Behrend Launches New Major in Polymer Engineering and Science

Behrend’s new Polymer Engineering and Science program

Behrend’s new Polymer Engineering and Science program

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Polymers are among the most important materials that make up our world—from everyday items like clothing and electronics to life-saving medical devices.

Students in Behrend’s new Polymer Engineering and Science program will learn to analyze these diverse materials and evaluate their applications in a variety of industries, including health care, aerospace, and automotive manufacturing. Through the new degree offering, they will understand why polymers behave the way they do, and then use that knowledge to design new, specialized, and more environmentally sustainable materials.

“Because of their deep understanding of the relationships between structure, processing, and properties, polymer scientists and engineers are in demand in every industry that uses polymers—and that’s almost every imaginable industry,” said Dr. Greg Dillon, professor of polymer engineering and science and chair of the program.

Students pursuing the polymer engineering and science degree will gain skills in a variety of settings, including the college’s plastics processing lab and other facilities, while also studying physics, chemistry, and math. Students will come to understand the make-up, characteristics, and performance of polymers and apply that knowledge in new and exciting ways, such as by exploring sustainability and the circular economy—that is, using innovative polymers to reduce fossil fuel consumption and recycle waste into new materials or energy.