Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering Division

2008 ACS Applied Polymer Science Award in Honor of Anne Hiltner

Anne Hiltner, winner of the 2008 American Chemical Society Award in Applied Polymer Science, is cited for her, "contributions in the development of the field of research in polymer and materials science."

Anne Hiltner is the Herbert Henry Dow Professor in Macromolecular Science and Engineering at Case Western Reserve University School of Engineering. Her initial training was in chemistry with a B.A. (1963) from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, followed by a Ph.D. (1967) in physical chemistry from Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon and a research fellowship (1967-1971) at Case Western Reserve University in polymer science.

Her work in exploring the structure-processing-property relationships in polymeric materials has made pioneering contributions in understanding the connections between hierarchical structure and irreversible deformation and damage processes, and fracture of polymer blends and composites. She has worked to develop effective industry/academic research cooperation. As an example, with Dr. S. P. Chum of The Dow Chemical Company, a unique and comprehensive study of the structure-property relationships of metallocene-catalysed ethylene-octene copolymers was carried out that led to a definitive theoretical understanding of the connections between microstructure, morphology and mechanical properties. This work in turn has produced predictive models which have assisted the development of a new commercially successful family of ethylene-based elastomers.

Motivated by the need for new processing technologies for creating engineered microstructures of incompatible polymers, she has worked on ground-breaking studies to explore the unique advantages that can be achieved with microlayering coextrusion. This layer-multiplying technology permits continuous processing of sheet or film with hundreds or thousands of alternating layers of two or more polymers. This technology has resulted in the ability to create engineered microstructures with unique electrical, mechanical and barrier properties. With Eric Baer, she has explored the hierarchical structure-function relationships in collagenous tissues. She has worked with J. M. Anderson on a further area of interest in understanding mechanisms of biocompatibility and biodegradation of biomaterials with a view to enhancing their biostability.

She was recently awarded the directorship of a new, multi-million dollar NSF Science and Technology Center named the Center for Layered Polymeric Systems (CLiPS). The Center, lead by Case Western Reserve, combines the technological and educational efforts of researchers at the University of Texas, Fisk University, the University of Southern Mississippi, and the Naval Research Laboratory. A partner relationship also exists with the Cleveland Municipal School District. CLiPS affiliates include Rochester Institute of Technology, SUNY Fredonia, Pennsylvania State University at Erie, Ohio Northern University, and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. CLiPS research is focused on 1) innovations for creating the next generation of nanolayered polymer-based structures and systems; particularly identifying and characterizing the unique properties of the polymer interface in nanolayers; 2) discovering and exploiting membrane and barrier phenomena that lead to material systems with unique transport properties, and 3) exploring one-dimensional photonic bandgap structures, combined with other property enhancement strategies to impart superior optical responses on a new generation of photonic devices. Dr. Hiltner developed the educational mission of the Center to provide training opportunities for under-served minority students, from high school through post doctoral education, leading toward careers in science and technology in the American workforce.

Anne Hiltner was the recipient of the 2005 Spotlight Series Prize for Women's Scholarship sponsored by the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women Alumnae Association. In 2005 she was recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Society of Plastics' Engineers (SPE) and was named an ACS Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering Division Fellow. In 2001, she was the recipient of the ACS Cooperative Research Award in Polymer Science and Engineering.

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