Skip navigation

School of Polymer Science and Engineering

T.W. Bennett Symposium

Page Content

T.W. Bennett Symposium Poster

Bioinspired and Sustainable Polymer Research
May 19, 2021 | Virtual Symposium

The Symposium will host notable speakers from academia, industry, and national labs with the theme of bioinspired and sustainable polymer research. Dr. Sarah E. Morgan polymer science and engineering professor at USM is the 2020-2021 Bennett Distinguished Professor and the Keynote Speaker. 

The Symposium is made possible thanks to the T.W. Bennett Endowment, established at USM by Mr. and Mrs. T.W. Bennett, Sr. in honor of their son and his love for the sciences. Earnings from the endowment are used to support research activities of the Bennett Professor and to sponsor the biennial T.W. Bennett Symposium.


Interdisciplinary Research

10:15 A.M.
The Bennett Distinguished Professorship In The Sciences
Dr. Gordon Cannon, Vice President for Research 

10:30 A.M.
Aggregation And Phase Separation Of Disordered Proteins In Neurodegenerative Diseases
Prof. Vijay Rangachari, Professor of Biophysical Chemistry

11:00 A.M.
Cementing Interdisciplinary Collaborations To The Study Of Tick-Borne Diseases
Prof. Shahid Karim, Professor, Cell and Molecular Biology

11:30 A.M.
Responsive Hydrogels For Controlled Delivery
Prof. Eugenia Kharlampieva, Professor of Chemistry, University Alabama at Birmingham

12:00 P.M. Break for Lunch

Industry/National Lab Interactions

1:30 P.M.
Sustainable Plastic Technologies: Chemical Upcycling Of Today's Plastics And Redesigning Tomorrow's Polymers  
Dr. Katrina Knauer, Senior Scientist, Materials Innovation & Brand Ambassador, Novoloop, Inc.

2:00 P.M.
Propulsion Materials Research In The Applied Materials  Group At Afrl   
Dr. Levi Moore,  Research Chemist, Air Force Research Laboratories

2:30 P.M.
Eastman Advanced Circular Economy
Dr. Lea Paslay, Group Leader, Applications Development, Eastman

3:00 P.M. Break

Keynote Address

Sarah Morgan

3:15 P.M.
Bioinspired And Sustainable Polymer Research
Prof. Sarah Morgan | 2020-2021 Bennett Distinguished Professor

Dr. Sarah E. Morgan of the School of Polymer Science and Engineering is the 2020-2021 Bennett Distinguished Professor and Keynote Speaker at the Symposium. She joined the university in 2003 after a 14-year career at GE Plastics in engineering thermoplastics, where she held technical and managerial positions at GE locations around the world. Morgan’s research is focused on polymers at the interface of biology, including bioinspired polymers and polymer/protein interactions, and sustainable high-performance materials. She is equally passionate about polymer education and development of the next generation of scientists and engineers. 


4:15 - 5:00 P.M. Career Panel

Panel Members

  • Dr. Kate Beers, Research Leader, Soft Matter & Circular Economy, NIST      
  • Dr. Janet Donaldson, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education, CAS, USM
  • Dr. Wei Gao, Principal Research Scientist, Dow
  • Dr. Monica Tisack, Executive Director, Mississippi Polymer Institute, The Accelerator 
  • Dr. Davita Watkins, Associate Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry, U Mississippi
  • Meeting ID:
    967 3865 7944
  • Passcode:

Contact Us

School of Polymer Science and Engineering

202 Thames Polymer Science Research Center

Campus Hattiesburg

Campus Map