Program in Polymer Science and Technology

The Program in Polymer Science and Technology (PPST), founded in 1986, is an interdepartmental program offering graduate education in the interdisciplinary field of polymer science and engineering. Its goals are to provide educational opportunities and to foster a spirit of community and collaboration among the large and wide-spread group of students, faculty, and visitors involved in polymer-related activities at MIT. It consists of a core curriculum, written and oral qualifying procedures for doctoral studies, and continuing education opportunities through seminars, visitors from industry and academia, and research competitions. The program is administered by faculty from the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Chemistry. PPST also serves as a focal point for information and opportunities in polymer-related fields at MIT.

There were 33 students enrolled in PPST in 2000-2001, with home departments in the four disciplines from which PPST draws its faculty. This year the Program graduated four students with Ph.D. degrees and two with M.S. degrees. Seven new PPST students were admitted into the Program from the Departments of Chemical Engineering (2), Chemistry (1), and Materials Science and Engineering (4).

In February 2001, the Directorship of PPST changed hands from Professor Michael F. Rubner to Professor Gregory C. Rutledge, from the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Chemical Engineering, respectively. Professor Rubner has provided leadership to the Program since 1996. The main office of PPST also moved from Building 13 (Room 5110) to Building 66 (Room 370).

Two new professors were added to the PPST faculty: Christine Ortiz from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Professor Ken Beers from the Department of Chemical Engineering.

The PPST weekly seminar continues to attract an average of 50–80 students, faculty and visitors per seminar. This past year, lectures were presented by leading polymer faculty from a number of US and European universities as well as from faculty and senior students within MIT. Professor Paula Hammond from the Department of Chemical Engineering has continued her important role of organizing the PPST seminar.

Gregory C. Rutledge

More information about the Program in Polymer Science and Technology can be found at

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