Prizes & Awards

Frank J. Padden Jr. Award

Sponsored since 1997 by the College of Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Akron

  • The Award recognizes a graduate student for "Excellence in Polymer Physics Research."
  • The student must be a member of the DPOLY, must be working toward the Ph.D. degree.
  • The student must not have completed the requirements for the Ph.D. before the due date for nominations.

Call for Nominations

The Frank J. Padden, Jr. Award, consisting of a certificate and appropriate recognition, honors a graduate student for "Excellence in Polymer Physics Research." To be considered for this award the student must be a member of DPOLY, must be working toward the Ph.D. degree, and must not have completed the requirements for the Ph.D. before the application deadline. A nomination package consists of the following:

  1. An acceptable abstract for a contributed talk in the DPOLY program at the March Meeting. Please submit the abstract on-line directly to the APS, and provide an electronic copy for the DPOLY Education Committee, as described further below.
  2. A 2-page curriculum vitae (do NOT send papers or other attachments),
  3. A nominating letter addressing the quality of the graduate research and academic excellence. The nominator may be the thesis adviser or another individual familiar with the student and his/her work. Individuals may make only a single nomination in a given year.

Send nominations by email to Mahesh K. Mahanthappa using the subject line "Padden_name of student". Paper nominations will not be accepted. The deadline for receipt of all materials is the general deadline for March Meeting abstract submission (October 23 this year).

APS abstract submission must meet the general deadline for March Meeting abstract submission. The abstract should be submitted to Sorting Category 01 and in the template space for Special Instructions, enter "Padden Award Symposium". The abstract will be forwarded to the Program Chair for inclusion in the March Meeting DPOLY program, either in the Padden Award Symposium if the nominee is selected as a finalist, or in the appropriate technical category otherwise.

The Education Committee will select 5 finalists (or more, if the candidates are exceptionally strong) based on the materials provided. At the March Meeting, finalists will be invited to a celebratory dinner (sponsored by the University of Akron) with members of the DPOLY Education Committee, and participate in the Padden Award Symposium. Each of the finalists will give a 12-minute (including time for questions) oral presentation. The session will be attended by the Education Committee, who will serve as judges, and by any other interested members of DPOLY or APS. The winner will be selected based on quality of the research, the presentation, and response to questions. The winner will be announced at the annual DPOLY Business Meeting.

2020 Frank J. Padden Jr. Award Recipient

Nicole Michenfelder-Schauser
University of California, Berkeley


View Session (use password: DPOLY-2020)

Nicole received her B.S. in Materials Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015, where she pursued undergraduate research under Professor Nitash Balsara. She is now pursuing her PhD under Professors Rachel Segalman and Ram Seshadri at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research focuses on exploring holistic approaches towards the design of next generation polymer electrolytes.

Nicole presented her work, titled “Decoupling Mechanics from Ion Transport in Polymers,” exploring the effect of metal cation identity on mechanics and conductivity in polymers based on metal-ligand coordination. These metal-ligand coordinating polymers show dramatic tunability in their bulk mechanical properties without a detrimental effect on their ionic conductivity performance. Importantly, pulsed-field-gradient NMR measurements confirmed that divalent cations can indeed contribute to the conductivity in these systems. Lastly, careful design of the polymer and functional group chemistry significantly improves both total conductivity and the cation contribution to conductivity, which is important for many applications. The design rules identified in this study can aid in the development of higher performance mono- and multi-valent polymer ion conductors.

Current Recipient

Nicole Michenfelder-Schauser

2020 Recipient: Nicole Michenfelder-Schauser

Past Recipients

  • 2019: Liwen Chen
  • 2018: Jelena Dinic
  • 2017: Yue Zhang
  • 2016: Dylan Kipp
  • 2015: Katherine Harry
  • 2014: Justin Pye
  • 2013: Kiarash Vakhshouri
  • 2012: James Rogers
  • 2011: Scott Mullin
  • 2010: Bo Wang
  • 2009: Susan Fullerton Shirey
  • 2008: Rodney Priestley
  • 2007: Zahra Fakhraai
  • 2006: Michael V. Massa
  • 2005: Christopher Ellison
  • 2004: Eric Cochran
  • 2003: Rakwoo Chang
  • 2002: Zhiqun Lin
  • 2001: Alexander Deshkovski
  • 2000: Y.-L. Loo
  • 1999: Lee D. Rockford
  • 1998: Kari Dalnoki-Veress
  • 1997: Thomas T. Perkins
  • 1996: Ching-I Huang
  • 1995: H.M. Schneider