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James A. Morrison Lecturer Seminar - Professor Frank S. Bates, University of Minnesota

Event Date: 
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Plastics Synthetic plastics, discovered less than a century ago, have transformed nearly every facet of our lives. With sales of nearly a half trillion dollars annually the polymer industry has emerged as a dominant factor in the world economy. In general, plastics enhance our standard of living, providing materials that reduce energy consumption, improve health care, and expand access to food, water and clean air. But, as with any new technology, the emergence of products reliant on giant molecules known as macromolecules has been accompanied by various societal challenges, most notably the generation of enormous amounts of waste that clutters our landfills and has the potential to damage the environment. This lecture blends a review of the extraordinary science and engineering that enables plastics to improve our lives and peers into the future when plastics will be engineered to be compatible with a sustainable economy. Frank S. Bates is a Regents Professor and a member of the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science department at the University of Minnesota. He received a B.S. in Mathematics from SUNY Albany in 1976, and M.S. and Sc.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 1979 and 1982. Between 1982 and 1989 Bates was a member of the technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories then joined the University of Minnesota as an Associate Professor. He was promoted to Professor in 1991, named a Distinguished McKnight University Professor in 1996, served as department Head from 1999 to 2014, and became a Regents Professor in 2007. Professor Bates conducts research on a range of topics related to polymers, with a particular focus on the thermodynamics and dynamics of block polymers and blends. In 1988 Bates was named a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff at Bell Labs, in 1989 he received the John H. Dillon Medal and in 1997 the Polymer Physics Prize, both from the American Physical Society where he is a Fellow. He received the 2004 David Turnbull Lectureship Award from the Materials Research Society, shared the ACS Cooperative Research Award in 2008, was awarded the 2008 Sustained Research Prize by the Neutron Scattering Society of America and he was the 2012 Institute Lecturer of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Bates was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering in 2002 the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2010, and the US National Academy of Sciences in 2017.
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