2021 Symposium Schedule

Wednesday, October 20, 2021


1:45 PM Meeting opens

1:55 PM – 2:00 PM Introductions by Jinsang Kim and Abdon Pena-Francesch


2:00 PM – 2:45 PM Sci Comm Workshop 

Join biologist and scientific illustrator, Dr. Caroline Hu, Harvard University, to learn how to communicate science through engaging visual media.


2:30 PM – 3:15 PM International Student Immigration Workshop

Join the University of Michigan Assistant Directors of International Student and Scholar Services, and the Assistant Director of Faculty and Staff Immigration Services for a presentation and Q&A session on “what comes after graduation” for international students.

Panelists:  Scott Manley, University of Michigan and David Muusz, University of Michigan


3:00 PM – 3:45 PM Academic Career Panel

Learn from representatives from various academic career tracks, including R1 faculty, PUI (primarily undergraduate institute) faculty, and a national lab representative about their positions and what led them there.

Panelists: Dr. Edmund Palermo (RPI), Dr. Scott Zavada (NASA), and Dr. Brittany Nelson-Cheeseman (University of St. Thomas)


3:45 PM – 4:30 PM Non-Traditional Career Panel

Meet University of Michigan alum to learn about alternative careers to academia and industry, including representatives who work in museum conservation, policy, and government.

Panelists: Dr. Chris Avery (NCA), Dr. Matthew Clarke (Smithsonian), and Dr. Laura Povlich (NIH)


4:30 PM – 5:30 PM Industry Research and Development Career Panel

Hear industry representatives talk about campus hires, demystifying getting a job, and hear from a recruiter’s perspective.

Panelists: Seyyed Salili (Wacker), Jeff Ting (3M), Jinghang Wu (BASF), Shaun Ahn (Dow), and Adam J. Crowe (PPG)


5:30 PM – 6:00 PM Wellness Workshop

Join University of Michigan Wolverine Wellness, Janet Jansen, for a workshop to learn about how to balance graduate school life to find well-being.


6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Social Hour

Meet fellow polymer graduate students and chat in Gathertown!  Great opportunity to check out the space ahead of the poster sessions on Thursday!


Thursday, October 21, 2021 Schedule


8:30 – 8:45 Check-in


8:45 – 9:00 Opening Jinsang Kim and Abdon Pena-Francesch, University of Michigan


9:00 – 9:40 Professor Xuanhe Zhao, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

Magnetic Soft Robots  (Hosted by: Abdon Pena-Francesch)


9:40 – 10:20 Professor Greg Tew, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 

Chemically Rich Macromolecules Inspired by Natural Proteins  (Hosted by: Zhan Chen)


10:20 – 10:30 Break


10:30 – 11:00 Adam Crowe, PPG

Improving Manufacturing Efficiencies and Safety for Lithium-Ion Batteries (Hosted by:  Zhan Chen)


11:00 – 11:20 Jinghang Wu, BASF

Development of BASF’s new energy absorbing Polyurethane foam powering the Xenith LOOP-Top Rated Head Gear  (Hosted by:  Jennie Paik )


11:20 – 11:40 Shaun Ahn, Dow

From Adhesives to 3D Printing: Applications of Room Temperature Alkylborane Radical Polymerization  (Hosted by:  Cecilia Kinane)


11:40 – 1:20 PPG Poster Session (Hosted by Jenni Paik)


1:20 – 1:30 Break


1:30 – 1:50 Jeff Ting, 3M

Advances in Materials Informatis for Industrial Applications in Chemistry, Materials Science, and Engineering  (Hosted by:  Anthony Berardi)


1:50 – 2:10 Seyyed Salili, Wacker

The Role of Advanced Data Analytics in the Polymer Industry’s R&D and Manufacturing  (Hosted by:  Shuqing Zhang)


2:10 – 2:30 Chris Cooper, Student Talk

(Hosted by:  Cecilia Kinane)


2:30 – 2:40 Break


2:40 – 3:20 Professor Jovan Kamcev, University of Michigan

Multifunctional Ion-Exchange Membranes for Simultaneous Water Desalination and Selective Solute Recovery  (Hosted by: Abdon Pena-Francesch)


3:20 – 4:00 Professor Jeremiah Johnson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (host: Anthony)

​​Clipping bonds in plastics and gels: what can we learn by breaking down “infinite” molecules?

(Hosted by:  Anthony Berardi)


4:00 – 4:40 Prof. Zhenan Bao, Stanford, Overberger Award Seminar

Skin-Inspired Organic Electronics (Hosted by:  Jinsang Kim)


4:40 – 5:00 Closing & Awards Presentation

(Hosted by:  Jinsang Kim and Abdon Pena-Francesch)