Basics of Polymer Structure and Characterization (Short Course)


Basics of Polymer Science Short Course

June 2 and 3, 2015


Polymeric Membranes for Water Purification and Energy Applications

June 4, 2015

Presented by:

Professors Shaw Ling Hsu, Alan J. Lesser, and E. Bryan Coughlin


Announcing a Two + One day short course taught by 3 faculty members from the Polymer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This course will cover important polymer basics during the first two days, as well as more advanced topics on polymer membrane technology on the third day.
The attendee has the opportunity to attend any combination of days (first two days only, last day only or all 3 days). All topics are presented in a practical manner designed for those with some technical background or education. During the first two days attendees can expect to learn about polymer synthesis and characterization, engineering design and performance of polymer materials. The course will review polymers from basic principles, opportunities and applications, and issues associated with performance. Attendees will gain a better understanding of synthetic techniques, polymer structure-performance relationships and mechanical testing methodologies. On the third day, polymer membrane technology will be covered with an emphasis on water purification and energy applications.

The combination of three excellent teachers from a world-class institution, a convenient location in the Bay Area, an affordable price, and focus on practical applications makes this an exceptional opportunity.

Topics Covered

June 2 and 3 - Basic Program (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM each day)
• Introduction to polymer chemistry
• Determination of polymer structure
• Polymer engineering basics
• Design of new polymers
• Polymer physical properties
• Advanced polymer architecture
• Multi-component polymer phase behavior

June 4 - Membrane Program (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)
• Structural characterization of polymeric membranes
• Engineering issues in membrane design
• New polymer membranes to address future energy challenges
• Polymeric membranes for use in clean water technology

Instructor Backgrounds

Shaw Ling Hsu, PhD, is a Professor in the Polymer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dr. Hsu has extensive experience with polymer structural characterization with his research focused on polymers in biomedical applications, coatings and adhesives. He is an expert in spectroscopic techniques that can be utilized to characterize polymer microstructures and their changes as a function of time, temperature and external forces. Theory and experiments are being carried out in his laboratories to characterize the phase equilibria of various reactive multi-component polymer systems. Dr. Hsu has the capability of measuring polymer structural transformations (e.g. amorphous to crystalline) with high spatial and temporal resolution that provide molecular interpretations of relevant macroscopic physical properties. Dr. Hsu received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Michigan in 1975 and has been a Faculty member of the Polymer Science and Engineering Department at UMass Amherst for 37 years.

Alan Lesser, PhD, is a Professor in the Polymer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts. His research activities include structure-property relationships in polymers and polymer based composites, nonlinear and fracture behavior of polymer based materials, and processing polymers in supercritical carbon dioxide. He is currently Editor of Polymer Composites Journal, Assoc. Editor of Polymer Engineering and Science Journal, and resides on the Advisory Board of Journal of Applied Polymer Science. He is a Fellow of the Society of Plastics Engineers, has served as the Conference Chair for the Gordon Composites Conference, and has served as Chair of the Polymer Analysis Division, and Failure Analysis and Prevention SIG, for the Society of Plastics Engineers. He has published more than 80 papers in refereed journals and more than 90 in conference proceedings. Dr. Lesser received his PhD in Civil Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in 1988 and joined the faculty in the PSE Department in 1995 after spending 6 years in industry working as a Research Scientist for Shell Development Company.

E. Bryan Coughlin, PhD, is a Professor at The University of Massachusetts Amherst in the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering. Dr. Coughlin is actively engaged in the development of novel polymeric materials for advanced applications in aerospace, sporting goods, electronics, packaging, and numerous other industrial sectors that utilize plastics. Upon the completion of his Doctorate in Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, he joined the Central Research and Development Department of the DuPont Company where he was on staff for nearly 6 years. Dr. Coughlin is a co-inventor of DuPont's Versipol® Polyolefin Technology Platform, and has over 25 patents to his name. His expertise covers anionic and radical polymerization as well as the use of organo-transition metal catalysts for the preparation of well-defined polymers. Since 1999 Dr. Coughlin has been on the Faculty of the Polymer Science and Engineering Department at UMass Amherst. He has won a number of national research awards.

Practical Details

• The location of the course will be Michaels at Shoreline, 2960 N Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94043<, (650) 962-1014

• Additional instructions will be provided to those who register for the event before the deadline of May 25 by May 29.
• Continental breakfast and lunch provided on site each day, as part of course expense (no additional charge).
• Instructors will stay until 6:00 PM to discuss specific issues.
• Hardcopy lecture notes from each day will be provided to all attendees.

Payment Information

Early Registration (on or before May 15)
Full Program (June 2, 3 and 4) - $795
Basic Program only (June 2 and 3 only) - $595
Membrane Program only (June 4 only) - $295

Late Registration (May 16 to May 25)
Add $150 regardless of which combination of programs.

No registration possible after May 25 or when 48-attendee limit is reached

Advance Registration and payment required. No drop-ins will be allowed.
No reservation will be considered complete until payment is received.


For attendees who require hotel reservations, numerous hotels are nearby in Mountain View and Palo Alto that are close to Michael's at Shoreline. (Search Google Maps for Hotels near Mountain View) The closest airports in order of distance (closest to farthest) are San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland.

Registration Details

(1) Begin the registration process by going to the main web page,, clicking on "Basics of Polymer Structure and Characterization (Short Course)". On the page that appears next, you will see all the course information. To register, scroll down to the bottom of the page.

You can register for the full program, the basic program only, or the membrane program only. Next to "Choose an option" select the option you will registering for. Then fill in all your personal details, including name, affiliation, email address, etc.

After you have completed all the required information, click "Submit" at the bottom of the page. This will take you to a page where you can review your information.
Click "Confirm Registration" at this time. This will take you to a page where you can choose to pay via Credit Card (via PayPal) or Check. We are requesting that all short course registrations choose the Credit Card option.
Click on the "PayPal" option. This will redirect you to the PayPal website where you can submit your credit card information and complete the payment process.

If you choose to pay by check, click on the box labelled "Cash or Check Payment" and then on the "Complete your Registration" icon. You will need to provide payment by mailing a check made out to “GGPF” in the appropriate amount. Contact Eveleen Tang for further instructions at Your registration is not complete until a check is received.

If a registration appears incomplete, we will contact you for further clarification.

If your company requires it, the GGPF Tax ID# will be provided to you by e-mailing a request to Eveleen Tang at . Please note that the conference registration fee covers the short course expenses and is not a tax deductible donation.

(2) Your registration will not be complete until payment is received by either credit card (highly preferred) or check. For purposes of registration dates, or for first-come first-served issues, we will use either your date of registration by credit card or the post office date on the envelope, which contains the check.

(3) An automated e-mail receipt will be provided as soon as you register and is usually sufficient for corporate reimbursement. You will also be given a receipt when you arrive for the class on the first day.

(4) Reservations will be accepted in the order received until the class size limit is reached. We expect to accommodate 48 attendees on each day. Early reservations are encouraged. No reservations after are possible after May 25

(5) If someone other than the intended attendee is performing the registration process, please ensure that it is the intended attendee whose name appears in the appropriate field in the registration.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations by you: allowed until May 15 - you will receive a refund minus a fixed $50 administrative cancellation fee. You must cancel in writing or e-mail and have a verifiable acknowledgment from us that you have cancelled in time. No cancellations allowed after May 15. Registrants who fail to attend and who did not cancel in time will not receive a refund. If you personally cannot attend, another attendee from your organization may substitute (by arrangement only; contact Lothar Kleiner).

Cancellations by us: in the unlikely event that not enough registrations are obtained, the class will be cancelled. If this happens, you will be notified by June 2 and you will receive a full refund.

Contact Information

For course content details, contact Lothar Kleiner (
For registration difficulties, contact
If you can’t reach either of the above, contact Clayton Henderson, or Bruce Prime,

We are sorry but registration for this event is now closed.

Please contact us if you would like to know if spaces are still available.