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Science & Technology Award Americas

Awarded annually and open to PhD students, the Science & Technology Award Americas is about recognizing and rewarding excellence in innovative PhD research in polymer technology. This year, the Award was organized in collaboration with the American Chemical Society (ACS), and the chosen field was Advanced Polymers in Energy Storage Applications. 
Catherine Mulzer receives DSM Science and Technology Award Americas 2017 from Rolf van Benthem

A total of five finalists were selected, who presented their research at the Fall ACS National Meeting in Washington DC during the DSM satellite symposium that took place on 22 August 2017. On 23 August 2017, during the ACS POLY Award Reception, Rolf van Benthem of DSM presented the grand award to Catherine Mulzer from Cornell University, USA, for her research on Covalent Organic Frameworks (COFs) as a technology platform for energy storage.

From the nominations received, five final candidates were selected. They were invited to present their research results in a short lecture during a special DSM-ACS POLY Symposium at the Fall ACS National Meeting in Washington DC. A judging committee comprising members from the DSM and ACS POLY community selected the winner at the commencement of the symposium.

2017 winner: Catherine Mulzer

Catherine Mulzer from Cornell University, USA, received the award for her discovery of redox-active Covalent Organic Frameworks (COFs) as a technology platform for energy storage, under the supervision of William Dichtel. This new advancement has led to achieving extremely high capacitance and fast charging rates for electrochemical energy storage devices. COFs are an emerging class of crystalline two- or three-dimensional polymers with a high surface area and predictable incorporation of functionality. Caherine’s PhD research focused on leveraging these properties for the development of COFs as electrochemical energy storage devices. Overall, this work pioneered the use of redox-active COFs as an energy storage platform that now rivals commonly used activated carbon materials.

Previous winner

In 2016 we granted the award to Deborah Schneiderman for her PhD research on High Performance Degradable Polymers from Renewable Resources, which she conducted at the University of Minnesota, Department of Chemistry, under the supervision of Marc A. Hillmyer.

A summary of the key details:


Nominations were open to candidates who received their PhD after 1 January 2017, and whose work focused on innovative fundamental or applied research in the general area of Advanced Polymers in Energy Storage Applications. Candidates had to be nominated by their PhD supervisors (one nominee per supervisor).


The grand award winner received a cash prize of $5,000, while each of the four runners-up received a cash prize of $1,000.


The four runners-up for the DSM Science & Technology Award Americas 2017 were:

Ksenia Timachova
University of California, Berkeley
Ion transport in homogeneous and nanostructured polymer electrolytes

Liang Zhu
Penn State University
Exploring multication side chain anion exchange membranes with varied backbones

Jeffrey Lopez
Stanford University
High performance lithium metal anode with a soft and flowable polymer coating

Kelly Meek
Texas A&M University
Chemical stability and ion transport in polymerized ionic liquid anion exchange membranes