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Press Release

Contact: Teresa S. Thomas
(412) 268-3580

For immediate release:
October 10, 2001

Carnegie Mellon Chemistry Professor Krzysztof Matyjaszewski Receives Honors from the American Chemical Society

PITTSBURGH–Carnegie Mellon University Chemistry Professor Krzysztof Matyjaszewski has received national and regional awards from the American Chemical Society for groundbreaking work in advancing controlled radical polymerization, one of the principal methods used to prepare polymers for industrial use.

The 2002 ACS Award in Polymer Science, to be presented during the society's national meeting in Orlando, Fla., on April 7, 2002, praises Matyjaszewski for "his research accomplishments in advancing the science and technology of polymerization methods." ExxonMobil Chemical Company sponsors the ACS Award in Polymer Science.

The 2001 Pittsburgh Award, presented Oct. 10, cites his "creative, significant and extensive research, publishing and journal editing, his teaching and student mentoring, his university leadership positions and his multi­faceted interactions with local chemical companies."

Matyjaszewski's work allows industrial scientists to economically produce a wide range of polymers, with what he calls "exquisitely controlled" structures ­ the kinds of structures needed to create new and specialized kinds of plastics, adhesives, lubricants, fibers, health and cosmetic products and much more. Specifically, he has focused on advancing the study of controlled radical polymerization, one of the principal methods used to prepare polymers for industrial use. One method called atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) is perhaps the most robust system to control radical polymerization of important monomers such as styrenes, acrylates, methacrylates, acrylonitrile and acrylamides.

The impact of ATRP on polymer synthesis is witnessed by the 500 citations of Matyjaszewski's paper since 1995 when the article appeared in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. He and his research team have subsequently published more than 200 papers on controlled radical polymerization, and hold more than 20 patents for work in modern synthetic polymer chemistry. Currently, Matyjaszewski heads a consortium of 21 industrial companies from around the world interested in creating novel polymeric materials. He also leads Carnegie Mellon's Center for Macromolecular Engineering, funded by the consortium and government agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency.

A member of the Carnegie Mellon faculty since 1985, Matyjaszewski was appointed the J. C. Warner Professor of Natural Sciences in 1998, succeeding John A. Pople, (the 1998 Nobel Laureate) in that position. He is the winner of several international scientific awards, including the Humboldt Award for US Senior Scientists. He was recently inducted as a fellow of the ACS Division of Polymeric Materials, Science and Engineering.

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