Stuart Rowan honored for exemplary research contributions

Stuart Rowan, the Kent Hale Smith Professor in the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering, has been named one of the recipients of the university’s Faculty Distinguished Research Awards for his contributions to the field of supramolecular polymer chemistry and his dedication to the macromolecular science and engineering department.
 
The awards, created in 2013 under the direction of Vice President for Research Robert Miller, recognize faculty members for outstanding contributions to knowledge creation, scholarship and/or artistic creativity in their areas of expertise. Awardees are expected to have national and international renown for their scholarly contributions.

 
Since arriving at the Case School of Engineering 15 years ago, Rowan has never stopped pushing for improvements in his department. Not only has he established himself as an international leader in supramolecular polymer chemistry, but he has also affected change on all levels in the Department of Macromolecular and Science.
 
Most recently, Rowan led the effort in establishing the Institute for Advanced Materials at Case Western Reserve, which has more than 90 faculty members from the School of Dental Medicine, School of Medicine, Case School of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences.
 
He’s also helped to rebuild the undergraduate macromolecular science program, created a new departmental graduate training in proposal preparation and mentored young faculty members.
 
“His technical leadership at Case Western Reserve University has catapulted his national laboratory into a very visible spotlight,” Timothy Long, professor of chemistry at Virginia Tech, said. “He is a researcher who is amazingly open to collaboration and new ideas. By having this outlook on research, he has pioneered new scientific frontiers that are critical to our nation, and his integrative approach marks him as a technical leader in our field.”
 
Rowan is known for his scholarly advances toward design and development of functional polymer materials, and for taking an active leadership role for a broad community of scholars. His research developments have included progress toward safer and more comfortable medical devices, such as glucose monitors and prosthetic arms, inspired by a squid’s beak. He’s also worked on a self-healing polymer-based coating that can repair itself when exposed to UV light. The development has the potential to be used in automotive paint and varnish to make scratches far less concerning.
 
In the past, Rowan, who has published more than 110 scientific papers and reviews, has been recognized as a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and with the National Science Foundation CAREER Award.
 
Rowan joins three other Distinguished Research Professors on the Case School of Engineering faculty. Dominique Durand, the Elmer Lincoln Lindseth Professor in Biomedical Engineering, was honored last year, and Hatsuo “Ken” Ishida, professor of macromolecular science and engineering, and Zehra Meral Ozsoyoglu, the Andrew R. Jennings Professor of Computing, received inaugural awards in 2013.
 
Rowan was one of five Case Western Reserve faculty members to win the distinction this year. Other recipients include David Cooperrider, from the Weatherhead School of Management; Jessie Hill, from the School of Law; Mukesh Jain, from the School of Medicine; and Elisabeth Werner, from the College of Arts and Sciences.
 
Learn more about this year’s winners and their research.