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 Rachel Segalman 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 (5:00 PM ET, Thursday, October 20, 2022).

APS abstract submission must meet the general deadline for March Meeting abstract submission. The abstract should be submitted to Sorting Category 01 (i.e., the most general DPOLY sorting category, and not a more specific category of the type 01.XX or 01.XX.YY) 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.

2022 Frank J. Padden Jr. Award Recipient

Ameya Rao
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ameya Rao

Ameya received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley in 2017, where he conducted undergraduate research with Prof. Roya Maboudian on novel growth methods for nanostructured metal oxide films for gas sensing applications. In 2018, Ameya began his Ph.D. research with Prof. Bradley Olsen at MIT, where he investigated the structural and dynamic properties of associative polymer gels using experiment and simulation. Ameya’s work has helped uncover the mechanisms of polymer relaxation and diffusion in associative networks on various timescales, providing insight into the interplay between sticker binding and chain motion in governing network response.

Ameya presented his work titled “Mechanisms of Self-Diffusion in Linear Associative Polymer Gels,” where he used coarse-grained Brownian dynamics simulations to study the diffusive motion of multi-sticker associative polymers across a wide range of length scales. The results revealed a rich interplay between various diffusive modes, including segmental fluctuations, walking diffusion, and hopping diffusion, which gives rise to several distinct self-diffusive regimes consistent with experiment. The simulations further demonstrated the strong effect of network topology in governing the walking and hopping modes, particularly the presence of intramolecular loop defects. Scaling arguments were developed to predict the characteristic walking and hopping diffusivities, finding good agreement with simulation.

Citation: Rao, A.; Ramirez, J.; Olsen, B. D. Macromolecules 2021, 54, 11212-11227.

Current Recipient

Ameya Rao

2022 Recipient: Ameya Rao, Massachusetts Institute of Technology  

Past Recipients

  • 2021: Julia Early
  • 2020: Nicole Michenfelder-Schauser
  • 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