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Contact: Teresa S. Thomas

For immediate release:
January 21, 2002

Chemistry Professor Krzysztof Matyjaszewski has received national and regional awards from the American Chemical Society: the ACS Award in Polymer Science sponsored by ExxonMobil Chemical Company, and the ACS Pittsburgh Section's Pittsburgh Award.

The 2002 ACS Award in Polymer Science, to be presented at a symposium of the Polymer Division during the National ACS Meeting in Orlando, Fla., on April 7, 2002, cites Matyjaszewski for "his research accomplishments in advancing the science and technology of polymerization methods." The 2001 Pittsburgh Award, presented at a meeting of the Pittsburgh ACS Section on Oct. 10, 2001, cites his "creative, significant and extensive research, publishing and journal editing, his teaching and student mentoring, his university leadership positions and his multi-faceted interactions with local chemical companies."

Matyjaszewski's work allows industrial scientists to economically produce a wide range of polymers, with 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 on ATRP, first published in 1995 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.

Matyjaszewski heads a consortium of 21 industrial companies from around the world interested in creating novel polymeric materials that builds on a consortium he founded in 1995 with 11 international industrial organizations to explore and shape their polymer science research activities and to train both university and industrial scientists in polymer development procedures. In addition, Matyjaszewski heads the Carnegie Mellon 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 promoted to professor in 1993. He served as head of the Department of Chemistry from 1994-1998 and was appointed J. C. Warner Professor of Natural Sciences in 1998, succeeding John A. Pople (1998 Nobel Laureate) in that position.

He has received awards from the Polish Academy of Sciences (1975), Polish Chemical Society (1980), Presidential Young Investigator Award (1989), ACS Creative Polymer Chemistry Award (1995), Elf Chair from French Academy of Sciences (1998), and the Humboldt Award for US Senior Scientists (1999). He was recently inducted as a Fellow of the ACS Division of Polymeric Materials, Science and Engineering (2001).

Professionally, he is active in the Polymer Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS), has organized six ACS symposia and workshops, is the co-editor of "Progress in Polymer Science" and is a member of the editorial board of eight other polymer journals. He has supervised more than 100 undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and has published more than 500 scientific papers.


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