December 29, 2015
Ohio’s network of universities provide an abundance of resources to boost growth and innovation in the polymer industry. However, finding the path to those resources is not always easy.
The first step is understanding what resources are available, and where they are. Here is a brief overview of a few of the world-class polymer programs in Ohio.
Polymer Programs at Ohio Universities
Akron’s program focuses on applying polymers in engineering, medicine, science and technology. Their eight specialized labs utilize high quality equipment for research. The Akron Polymer Training Center (APTC) holds virtual workforce development to help attendees adapt to the changing face of the polymer industry. Its Akron Global Polymer Academy provides training and consulting services for industry partners, and supports K-12 STEM education initiatives.
Founded in 1956, UDRI ranks second in the nation for sponsored materials research and operates the Multi-Scale Composites & Polymers division. It consists of four integrated research groups; Carbon Materials, Advanced Polymers, Advanced Composites and Nanocomposites. The division specializes in full-service research in new organic polymer-based composites, ranging from creation and functionalization of nanoparticles; polymer synthesis and formulation, conversion into films, prepregs, and composites; and manufacturing scale-up, process modeling, tool design, and characterization.
Founded in 1963, the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering was the first in polymer research and education in the nation. Not only the first, but also recently rated the number one Polymer/Plastics Engineering program in the U.S. The National Science Foundation’s Center for Layered Polymeric Systems (CLIPS) in located at Case Western bring together scientists and engineers working on leading edge polymer research.
Boasting the invention of the first practical crystal display, the Institute is internationally recognized. Its graduates frequently leave with a diploma and a patent, in large part due to its Industrial Partnership Program. This program facilitates research and publication between university members and the polymer industry. Through the program, the university’s research facilities are open to both academic and industrial partners.
Students in the Shawnee State program experience hands on learning and are career-ready for a variety of positions in the polymer industry. Its impressive facilities include an operations lab, material testing lab, machine shop, and Dimension 3D printer.
OSU’s polymer program concentrates on reactive liquid processing. Its polymer and composite processing lab includes a resin injection pultrusion, compression molding, and gas-assisted injection molding machines. In addition, the Center for Affordable Nanoengineering of Polymeric Biomedical Devices (CANPBD) at OSU develops methods to manufacture polymers on a nanoscale. It focuses on affordable, polymer-based nanomaterials for use in the medical field.
Established in 1987, Toledo’s program gives students the opportunity to participate in contract work, with the option to publish results pending client approval. Collaboration with the PET/Polyester Industrial Consortium leads to training young engineers and scientists in the latest polymer technology. Partner companies have access to research findings, benefitting from new material applications and collaboration with young talent soon to enter the workforce.
Established in 1985, the Center receives national recognition for its efforts in addressing environmental and energy issues. Current projects involve R & D on international, national, state and local levels focused on the study of the interaction of light with physical, chemical, and biological systems, and on the quest for practical applications. The Center encourages collaborative research with active manufacturers, bridging the gap between academia and the industry.
Benefits of University Collaboration
Collaboration with university programs provides benefits such as:
- Innovation through research
- Access to highly specialized technology
- Pipeline to skilled, young workforce
- Input on curriculum to fill future workforce needs
Access University Resources
Companies looking for ways to foster growth and gain a competitive advantage should utilize the resources offered by these university programs. Contact a program’s career services to access internship and co-op opportunities. Find out about attending career fairs and other recruitment events, including on-campus interviews and getting listed on university job boards. Connect with program coordinators to engage in collaborative research and access top-notch facilities and equipment.
Connect with Passionate Partners
With such connections, companies not only gain the resources they need, they also establish a lasting, mutually beneficial relationship. The individuals behind these programs are passionate about advancing the polymer industry, and want to connect with industry partners to achieve this goal.
PolymerOhio shares in this passion and serves as a connector between polymer manufacturers and university partners. Contact us for assistance tapping into the valuable resources offered by these superior programs.