactions used in nature. My research focus employs hydrogen bonding and electrostatic interactions to design functional materials, such as adhesives and self-assembled polymers. In the emerging field of additive manufacturing, these noncovalent interactions show promise in adhering 3D printed layers together to form more mechanically robust materials.

Philip Scott

Photopolymer synthesis for stereolithography and anionic polymerization of novel copolymers

My research involves synthesis and functionalization of novel copolymers using anionic polymerization and click chemistry. A primary focus has been to develop new photocurable resins for stereolithography 3D printing to increase the mechanical capabilities of printed objects from a synthetic perspective. My interests include anionic polymerization of ion containing polymers, UV curing chemistries, and characterization of soft materials.

Tyler White


Research Topic TBD

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Emily Wilts


Synthesis and characterization of water-soluble and bio-compatible polymers for additive manufacturing

My research focuses on synthesizing novel, water-soluble polymers for binder jetting, stereolithography and fused deposition modeling. Specifically, I am currently employing RAFT and cationic ring-opening polymerization techniques to synthesize polymers for 3D printable pharmaceuticals. Along with synthesizing these materials, I also characterize polymer solutions and polymer melts accordingly to predict printability.

Clay Arrington


 Development of High Performance Engineering Thermoplastics for Stereolithography

Josh Wolfgang


Structure-property relationships in engineering thermoplastics

Improving the processability of high-performance polymers advances their utilization in demanding applications. We are investigating the relationships between processability, thermal stability, and mechanical properties as a result of a change in composition.


Xi Chen

Xi Chen

Hydrogen-bonded supramolecular polymers

My research focuses on the synthesis and characterization of hydrogen-bonded supramolecular polymers. Reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer polymerization (RAFT) is used as a main method to synthesize polymers with controlled molecular weight and low polydispersity. Due the reversible characteristic of hydrogen bonding interaction, polymer can exhibit excellent properties and interesting self-assembly behaviors, which can be tailored by the design of polymer compositions, architectures, and monomer molecular structures. The resulted polymers can be applied to adhesives, shape memory and self-healing materials, etc.

For a complete list of student alumni, please visit the Alumni Page