Into the Lab: Polymer and fiber

Maria Auad, associate professor in the Department of Polymer and Fiber Engineering, will lead an institute on environmentally-friendly materials. She has been awarded a $100,000 National Science Foundation grant to organize and direct the Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute, a jointly supported initiative between the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation to foster collaborations and promote scientific research in Central and South America.

The institute will take place next year at Centro Nacional de Alta Tecnología located in San José, Costa Rica, where scholars from the United States, Costa Rica, Argentina and Colombia will discuss “Polymer and Composite Materials from Renewable Resources and Bio-refinery: From Chemistry to Applications.” Through collaborative presentations, discussions and training on state-of-the-art green materials, participants, including field-specific experts, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and young researchers, will investigate the basic chemistry and properties of green polymers and composites based on natural resources. These complex structures could replace environmentally and energy-unfavorable products derived from fossil feedstock.

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