SOLON, OH - Dr. Christopher N. Bowman of the University of Colorado Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering will receive the Roy W. Tess Award in Coatings for 2018. Officers and the Award Committee of the Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering (PMSE) of the American Chemical Society (ACS) made the announcement.

Bowman obtained his B.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Purdue University. He began his academic career at the University of Colorado as an Assistant Professor in 1992 and is currently the James and Catherine Endowed Chair and a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

Bowman has made significant contributions to the field of polymer science and engineering with applications in coatings. He is internationally recognized for his contributions to our fundamental understanding of photopolymerization systems and reaction engineering of crosslinked polymer systems. Bowman has made important contributions to both the fundamental understanding of the kinetics, mechanisms, structure and properties of photo-polymer systems, and the creative development of new coating applications for these polymeric materials. He has published more than 350 articles related to polymeric materials and has been awarded 25 patents, including seven that have been licensed or optioned to eight different industrial companies. He has received numerous awards, including the AIChE Materials Science Division C.M.A. Stine award in 2009, the ACS PMSE Division Cooperative Research Award in 2007, the AICHE R.H. Wilhelm award in 2001 and the MRS Outstanding Young Investigator award in 1997.

Bowman has performed groundbreaking fundamental research that will continue to have applications in polymer coatings. Recent examples include his work in highly reactive acrylate monomers, his fundamental characterization of thiol-ene reactions, his experimental and theoretical analysis of both degradable network structures and those containing dynamic, exchangeable covalent bonds, and his groundbreaking research in biopolymer-base microfluidic systems. In the area of polymerization reaction modeling, Bowman has published seminal work that addresses the complex relationships among the polymerization kinetics, the monomer chemistry, the polymerization conditions and the resulting polymer structure. His work on bottom-up design of polymer network structures, starting from the basic monomer unit, has established new directions for controlling the polymer network structure and more importantly the resulting properties of the polymer films and coatings. Bowman uniquely focused on the design of new monomers and photopolymerization reactions that enable the formation of polymer structures with unique combinations of toughness, modulus and stress. 

In another major contribution to polymerization reaction engineering, Bowman was the first to exploit living radical photopolymerizations (LRPs) as a tool to better characterize network material properties, and the use of LRPs to create materials with unique properties not achievable by other polymerization techniques. He has also performed definitive studies on thiol-ene photopolymerization reactions. These reactions represent the only known step-growth radical-mediated polymerization process, and he has successfully engineered these reactions to utilize this advantage in applications as diverse as dental materials, microdevices, polymer derived ceramics, coatings and photolithographic materials.

By combining the thiol-ene reaction with novel chemistries that he developed, Bowman has most recently demonstrated, new approaches to produce crosslinked polymers with photoreaction-induced plasticity, photoreaction induced actuation, and the ability to completely eliminate stress from these systems.

Bowman will receive the Tess Award from Dr. Melissa A. Grunlan, Chair of the PMSE Division, in August 2018 during the 256th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Washington.  An evening reception in honor of the Tess award recipient and other PMSE and POLY award winners also will be held.

The Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering presents the Tess Award annually in recognition of outstanding contributions to coatings science, engineering and technology. It is funded by a grant to the division from Dr. and Mrs. Roy W. Tess. The purpose of the award is to encourage interest and progress in coatings science technology and engineering and to recognize significant contributions to the field.