Qibing Pei is Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. He specializes in synthetic polymers and composites for electronic, electromechanical, and photonic applications, with over 200 peer-reviewed journal publications and 44 issued US patents. He directs the UCLA Soft Materials Research Laboratory. He received a B.S. degree in chemistry from Nanjing University and a PhD in polymer science from the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Science. He is a Fellow of SPIE, member of ACS and MRS, Associate Editor of Smart Materials & Structures, and Advisory Board Member of Soft Robotics, Advanced Electronic Materials, and Scientific Reports.
Vakhtang Barbakadze has his expertise in isolation and structure elucidation of a new series of plant polyethers, which are endowed with pharmacological properties as anti-cancer agents. He has completed his Ph.D and D.Sci. in 1978 and 1999. He is the head of Department of plant biopolymers and chemical modification of natural compounds at the Tbilisi State Medical University Institute of Pharmacochemistry. 1996 and 2002 he has been a visiting scientist at Utrecht University, The Netherlands, by University Scholarship and The Netherlands organization for scientific research (NWO) Scholarship Scientific Program, respectively. He has published more than 100 papers in reputed journals.
Richard J. Spontak was a research scientist with Procter & Gamble before he joined the NCSU faculty in 1992. Spontak has over 104 publications in peer-reviewed journals, and his work has been featured on the cover of Microsc. Res. Tech. and Langmuir.
Spontak conducts studies to improve the current understanding of microstructural polymer systems, which are of scientific interest as self-assembling polymers and commercial value as adhesives, (bio)compatibilizing agents, nanotemplates, and membranes. His group’s efforts are at the cutting edge of block copolymer research: e.g., they have obtained the first 3D images of the bicontinuous gyroid (Ia3d) and sponge (L3) morphologies. They characterize polymers with electronspectroscopic microscopy, and dispersions/gels with freeze-fracture replication and cryo-TEM techniques. Use of these tools has expedited the study of block copolymers and their blends/gels, and has helped to elucidate novel polymer gelation mechanisms, PDLC composition/morphology relationships, and interpolymer complexation. Other areas of interest include polymer alloying through mechanical attrition, transmission electron microtemography, and modification of polymer solutions via salting-in.
Francesca Costantini Researcher at
School of Aerospace Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome;
Research Activity: Development of the polymer chain reaction (PCR) and SELEX in Lab-on-Chip systems respectively for purposes diagnosici and for the selection of new aptamers.
Teaching: Faculty of Civil and Industrial Engineering, Engineering Degree Course
Nanotechnologies, Sapienza University of Rome. Activity: "Macromolecular Structures" course (Basic biochemistry applied to engineering).
The common theme that defines our research relates to synthetic polymer chemistry and how it might be used in creating well defined polymer structures. A large part of our work is devoted metathesis reactions, where the research has been mechanistic in nature. We immerse ourselves in the chemistry associated with creating new polymers, and we also find ourselves interested in modeling well known materials, like polyethylene, to better understand their behavior.