Carnegie Mellon University
May 01, 2019

Matyjaszewski Elected to the National Academy of Sciences

By Jocelyn Duffy

Jocelyn Duffy
  • Associate Dean for Communications, MCS
  • 412-268-9982

Carnegie Mellon University chemist Krzysztof Matyjaszewski has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). NAS membership recognizes distinguished and continuing achievements in original research and is one of the highest honors a scientist can receive.

Matyjaszewski, the J.C. Warner University Professor of the Natural Sciences in the Mellon College of Science’s Department of Chemistry, is world renowned for his discovery of atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), one of the most effective and widely used methods of controlled radical polymerization. ATRP has allowed for the creation of a wide range of materials with highly specific, tailored functionalities, including “smart” materials.

Since discovering ATRP in 1995, Matyjaszewski has worked to improve the process by making it more efficient and environmentally friendly and extend its reach to a wide range of fields, including engineering, medicine and materials science. He has also hosted annual consortiums at Carnegie Mellon’s Pittsburgh campus where he teaches ATRP concepts and techniques to academic and industry researchers. As a result, Matyjaszewski’s work has been licensed to companies worldwide and he has been cited in the scientific literature more than 100,000 times, making him one of the most cited chemists in the world.

Matyjaszewski is also one of the leading educators in the field of polymer chemistry, having mentored more than 200 undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral fellows since joining the Department of Chemistry faculty in 1985. 

Matyjaszewski has received numerous honors for his work. He was elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2006, a fellow of the American Chemical Society in 2010 and a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2014. He is a member of Australian, Polish and Russian Academies of Sciences. He received the 2017 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry, the 2013 AkzoNobel North American Science Award, the 2011 Wolf Prize in Chemistry and the 2009 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, among many other awards.

Matyjaszewski and Kathryn Roeder, professor of statistics and data science and computational biology in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Carnegie Mellon’s vice provost for faculty, are among 100 new members and 25 foreign associates to be recognized by the NAS this year.