Research Activities

The  Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering is a major educational and research strength of  Case Western Reserve University, with activities in all areas of polymer science and engineering. Founded in 1963 as the first department for education and research in polymers in the nation, it is home to the first accredited undergraduate program in the United States.

Polymers represent the major component of the chemical industry and are fundamental to the manufacture of plastics, fibers, rubber and elastomers, composites, coatings, adhesives, films, and biomaterials. At Case Western Reserve, our research has traditional strength in structure-property relationships, which lead to knowledge for modification of properties and the development of new products.

Recently, the department has emphasized the development of new functional polymers with unique properties including proton or electron-conduction, photoluminescent, or optical switching characteristics.  These are the key to future applications in fuel cells or as sensors and molecular computers.  As a result, students come to understand the importance of the systematic approach of polymer science and engineering by understanding, controlling, and tailoring properties. These diversified areas of expertise are coordinated in several  centers in the department.