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Science & Technology Award Americas

Awarded annually and open to PhD students, this award is about recognizing and rewarding excellence in innovative PhD research in polymer technology. The award was presented at the Fall National ACS Division of Polymer Chemistry (POLY) Meeting in Boston (MA), U.S. on 22 August 2018.
From L to R Louis Pitet (Materials Scientist DSM), Dr. Yoonseob Kim (Winner), Diana Gerbi (Chair of the POLY division of the ACS) & Rolf van Benthem (Corporate Science Fellow DSM)

2018 theme: Hybrid Polymer Materials in Emerging Applications

The theme for the 2018 award was Hybrid Polymer Materials in Emerging Applications. Nominations had to relate to PhD research on topics including but not limited to synthesis, characterization and material property assessment of multicomponent polymer systems enabling advanced functions in all applications. For example, multi component polymer systems and nanocomposites; liquid crystal polymer composites; graphene polymer composites; organosilicon hybrid polymers and networks and polymer-decorated nanoparticles. The nominees were judged based on both the connection to the theme and the quality of the scientific research.

From all the nominees for the 2018 award, an independent jury selected 4 finalists to present their work at the ACS POLY Meeting in Boston. The grand prize winner was Dr. Yoonseob Kim from the University of Michigan for his research on stretchable electronic and photonic nanocomposites from self-organized nanoparticles.

As in previous years, we have teamed up with ACS POLY to invite nominations for this year’s award. Nominations were open to current PhD student and those who recently obtained their PhD at a university in Americas.

Nominees and runners-up for the DSM International Science & Technology Award 2018 were:

  • Dr. Yoonseob Kim, from the University of Michigan
  • Dr. Cong Jin, from the University of Alberta
  • Dr. Yuxing Yao, from Harvard University
  • Dr. Kevin Gu from Stanford University

Previous winner

In 2017 we granted the award to Catherine Mulzer from Cornell University, USA, for her research on Covalent Organic Frameworks (COFs) as a technology platform for energy storage.

The Prize

The winner received $5,000 in cash and the three runners-up each received $1,000. Each of the four finalists received $1,000 to cover associated travel and conference registration costs.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Nominations were open to current PhD students and those who recently obtained their PhD at a university in the Americas.
  • Candidates could not have defended their PhD thesis before 1 January 2017.
  • The nominated work had to be focused on innovative research - fundamental or applied - in the general area of Hybrid Polymer Materials in Emerging Technologies, as described above.

Selection and Judging

From the total number of nominations received, four candidates were selected for the final judging round that took place at the Fall National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Polymer Chemistry (POLY) Meeting in Boston (MA), U.S. These four candidates were invited to present their research results in a short lecture during a special DSM - ACS POLY Symposium on Wednesday 22 August. A judging committee consisting of members from the DSM and ACS POLY community, selected the winner at the commencement of the symposium.


  • Candidates had to be nominated by their PhD supervisors (one nominee per supervisor). Nominations had to be accompanied by the following supporting documents:
  • A graphical abstract (defined by POLY) of the candidate’s lecture topic.
  • A list of all accepted publications including DOI.
  • Copies of key publications (maximum 3) in full length (not including supplementary files).
  • The candidate’s complete curriculum vitae, including (expected) date of PhD defense.
  • A personal letter of recommendation prepared by the PhD supervisor.