Expert Details

Expert in Polyurethanes; Crystalline Polymers; Dielectric Properties; Ion-containing Polymers

Expert ID: 108280 Pennsylvania, USA

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Although I retired from Penn State in July '18, I continue to be engaged in the scientific / technical side of polymer science and engineering. I am more actively seeking external consulting opportunities, including serving as an expert witness. I am also exploring Visiting Prof opportunities at universities in and outside of the U.S.

The theme of my academic research was focused on polymer phase-separated morphology, and the relationship to polymer and ion dynamics. We frequently investigated the former using X-ray scattering. Dielectric spectroscopy has been used extensively in our investigations of dynamics, as it is a very sensitive probe of molecular motions over an ultrabroad frequency range and a wide temperature range.

Some selected academic research topics included:
1. Polyurethane and polyurea segmented copolymers. Polyurethane chemistries have frequently been chosen to reflect those important in blood-contacting biomaterials applications.
2. Another effort involves my long-term interests in semi-crystalline polymers, particularly their crystalline microstructure, crystallinity and ultimate performance. Polymers investigated have run the gamut from polyolefins, PLA, aromatic polyesters (PBT, PET). One recent project focused on tailoring the dielectric properties of low dielectric loss polymers, for next generation polymer capacitor materials (e.g. ETFE, PFA, PEN).
3. For many years, we have been investigating ion and polymer dynamics of ionomers, some of which are relevant as solid-state electrolytes in power sources, actuators, and electrochemical devices.


Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 1979 Degree: PhD Subject: Polymer Science / Solid State Science Institution: Penn State University, Materials Science and Eng

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 1980 to 2018 Employer: Penn State University Title: Professor Emeritus, Polymer Science Department: Materials Science and Engineering Responsibilities: Prior to formally retiring from PSU in summer '18, I advised an active research group (funded by federal and some industrial grants) focusing on a) microstructure of polyurethanes/ureas, crystalline polymers (e.g. PLA, fluoropolymers) and b) polymer dielectrics and polymer dynamics using dielectric spectroscopy. Teaching responsibilities included courses at the undergrad and graduate levels on the polymer solid state and introduction to the materials science of polymers. The former courses covered polymer morphology, mechanical properties and electrical properties.

International Experience

Years Country / Region Summary
Years: 2005 to 2018 Country / Region: China, Thailand Summary: Short course teaching on the polymer solid state: morphology, mechanical and electrical properties. Also introductory short courses on polymers. Also presentation of numerous seminars in these countries and many others, at conferences and universities throughout the US and the world (particularly Asia and Europe)

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
Selected Synergistic Activities (past 5 years):
• Member, Board of Directors, International Dielectrics Society (through 2016); International Advisory Board, 8th biannual Broadband Dielectric Spectroscopy meetings (2014).
• American Physical Society, DPOLY, 2 year term on Fellowship Committee, Padden Award committee
• Undergraduate student adviser:
PSU MatSE undergraduate senior class advisor
Penn State’s Women in Science and Engineering Research (WISER) program, mentor
PSU ‘Soft Materials’ NSF-REU programs
Penn State MatSE Senior Research Thesis program
• Member:
American Physical Society (Division of Polymer Physics, Fellow)
American Chemical Society (Divisions of Polymer Chemistry and Polymeric Materials)
International Dielectrics Society
American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers (Fellow)
Alpha Chi Sigma (Honorary lifetime member).
Professional Appointments
2018 – Professor Emeritus, Penn State
1993 – Professor of Polymer Science, MatSE Department, Penn State
2006 – 2008 Chair, Intercollege Graduate Program in Materials Science and Engineering, Penn State
2006 Acting Head, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Penn State
2002 – 2008 Associate Head for Graduate Studies, MatSE Department, Penn State
1988 – 1994 Program Chair, Polymer Science Program, MatSE Department, Penn State
1987 – 1993 Associate Professor of Polymer Science, Penn State
Awards / Recognition
Wilson Research Award, Penn State / EMS
Fellow, American Physical Society
Fellow, American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers
Consulting/Visiting Professorships: Most recently at the University of Queensland
Chulalongkorn University, South China University of Technology
Penn State EMS, Faculty Mentoring Award
ASEE Sabbatical Fellow
Publications and Patents Summary
Approximately 235 refereed publications and book chapters; Contributor to 10 U.S. patents (cardiac assist device).

Additional Experience

Expert Witness Experience
Legal experience

2019, Delaware County, PA – Written declaration of observations and conclusions for Larosa law firm. Testimony in court.

2019, Served as an expert / consultant in litigation for Latham and Watkins, in a case before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of TX, Marshall Division

2011, Served as an expert consultant in a product liability case. Affidavit submitted.

Although I have purged my older paper records and details along with them, there were 3 additional cases on which I was a consultant, deposed multiple times, and testified in court. In short, the first two were on the order of 20-25 yrs ago

I testified in a patent validity case in the UK Royal Courts in London. The materials involved were polymer-based composites used in electronic applications. I worked with a relatively large UK law firm, but do not recall their name at this point.

Following that, I testified in an anti-trust action in LA Federal Court involving the same parties. My primary role was a ‘teacher’ of the technology at issue to the jury. I was cross examined on my lengthy deposition, etc. I worked with a relatively large LA law firm, but I am unable to recall their name at this point.

The 3rd one was more recent, but nevertheless more than 15 yrs ago. This was a product liability case in Federal Court in Williamsport PA (involving a company of materials supplier). The essence of the case was the formulation of the purchased product and its stability in air / sunlight.
Training / Seminars
Many short courses taught throughout my career at other universities and companies. Topics ranging from intro to the materials science of polymers, to more detailed courses on the polymer solid state (including mechanical and electrical properties), polymer blends and crystalline polymers
Marketing Experience
As a Professor, I had to constantly market my research group's accomplishments, as well as new ideas and research areas. Via written proposals and in oral presentations.
Other Relevant Experience
Technologies Impacted by Expert's Research:
Polymers in energy applications (ionomers / ion-containing polymers); Crystalline polymers, blends/alloys and interpenetrating polymer networks. Polyurethanes and polyureas (bloodcontacting polymers in biomedical devices; mitigation of shock/blast energy)

Research Areas:
1. Ion and polymer dynamics and nanoscale structure of ‘single ion’ polymer conductors and more conventional ion-containing polymer systems (ionomers). The former are model materials for solid-state electrolytes of interest in Li+ ion batteries and actuators. Various novel materials chemistries have been explored including polymerized ionic liquids. The latter (precise ethylene acid copolymers and ionomers) are model materials for hydrocarbon ionomers of interest in
packaging and in applications where toughness is required.
2. Crystalline polymers for next generation capacitor energy storage materials. One aspect of this research has focused on high temperature crystalline polymers, with emphasis on microstructure control of dielectric loss and dynamic glass transition. Materials of interest include several high melting fluoropolymers and poly(ethylene naphthalate). We are also collaborating with colleagues on novel polyurea blends and polymer nanocomposites, which exhibit remarkably ‘high’ dielectric constant and low dielectric loss.
3. Polyurethane and polyurea segmented block copolymers. This work focuses on the role of hard and soft segment chemistries on nanodomain phase separated morphology, unlike segment mixing, and polymer dynamics. Polyurethane chemistries have been chosen to reflect those of interest as blood-contacting biomaterials, and polyurea chemistries were chosen to reflect those of interest in protection against shock impact loading (traumatic brain injury).

Fields of Expertise

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