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Applied sciences and engineering/Engineering/Materials engineering

AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize

2017 Award Recipients

The 2017 Newcomb Cleveland Prize was awarded to James M. Eagan, Jun Xu, Rocco Di Girolamo, Christopher M. Thurber, Christopher W. Macosko, Anne M. LaPointe, Frank S. Bates, Geoffrey W. Coates for their outstanding report "Combining polyethylene and polypropylene: Enhanced performance with PE/iPP multiblock polymers," published in Science 24 February 2017.

Polyethylene and isotactic polypropylene are the two largest use commodity plastics and thus also make up a large fraction of the waste stream. However, the two plastics won't mix together, thus decreasing the value and options available for dealing with mixed waste. Eagan et al. report the synthesis of multi-block copolymers of isotactic polypropylene and polyethylene using a selective polymer initiator. They show that the tailorable high molecular weight blocks can reinforce the interface between iPP and HDPE and serve as compatibilizers for blends of the two polymers. This project brought together chemists and engineers to make a significant conceptual (and practical) advance. The science of synthesizing multi-block copolymers is of fundamental value and there is remarkable potential for this method to be scaled up and to produce real societal impact.

The 2016-2017 Newcomb Cleveland Prize Selection Committee included Jeremy Berg, Chair, Editor-in-Chief, Science as well as William DeGrado, Professor, University of California at San Francisco; Sir Richard Friend, Cavendish Professor of Physics, University of Cambridge; Jeremy Nathans, Professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Teri Odom, Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry, Northwestern University; and Dame Linda Partridge, Professorial Research Fellow, University College London, and Director, Department Partridge, Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing.

Please click here for a list of past recipients.

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