Cosponsored by AFOSR, ARO, DOE/BES,
NASA, NIH/NIBIB, NIST and ONR.
The field of polymer science and engineering is a vibrant contributor to the US economy, not only in its own right, but also because of the wide array of industries and technologies made possible by the use of polymer materials. Polymers have unique, molecularly definable properties and process advantages unattainable in any other kind of material. Their attractiveness comes, in part, from the wide varieties of structure, molecular weight, and functionality available via rational synthesis of polymers and their characteristically broad range of possible processing modes. Thus polymers offer the potential for high performance at lower cost, sustainable use, and in many cases possible replacement of other materials in many fields. Polymers have as a result become indispensable items in everyday life in uses ranging from clothing, paints, secure food packaging to major parts of automobiles but also as essential components in virtually every emerging advanced technology.
Given the importance of polymer science and engineering, it seemed timely to consider the many changes that have occurred over the last decade through a workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to explore emerging research opportunities and areas that are ripe for innovation in the field of polymer science and engineering over the next decade and to examine the critical issues of competitiveness, education, and diversity in the polymer community.
The report resulting from this workshop is available below.
NSF Polymers Workshop Report