College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering
The University of Akron's College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering was inaugurated in July of 1988 by combining the Department of Polymer Science, then in the Buchtel College of Arts and Science, with the Department of Polymer Engineering, then in the College of Engineering. The college is organized for teaching and research at the graduate level, granting M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in either Polymer Science or Polymer Engineering (thesis required) and a Master of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering (non-thesis option). The organization includes complementary research centers and facilities with instrumentation and support staff, which generally provides a research focus for the department faculty and graduate students. The department chairs report to the dean. The program is the largest (~34 faculty, ~300 graduate students and post-docs) and broadest in the U.S., dating from 1910, and is recognized as being among the world's best. Its traditional strengths in new polymer synthesis and their manufacturing processes which compound, shape, and assemble polymer products, have been complemented in the past two decades by computational simulations, morphological, surface and optical characterization, as well as a number of added specializations, such as new, federally funded programs in nanotechnologies and photonics that have permitted a much stronger focus on active polymer devices and assemblies. College faculty members have generated over 160 active patents and have licensed technologies that have been commercialized worldwide.