The Hanwha-Total IUPAC Young Scientist Award (formerly Samsung-Total Petrochemicals – IUPAC Young Scientists Award) is dedicated to outstanding young scientists (not older than 40 years) and sponsored by a grant from the company mentioned above. The prize was first awarded on the occasion of MACRO 2004 (Paris) and is granted biannually on the occasion of the IUPAC World Polymer Congress. The awardees are selected from the nominees by a Commission of the IUPAC Polymer Division.
In the year 2016 there are two awardees (ex aequo), namely:
Prof. Moon Jeong Park, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang, South Korea.
Prof. Brent Sumerlin, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA.
Prof. Moon Jeong Park, was born in 1977 in South Korea and studied Chemical Engineering at the Seoul National University (supervisor Prof. Kookheon Char). She spent 2006 – 2009 as post-doctoral scholar in the Department of Chemical Engineering University of California – Berkeley (supervisor Prof. Nitash P. Balsara) before she started her independent career in the year 2009 at Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTEC), Pohang, South Korea, where she is Associate Professor since 2013.
Prof. Park’s research focuses on understanding morphology, ion transport and light-emitting properties of ionic polymers on the molecular scale starting from fundamental thermodynamics of ion-conducting block copolymers extending to micro-phase separation and ion conductivity in hard and soft matter.
In particular, she has significantly contributed to the following areas:
- Ionic-liquid containing polymers
-Thermodynamics and morphology
-Ion transport in ionic-liquid containing copolymers
-Electro-active actuators based on ionic-liquid containing copolymers
- Design of self-assembled polymer electrolytes
-Confinement and interphases
-Manipulation of morphology and conductivity
-Enhanced cation transport by inclusion of anionic stabilization of polymers
- Organic-inorganic nanohybrides for enhanced ion/charge transport
-Enhanced Li+-diffusion in S-containing polymers
-Highly conductive polyaniline nanosheets
- Chemical sensors based on ionic polymers
-Light-emitting, self-assembled polymer electrolytes for detection of metal ions
-pH-responsive molecular switch with tricolour luminescence
- High ionic conductivities and cation transfer numbers combined with high mechanical strength and a broad range of application
-Effect of protonic groups on thermodynamic and morphology, ion transfer and fluorescence properties of polymer electrolytes
-Inclusion of terminal ionic units as a new means to control nanoscale morphology and conductivity of polymer electrolytes
Prof. Park has received a number of prestigious awards, for example:
- The Best Paper Award, IUPAC World Polymer Congress, Paris (2004)
- The Young Scientist Award Korea – Japan – China Young Researcher’s Workshop (2010)
- The Asia Excellence Award Young Scientists, Soc. Polym. Sci. Japan (2011)
- The Chong-Am Science Fellowship, POSCO (formerly Pohang Iron and Steel Company), TJ Park Foundation (2011)
- The Young Scientist Award, John Wiley & Sons and the Korean Polym. Soc. (2013)
Prof. Park has 61 + scientific papers, she holds 24 domestic and 14 international patents, and is member of a number of editorial boards of prominent scientific journals. There are presently 1546 + citations and the h-index is 26.
Prof. Brent Sumerlin was born in the USA in 1976, studied Polymer Science and Engineering at North Carolina State University (Raleigh) and the University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg), where he obtained his PhD (Polymer Science and Engineering) in the year 2003 (supervisor Prof. Charles L. McCormick). He was post-doctoral fellow (supervisor Prof. Kris Matyjaszewski) and Visiting Assistant Professor at the Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburg) until 2005, when he joined the Southern Methodist University (Dallas) as Assistant Professor, as Harold Jeskey Trustee Assistant Professor in Chemistry, and finally as Harold Jeskey Trustee Associate Professor in Chemistry during the years 2005-2012. In 2012 he moved to the University of Florida (Gainesville) as Associate Professor in Chemistry, where he became full Professor of Chemistry in 2015.
Prof. Sumerlin’s research focuses on:
- Self-healing polymers without internal reservoirs of healing agent utilizing reversible covalent polymeric materials
- Block copolymers with responsive nanoscale assemblies, e.g. pH, light…, useful, for example, in feedback-controlled drug delivery
- ‘smart’ polymer-protein conjugates that are stable under conditions that prevent protein denaturation for new applications in controlled drug delivery
Among other honors Prof. Sumerlin has received the NSF Career Award, the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, the JPS Innovation Award and the Biomacromolecules/Macromolecules Young Inventor Award.
He is Kavli Member of the National Academy of Science of the USA, Fellow of the Royal Society, and the ACS.
Prof. Sumerlin is author/co-author of five books on controlled radical polymerization and member of numerous editorial boards of prominent scientific journals. He has more than 200 scientific papers with more than 7000 citations and his h-index is 45.