HEADLINES:  Two PPST Faculty Members win Sloan Research FellowshipsPPST Students Win Awards at 2012 Fall MRS Meeting • PPST Professor Paula T. Hammond Named ACS POLY FellowPPST Professor Robert E. Cohen Receives ACS Award for Teaching Student Charles Sing is Finalist for Numerous Awards

Two PPST Faculty Members win Sloan Research Fellowships

Two PPST faculty members are among the 126 American and Canadian researchers awarded 2014 Sloan Research Fellowships, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced today.

New MIT PPST-affiliated Sloan Research Fellows are: Jeremiah A. Johnson, an assistant professor of chemistry and Bradley D. Olsen, an assistant professor of chemical engineering.

JeremiahAJohnsonWithBOTTOMCaptionJohnson, who joined the MIT Chemistry department and PPST faculty in 2011, received his PhD from Columbia University in 2009 and later completed post-doctoral research with Prof. Robert Grubbs and David Tirrell at CalTech. The Johnson laboratory at MIT investigates the interdisciplinary application of synthetic chemistry as a potential basis for the solutions to many of mankind’s greatest problems: prevention and treatment of disease, development of alternative energy sources, preservation of natural resources, etc. and seeks creative, macromolecular solutions to problems at the interface of chemistry, medicine, biology, and materials science.


Olsen joined the MIT Chemical Engineering department and PPST faculty in 2009. He received his PhD from U.C. Berkeley in 2007, and then completed post-doctoral research with David Tirrell, Zhen-Gang Wang, and Julie Kornfield at CalTech. Polymeric materials provide integral structures in advanced technologies such as fuel cells, organic photovoltaics, nanopatterned hard drives, and biomedical devices. Nature also uses polymers to produce ultra-strong spider silk fibers, tough organic/inorganic composites, and some of the most efficient catalysts (enzymes). The unique physical properties of these materials arise from the large size of the polymer molecules and its effect on molecular structure and dynamics.

The Olsen lab’s research in polymer science attempts to understand the statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, and transport properties of these large molecules and to apply this understanding to the intelligent design of bio-functional and bio-inspired polymeric materials with new and interesting properties for applications in biotechnology, energy, and sustainability.

Awarded annually since 1955, Sloan Research Fellowships are given to early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars among the next generation of scientific leaders. This year’s recipients are drawn from 61 colleges and universities across the United States and Canada.

“For more than half a century, the Sloan Foundation has been proud to honor the best young scientific minds and support them during a crucial phase of their careers when early funding and recognition can really make a difference,” Paul L. Joskow, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, said in a statement. “These researchers are pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge in unprecedented ways.”

Administered and funded by the foundation, the fellowships are awarded in eight scientific fields: chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, evolutionary and computational molecular biology,neuroscience, ocean sciences, and physics. To qualify, candidates must first be nominated by fellow scientists and subsequently selected by an independent panel of senior scholars. Fellows receive $50,000 to be used to further their research.

For a complete list of winners, visit:

PPST Students Win Awards at 2012 Fall MRS Meeting

To encourage and support junior investigators (non-faculty or permanent staff), and to further contribute to the advancement of the membrane field, MRS established several presenter awards. Two Students in MIT’s Program in Polymer Science & Technology won awards for best oral presentations.
Best oral presentations (Two 2nd place awards):

Jane Wang, MIT (PPST), “Membrane Properties for Implantable Drug Delivery Device with Triggered Degradation from Poly(ester amide) Elastomers”

Matthew M. Mannarino, MIT (PPST), “Mechanical and Transport Properties of Layer-by-layer/Electrospun Nanofiber Composite Proton Exchange Membranes for Use in Direct Methanol Fuel Cells”

Congratulations to Jane & Matthew!

PPST Professor Paula T. Hammond Named ACS POLY Fellow

Professor Paula Hammond will be inducted as a POLY Fellow at the upcoming ACS National Meeting in San Diego. The POLY division chooses to honor only 0.1% of its membership in this fashion, so we congratulate Prof. Hammond on her achievement!


PPST Professor Robert Cohen Receives ACS Award for Teaching

Professor and Founding PPST Director Dr. Robert E. Cohen received the Paul J. Flory Polymer Education Award at the 2012 ACS National Meeting in San Diego. This prestigious award is only given once every two years, and we congratulate Prof. Cohen on this well-deserved honor!


Student Charles E. Sing is Finalist for Numerous Awards

PPST student Charles E. Sing from the Alexander-Katz research group has been recognized as both a finalist for the prestigious Padden Award given by the APS DPOLY division and a recipient of the SIlver Medal for the MRS Graduate Student Award. Congratulations to Charles!

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