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University of Iowa News Release


March 30, 2007

Engineering Professor Wins National Research Award

Alec Scranton, professor of chemical and biochemical engineering and associate dean for academic programs in the University of Iowa College of Engineering, has been named a recipient of the 2007 Cooperative Research Award in Polymer Science and Engineering from the American Chemical Society.

Scranton, who also serves as director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Photopolymerization and researcher in the UI Optical Science and Technology Center, accepted the award during the society's national meeting held March 25-29 in Chicago.

Sponsored by Eastman Kodak Company, the award is given annually in recognition of sustained cooperative research between polymer scientists working on behalf of industry and those in either the academic community or at national laboratories.

Scranton -- together with colleagues Christopher Bowman of the University of Colorado and industrial collaborators Joe Oxman of 3M Corporation, Michael Idacavage of Cytec Surface Specialties, John Woods of Henkel Corporation and Don Herr of National Starch and Chemical -- were cited as internationally recognized researchers and translators of academic discoveries into valuable commercial products and processes.

In his letter of nomination, UI chemical and biochemical engineering professor Allan Guymon noted that Scranton and Bowman have published more than 100 and 175 peer-reviewed articles, respectively. Collectively, the research team has produced an average of more than 15 publications and 3 patents per year over the last four years, he noted. Two patents, for example, led to fast-drying inks, resulting in less slippery and more stackable packaging. The effect is to help reduce packaging costs and prevent seepage of ink through packaging, thereby keeping chemicals from contaminating packaged food.

Scranton, who joined the college in 2000, is internationally recognized for his work in photopolymerization, or light-activated processes. Photopolymerization processes have led to a rapid growth in its use in areas such as solvent-free processing, biomedical materials, and high-technology devices. Much of the past growth in the field has occurred without a fundamental understanding of the underlying photochemical processes, a research role the NSF center fills. Scranton, the recipient of several UI teaching awards, received the UI College of Engineering Faculty Excellence Award for Research in 2003.

Established in 1876, the American Chemical Society offers a broad range of peer interaction and career development opportunities to its more than 160,000 members.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 301, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

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