Joint Meeting with Cleveland ACS Section

(posted on Monday, September 13, 2021)

Joint Meeting with Cleveland Section

September 16, 2021

Burntwood Tavern, Montrose

Prof. Kevin Cavicchi, The University of Akron

"Putting Rubber Elasticity to Work in Smart Materials"

Networking at 5:30 pm

Dinner at 6:30 pm

Speaker at 7:30 pm


choice of lobster bisque, house salad or Caesar salad

plus, choice of cedar salmon, asiago crusted chicken, sirloin, fish and chips or tavern dip (there will be a vegetarian option, TBD)

Cost $26

There will be a discounted cost for students.


Putting Rubber Elasticity to Work in Smart Materials

The ability to program a stimuli-responsive shape-change into a material is of significant interest for remotely deployable devices and sensors across a range of industries, such as aerospace, packaging, and medicine. Polymers are an ideal material to use for this endeavor due to their ease of undergoing elastic deformation. This talk will discuss different approaches to develop of shape memory polymers, where elastic deformation is locked into a temporary shape that recovers upon the application of a stimulus, and reversible actuators, where a rubbery polymer matrix is dilated and contracted due the volume change of incorporated additive. Approaches using blending of commodity materials to obtain synergistic results will be presented along with novel polymers synthesized using ion-pair comonomers. Finally, approaches to 3D print more complex geometrical structures to take advantage of the programmable shape changes in these materials will be discussed.


Kevin Cavicchi is a Professor in the School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering at the University of Akron. His research group is interested in the structure-property-processing relationships of nanostructured soft-matter including small molecule organogels, ionomers, block copolymers, and their blends using commercial polymers and in-house synthesized polymers prepared by reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) and anionic polymerization. A central interest is in the fabrication of shape memory and reversibly actuating materials through in-situ polymerization, casting, molding, and additive manufacturing. 

Born and raised in Reading, MA, Kevin attended Cornell University where he received a BS in Materials Science and Engineering. He completed his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota and was a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering at UMASS-Amherst before joining the Department of Polymer Engineering at the University of Akron in January 2006. 

Kevin received the Polymer Networks Group Young Investigator Award in 2014, the William C. Zekan Memorial Award from the Akron Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers in 2017, a Distinguished Service Award from the Division of Polymer Chemistry of the American Chemical Society in 2019, and the Sparks-Thomas Young Investigator Award from the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society in 2021. He was named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society in 2019 and a Fellow of the Division of Polymer Chemistry of the American Chemical Society in 2020.

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