Nobel Laureate inaugurates new polymer center at CSI Staten Island researchers target more powerful batteries for consumer electronics and pollution abatement resins

The College of Staten Island (CSI) inaugurated its Center for Engineered Polymeric Materials (CePM), funded by a five-year, $2.3 million grant to “bolster and expand high-tech research” as a part of Governor Pataki’s initiative to spur technology-based applied research and economic development across the state.

CSI was one of two colleges in New York State to receive the grant, which is funded through the College Applied Research and Technology (CART) program of the New York State Office of Science, Technology, and Academic Research (NYSTAR).

“Today is another milestone for CSI and the scientific research accomplishments of our faculty,” noted CSI President Marlene Springer during her opening remarks at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“We are furthering our commitment to both basic research in polymer chemistry and its application to industry. With the establishment of this center, CSI is now an integral partner in New York State’s economic engine,” she continued.

She was joined onstage by keynote speaker Alan G. MacDiarmid , the 2000 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Kathleen Wise , program director of the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR), and Nan-Loh Yang, CePM director.

Nan-Loh Yang, a CSI chemistry professor and chair of the Polymer PhD Program at The City University of New York (CUNY), will lead the endeavor with a team of three co-directors, CSI faculty members Bhanu Chauhan , Ralf M. Peetz , and Chwen-Yang Shew.

CePM will also enrich the industrial and scientific community by offering outreach programs to professionals to bring them up to date on the latest advancements in the field. In addition, consumers will gain as this work will help to create, among other products, more powerful batteries for consumer electronics and cell phones, materials for medical applications, fibers that will improve optical communications, and pollution abatement resins that will absorb pollutants contained in exhausts.

In his keynote lecture, Professor MacDiarmid explained how electronic polymers are set to impact technologies of the 21st century, emphasizing that “the technology of tomorrow is based on the fundamental research of today.”

CePM orchestrates the effort of nine polymer science faculty members at CUNY. The Center has Hunter College as a consortium member and is currently involved with collaborations and outreach programs with six other institutions.

The official opening ceremony was accompanied by a one-day symposium titled “Polymeric Materials and their Industrial Applications,” attracting nearly 200 scientists and researchers from across the nation.

The Center’s research activity will be overseen by an advisory board of leaders from industry and academic institutions, who will work with CePM scientists to support the overarching goal to promote the economy of New York State through collaborative research and development.

For more information on CePM, visit:
www.chem.csi.cuny.edu/cepm .

In 2003, CSI was awarded a NYSTAR grant for $2.5 million in support of its CUNY Institute for Macromolecular Assemblies on its Staten Island campus, which is focusing on research in biomedical fields.

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