MEEM Graduate Seminar: New inorganic glass/organic polymer hybrid materials

The Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar: Professor Joshua Otaigbe, PhD, CEng, CSci, FIMMM School of Polymers and High Performance Materials University of Southern Mississippi; Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Ro om 112, ME-EM Bldg.

Title: New inorganic glass/organic polymer hybrid materials with improved properties— Current status and future prospects

The physical modification of polymer structure and properties via polymer blending and reinforcement is a common practice in the plastics industry and has a large economic advantage over synthesizing new polymeric materials to fulfill new material needs. In this context, a new class of inorganic glass/organic polymer hybrids with enhanced benefits has been developed by blending low-Tg phosphate glasses with polymeric materials in the liquid state, to afford new hybrid materials with significant improvements in properties that are impossible to achieve from classical polymer blends and composites. Because of their facile synthesis and desirable characteristics, these phosphate glass/polymer hybrid materials may be model systems for exploring feasibility of new routes for driving inorganic glasses and organic polymers to self- assemble into useful materials. Conceptually, it may even be possible to use block copolymers, with one block being miscible with Pglass, to perform self-directed assembly of nanostructured hybrids, where the Pglass is confined solely to one phase. In this talk, I will review some new insights into the structural dynamics, melt rheology & processing, molecular relaxation processes, and phase behavior of a few representative examples of these unique hybrid materials with prescribed rheological properties, macromolecular structure and function. The unanswered questions will be discussed to guide future research directions, and facilitate progress in this emerging area.

Joshua Otaigbe earned his PhD from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, UK, thus starting a circuitous career that spanned three continents. He has been involved in most areas of chemical engineering and advanced materials science including research in the areas of polymer engineering and materials science. His research blends chemical engineering sciences with materials structure and property principles to better understand and improve processes for advanced polymeric materials. Joshua worked as a Project Leader for Corning Incorporated in New York in the Corporate Research, Development and Engineering Division. He also held academic positions at the University of Alberta, Canada, and the University of Benin, in Nigeria. At Iowa State University he became a tenured Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and of Materials Science & Engineering, and Leader of Polymers and Composite Research Group. He influenced the design of the materials engineering curriculum at Iowa State to include a polymer engineering option. In 2002, he joined his current position with The University of Southern Mississippi as a Professor of Polymer Engineering and Science where he is active in promoting the teaching of materials science and engineering as the study of all aspects the of materials as a whole rather than separating their chemical, physical, and engineering aspects. Joshua holds seven patents and has published more than 110 refereed scientific journal papers. Joshua is the founder of Flaney Associates LLC, a company that provides technical consulting to polymer, chemical and advanced materials companies on the engineering of manufacturing processes and products including providing materials/chemicals expert witness for attorneys and insurance professionals for cases on materials engineering, chemical processes/products, and for issues related to industrial and consumer materials science and engineering. Joshua has been awarded invited visiting professorships in the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH-Zurich), the French Engineering Universities, Institut National des Sciences Appliquées (INSA) in Lyon, and in the Université Jean Monnet in Saint-Etienne. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining and Fellow of Society of Plastics Engineers. A recipient of the U.S. National Science Foundation CAREER Award and the Best Paper-Polyolefins Award from the Thermoplastic Materials and Foams Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers. He was an honored member in Who’s Who of American Inventors (1998-1999 edition). In the last few years, Joshua is the Principal Investigator of a number of research grants and contracts from National Science Foundation and industry including Chemtura Corporation, a leading global manufacturer of flame retardant additives for plastics. Most recently, Joshua was awarded the Fulbright-Tocqueville Distinguished Chair in France for 2013-2014, an appointment reserved for eminent scholars with substantial experience and publications in their respective fields. Funding for the ME-EM Graduate Seminar Series is provided by the Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics