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Christian Pester

K. Hepler Early Career Professor in Chemical Engineering

Professional Appointments and Affiliations

K. Hepler Early Career Professor in Chemical Engineering


314 CBEB


Doctorate Studies in physical chemistry, Dr. rer. nat. (summa cum laude) DWI Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials, RWTH Aachen University, Germany
Advisor: Prof. Alexander Böker; Ph.D. Thesis: “Block Copolymers in Electric Fields”

Diploma in polymer and colloidal chemistry, Dipl.-Chem. University of Bayreuth, Germany.

Honors and Awards

2019 ACS PRF DNI Petroleum Research Fund Doctoral New Investigator Award — American Chemical Society
2016 1st Place Science as Art Notecard Competition — Materials Research Society – Invited 
2016 MRS Science as Art Award — 1st Place – Materials Research Society (MRS Spring Meeting 2016) 
2016 Art of Science Award — Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships (UCSB) 
2015 International Research Fellowship Award — International Center for Materials Research (UCSB).
2015 Dow Travel Fellowship — Dow Materials institute and the Materials Research Laboratory (UCSB)
2014 Feodor Lynen Award — Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
2014 Borchers Medal — RWTH Aachen University. In recognition of outstanding dissertation  
2012 Young Scientist Travel Grant — International Union of Crystallography President’s Fund


The Pester group combines polymer chemistry and polymer physics. One of our research areas involves the topographical and chemical patterning of surfaces with surface-initiated polymerization techniques. We are further interested in utilizing external stimuli to influence chemical reactions and tune material properties.

Recent Publications

M. Li, D. Ranaweera, M. Fromel, C. W. Pester. “Long-term Stability of Initiating Monolayers in Surface-initiated Controlled Radical Polymerizations.” submitted 2020.

M. Fromel, M. Li, C. W. Pester. Surface Engineering with Polymer Brush Photolithography. Macromol. Rapid Commun. 2020 (in print). 

R. Xie, A. R. Weisen, Y. Lee, M. A. Aplan, A. M. Fenton, A. Masucci, F. Kempe, M. Sommer, C. W. Pester, R. H. Colby, E. D. Gomez. Glass Transition Temperature from the Chemical Structure of Conjugated Polymers. Nature Communications 2020, 11, 893.

M. Li, M. Fromel, D. Ranaweera, S. Rocha, C. Boyer, C. W. Pester. SI-PET-RAFT: Surface-Initiated Photoinduced Electron Transfer-Reversible Addition–Fragmentation Chain Transfer Polymerization. ACS Macro Letters 2019, 8, 374.