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Allcock Receives 2007 National Award in Applied Polymer Science from the American Chemical Society

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Harry R. Allcock, Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry, has received the 2007 National Award in Applied Polymer Science from the American Chemical Society. Sponsored by the Eastman Chemical Company, the award will be presented at an Awards Ceremony at the 233rd American Chemical Society National Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, in March 2007.

Allcock's research is at the interface between inorganic and organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, and materials science. His research involves the design and synthesis of new polymers that contain organic components, together with heteroelements such as phosphorus, silicon, boron, or transition metals. He was the discoverer of a major class of polymers known as polyphosphazenes, which are based on a backbone of alternating phosphorus and nitrogen atoms with two organic, inorganic, or organometallic side groups linked to each phosphorus atom. He also discovered a new class of molecular-inclusion compounds known as clathrates, which have been used to separate a wide variety of small organic molecules and high polymers, and which also serve as nanoscale templates for addition polymerizations.

One characteristic of Allcock’s research program is its emphasis on long-range fundamental science, and on the utilization of this science to initiate new advances in medicine, aerospace materials, energy storage, fuel cells, and photonic materials.

Allcock has received numerous awards for his research, including the American Chemical Society (ACS) National Award in Polymer Chemistry in 1984, the ACS Award in Materials Chemistry in 1992, and the ACS Herman Mark Award in Polymer Chemistry in 1994. He was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1986 and 1987 and received the American Institute of Chemists Chemical Pioneer Award in 1989. In 2006, Allcock was awarded an honorary doctoral degree from Loughborough University in the United Kingdom.

Allcock has authored or coauthored more than 500 papers and reviews on the synthesis, characterization, and uses of phosphazenes, and he is the author of three monographs on inorganic-organic rings and polymers. In 2003, Allcock authored a book titled Chemistry and Applications of Polyphosphazenes , which concerns the field of polymer chemistry and is based on his pioneering research carried out at Penn State.

Allcock received his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in chemistry from the University of London in the United Kingdom in 1953 and 1956, respectively. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Purdue University in the United States in 1956 and 1957 and at the National Research Council of Canada from 1958 to 1960. He was a research chemist at the American Cyanamid Laboratories in Stamford, Connecticut from 1961 to 1966. In 1966, he joined the faculty at Penn State as associate professor. He was promoted to professor in 1970 and was named Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry in 1985. He has been a visiting scientist at Stanford University, the Imperial College of Science and Technology in the United Kingdom, and IBM Almaden Laboratories in California.

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