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Nomination Deadline: 25 January of each calendar year

2022 Award Winner: Dr. Jill W. Alty

Advised by: Prof. Frank Leibfarth, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Jill Williamson Alty received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill under the direction of Prof. Frank Leibfarth and co-advised by Prof. Erik Alexanian. During her graduate studies, she developed new technologies and insights into polyolefin C-H functionalization. Her graduate work included studying mechanisms of C-H functionalization reactions, designing reagents for metal-free functionalization, and translating methods to perform these reactions within extruders. Jill also applied this chemistry towards upcycling post-consumer waste materials into ionomers. Currently, Jill is exploring the interface of chemistry and biology as a postdoctoral research scientist working with Prof. Laura Kiessling at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jill’s research accomplishments have been recognized with numerous awards including an ACS Excellence in Graduate Polymer Research award, the UNC Chemistry Department Venable Award Fellowship, and a Clare Boothe Luce Fellowship. Her passion for contributing to the research community is evident as she chaired the Ewha-Luce International Seminar in 2019 and is currently chairing the Polymers Gordon Research Seminar set for 2023. During her graduate studies, Jill was Communications Chair for the Allies for Minorities and Women in Science and Engineering group. She has continued her activism for equality in science within MIT’s Women+ in Chemistry organization.

The 2022 Henkel Award for Outstanding Graduate Research in Polymer Science & Engineering will be presented during a symposium in honor of Dr. Alty at the American Chemical Society National Meeting in Chicago, IL August 21-25, 2022 in the ACS Division of Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering. Over the last 30 years, this award has been jointly administered through the ACS Divisions of Polymer Chemistry (POLY) and Polymeric Materials: Science & Engineering (PMSE), with generous financial support from the Henkel Corporation.


The Henkel Award for Outstanding Graduate Research in Polymer Science & Engineering was established to recognize a PhD graduate student or recent graduate who has completed an outstanding PhD thesis in research at a university in the US or Canada.  The award is administered and sponsored by the POLY division of the ACS and the PMSE division of the ACS.

The award was first awarded in 1991 and was operated under the Polymer Education Committee (POLYED), sponsored by the Polymer Chemistry Division and Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering Division. The award has been previously sponsored by Unilever (1991-2003), National Starch (2006-2008) and AzkoNobel (2008-2013). Since 2014, it has been sponsored by Henkel Corporation. As of 2017, the award scope was expanded to include nominees across all areas of polymer science and engineering. This award is presented annually in the fall at the national ACS meeting during the POLY/PMSE award program.

Award: The award consists of a plaque, $2,000 honorarium, and travel support to attend the Fall ACS National Meeting in the year of the award. The award winner is invited to participate in a half-day symposium organized by the primary nominator (usually, the awardee’s thesis advisor). Additionally, the award will be presented at the joint POLY/PMSE awards presentation, typically on Wednesday evening.

Eligibility: A nominee must be a member or affiliate of the POLY or PMSE division of ACS and must currently be a PhD candidate or have earned their PhD during the three years prior to January 1 of the award year. Nominees are judged on the basis of their contribution to the thesis research, the quality and level of innovation demonstrated, the impact of their research on the science and technology of synthetic polymers or biopolymers, and their service and contributions to the broader community. Preference will be given to nominees who have not already been recognized by two or more (≥ 2) ACS Awards with associated honorary symposia.

Nomination Deadline: Award nomination package submission deadline is 25 January of each calendar year

Nomination

Nominators must be a member or affiliate of the ACS POLY or PMSE divisions and must be the nominee’s thesis supervisor or someone intimately familiar with the nominee’s work. A complete nomination package comprises:

  1. Nominee’s Curriculum Vita (CV) including Education & Training, Awards & Honors, List of Publications, List of Conference Presentations, Professional Activities & Affiliations
  2. Synopsis of nominee’s graduate work: 2 pages maximum
  3. Nomination letter from the thesis advisor: 3 pages maximum
  4. Up to two (2) letters supporting the nomination: 2 pages maximum per letter
  5. Up to three (3) representative 1st author publications from the nominee’s graduate thesis research.

Nominees are judged on the basis of their contribution to the thesis research, the quality and level of innovation demonstrated, and the impact of their research on the science, engineering, or technology of synthetic polymers or biopolymers. Preference will be given to nominees who have not already been recognized by two or more ACS Awards with associated honorary symposia

Complete nomination packages collated into a single PDF file containing the above items in the specified order should be sent by email to Prof. Jessica Kramer at jessica.kramer@utah.edu. The email subject line should be “YYYY” Henkel Graduate Award (where “YYYY” is the year of the nomination deadline).

About the Sponsor

Henkel values highly the development of outstanding scientists in the field of polymer science and engineering. Progress in the field is vital for the future development of high-performance materials that will enhance current technologies and enable future ones. Thus, Henkel is proud to sponsor this award to demonstrate their commitment recognizing outstanding young scientists.

Previous Awardees

2021 Austin M. Evans Northwestern William Dichtel
2020 Jeffrey Lopez Stanford Zhenan Bao
2019 Jovan Kamcev UT Austin Benny Freeman
Donald Paul
2018 Alex Zhukhovitskiy MIT Jeremiah Johnson
2017 John W. Colson Cornell William Dichtel
2016 Maxwell Robb UCSB Craig Hawker
2015 Jessica Kramer UCLA Tim Deming
2014 Felix Sunjoo Kim University of Washington Sam Jeneke
2013 Hua Lu UIUC Jianjun Cheng
2012 Garret Miyake Colorado State Eugene Chen
2011 Rong Tong UIUC Jianjun Cheng
2010 Haifeng Gao Carnegie Mellon Krysztof Matyjaszewski
2009 Christopher J. Bettinger MIT Bob Langer
2008 Nick Tsarevsky Carnegie Mellon Krysztof Matyjaszewski
2007 Jason Rolland UNC Chapel Hill Joe DeSimone
2006 Jiaxing Huang UCLA Richard Kaner
2003 Christopher W. Bielawski Caltech Bob Grubbs
2002 Kristi Kiick UMass Amherst Dave Tirrell
2001 Shu Yang Cornell Chris Ober
2000 Linda Chen Rochester Sam Jenekhe
1999 Scott G. Gaynor Carnegie Mellon Kryzstof Matyjaszewski
1998 James J. Watkins UMass Amherst Tom McCarthy
1997 Dong-Yu Kim UMass Lowell Sukant Tripathy
1996 Kristi S. Anseth UC Boulder Chris Bowman
1995 Rangaramanujam M. Kannan Caltech Julia Kornfield
1994 Tim Deming UMass Amherst Bruce Novak
1993 Chris Bowman Purdue Nicholas Peppas
1992 Rick Register UW Madison Stuart Cooper
1991 Christopher B. Gorman Caltech Bob Grubbs

For more information about previous awardees, please see:

Outstanding Graduate Research- Previous Awardees 2011-2020

Outstanding Graduate Research- Previous Awardees 2001-2010

Outstanding Graduate Research- Previous Awardees 1991-2000

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