Polymer News

USM Program WISE Encourages Women to Study Science and Engineering


WISE (Women In Science and Engineering ) Headlines on 5/09/2016 WDAM News for being Encouraging!

An organization at Southern Miss is encouraging women to pursue careers in science and engineering. 

The Women in Science organization has about 150 graduate and undergraduate members and is looking for more members. 

Dahlia Amato, president of WISE, said "I always try to open the door to anyone in a science-related field such as behavioral science, because we never want to turn anyone away." WISE has weekly lunch meetings with engaging guest speakers. As a WISE participant, students have the opportunity to apply for scholarships. They host concession stands during football season, and partner with Raising Cane's restaurant to raise money to fund scholarship and weekly luncheon meetings.

Meetings are every Tuesday from 12PM - 1 PM. We love to see new faces, so bring your passion and enthusiasm for the sciences and we will learn together!

All students are welcome to attend!

To Sign Up for WISE Today: click here! 


Dr. Sarah Morgan to Speak at the National Science Foundation's Next Generation STEM Learning Forum


When: Monday, November 9, 2015.
Where: Washington, D.C.
Speaker: Dr. Sarah Morgan, School of Polymers & High Performance Materials
Co-speaker: James Brownlow, Hattiesburg High School

Next Generation STEM Learning for All

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is working with the White House to host a research forum with thought leaders from multiple sectors, including K-12, higher education, informal learning, research, workforce development, policy, business, and industry.

The NSF-supported Forum on November 9th will serve as a prelude to a week of Administration events on next-generation learning, including the first-ever White House Summit on Next Generation High School, which will take place on November 10th. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy plans to highlight new actions by philanthropy, industry, school leaders, and others, who are committed to re-thinking the way that high school education is delivered in this country.

The Forum on Next Generation STEM Learning for All will:

  • Showcase NSF-funded research and development and inform policy makers about the potential to transform STEM learning and education;
  • Engage a broad community of stakeholders in envisioning the future of STEM learning and in strategizing how to best achieve collective impact; and
  • Facilitate networking across stakeholder groups to leverage skills and strengthen connections, collaboration, and coordination toward national goals for STEM education.


USM School of Polymers and High Performance Materials Faculty Updates
  1. Dr. Yoan Simon
    Senior Scientist, Polymer Chemistry and Materials, University of Frisbourg, Switzerland will be joining the SPHPM Department's Faculty.  Yoan C. Simon is a Maître-Assistant (non-tenure track assistant professor) in the Polymer Chemistry and Materials group at the Adolphe Merkle Institute of the University of Fribourg (Switzerland).

    Yoan was educated at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Montpellier (France), the University of Massachusetts (Amherst, USA) and ETH Zürich (Switzerland). For the past 4 years he has been holding a position as a Maître-Asssitant at AMI where he leads a group that focuses on Optical and Mechano-Responsive Materials With Unusual Properties.  Yoan's main research interests revolve around the design and synthesis of stimuli-responsive polymers, bio-inspired materials, and polymer nanocomposites. He has received a number of awards including the ETH Fellowship and the Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium Award.

    Faculty Profile Page

  2. Dr. Sarah Morgan
    1. Was awarded the University Research Council Innovation Multidisciplinary Award.
    2. Was presented the Fred E. Schwab Education Award of the Society of Plastics Engineers. This is one of four annual awards made by the Society of Plastics Engineers. She was recognized at the SPE ANTEC/NPE meeting, March 22, 2014 in Orlando, FL.
    3. Was presented the American Chemical Society Division of Polymer Chemistry Distinguished Service Award for Excellence in Programming and Undergraduate Education at the 249th ACS National Meeting and Exposition, March 25, 2015 in Denver, CO.
  3. Department Chair, Dr. Jeffrey Wiggins
    1. Finalized a two year contract negotiation and implemented a Boeing – USM University Master Agreement which elevated USM as a “Boeing Preferred University” and into a select group of universities including Stanford, Purdue, MIT and others. This 5 year contract serves all USM faculty by providing contractual infrastructure to expedite research projects.  The University Master Agreement pre-negotiates all contractual obligations (IP, indemnifications, ownership, etc.).  All new Boeing research projects is a project Statement of Work from Boeing to a USM PI, agreed budget between USM PI and Boeing PM, and work initiates.  Interested faculty should contact Dr. Wiggins for details.
    2. Wiggins Research Group and USM were awarded the 2014 Boeing Supplier of the Year Award for next generation composite materials development. This award is the second year in a row for this recognition.  Approximately 400 Supplier of the Year awards are presented from more than 25,000 Boeing suppliers.


U.S. Army Awards $4.9 Million to Southern Miss for Helmet Liner Research

The United States Army has awarded a $4.9 million research contract to The University of Southern Mississippi for development and evaluation on a helmet liner designed to provide enhanced head protection for warfighters.

Read More:u.s._army_awards_4.pdf


USM Polymer Science Hosts High School Competition
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Sixty students from seven South Mississippi high schools gathered on the Southern Miss campus Thursday to test their knowledge of polymer science and observe some scientific experiments.

It was part of the 6th annual Polymer Science High School Competition hosted by USM's School of Polymers and High Performance Materials.

Among the activities students participated in was a quiz bowl.  

There are 10 high schools in Mississippi with polymer science programs. "I think it's pretty interesting," said Trent Randall, a student at Petal High School who took part in the competition. "I still don't know what I want to do when I get older, but I think polymer science in high school is a great start if I do want to eventually go into the polymer science field," he said.  "I think it's cool that we can all come together and learn more together," said Caleb Flurry of Pascagoula High School, another student in the competition.  Hattiesburg's Presbyterian Christian High School took first place in the quiz bowl and was also named the overall winner. By Charles Herrington, ReporterRead More:usm_polymer_science_hosts_high_school_competition_-_myfoxal.pdf



Southern Miss Polymer Program Wins Boeing Performance Excellence Award

The School of Polymers and High Performance Materials at The University of Southern Mississippi has been recognized with a prestigious Boeing Performance Excellence Award. The Boeing Company presents the award annually to honor partners who have achieved superior performance.

Read More:  boeing_performance_excellence_award_southern_miss


Polymer Research and Advanced Helmet Technology
Dr. Jeff Wiggins, Director of the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials, led a team that helped develop a new football helmet now being used by hundreds of professional and collegiate athletes including two dozen players in the 2014 Super Bowl. The technology used in this helmet aids in minimizing the risk of injury to players by replacing traditional foam material with temperature-resistant cushioning materials. Now, Dr. Wiggins and his team are testing this new technology developed for the playing field to improve helmets used on the battlefield with the goal of enhancing protection for the soldiers that defend our nation. Take a closer look at Southern Miss. You'll find we are more than meets the eye.


Southern Miss Research Team Studying New Cancer Drug Therapy
Polymer researchers at The University of Southern Mississippi are conducting studies that could revolutionize the drug delivery process for cancer patients.

A research team under the direction of Dr. Daniel Savin is hoping to create a cancer treatment that will deliver drug therapies to targeted locations, instead of current treatments that impact almost every organ in the body.

"The idea here is we want to create a polymeric vehicle that can do the same job, but only deliver to the cancer tumor," said Savin, assistant professor of polymer science. 




NSF Awardees

Abagail Williams, Cassandra Reese, Laken Kendrick

Southern Miss Students Receive National Science Foundation Fellowships



Katrina Knauer

Katrina Knauer  a doctoral student in the polymer science program at The University of Southern Mississippi, took home a third-place award in the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools Regional Three Minute Thesis® (3MT®) competition held earlier this month in New Orleans. read more...

Dahlia Amato

Dahlia Amato a second-year doctoral student at The University of Southern Mississippi, has been selected as a finalist for one of the prestigious Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans. read more...