University of Florida, Gainesville
Center for Macromolecular Science and Engineering - University of Florida Polymer Science Program

Elliot Douglas Serves as Chairman of PMSE Division of The American Chemical Society

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Elliot P. Douglas, one of our faculty members comprising the Center for Macromolecular Science & Engineering, is currently serving as the Chair of the Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering of the American Chemical Society. The division has a membership of 6,000, representing professionals from academia and industry from around the world. As Chair, Douglas has spearheaded an effort to develop a new strategic plan for the division. This strategic plan aims to broaden the technical focus of the division to emerging areas of polymeric materials science and engineering, such as biomaterials, electronic and optical materials, and materials for energy. Other aspects of the plan call for an enhanced web presence for the division and outreach to younger members, international members, and professionals in other disciplines who do not typically consider themselves materials scientists or chemists.

Douglas is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Douglasí involvement in PMSE began in 2000 when he led the division effort to transition the preprints from paper to CD. He has served as Member-at-Large, Secretary, Vice-Chair, and Program Chair for two national meetings.

Douglasí research efforts within the MacroCenter are focused in three areas. He is investigating the structure and assembly of collagen for tissue engineering applications. In collaboration with CMSE member Laurie Gower he has created the first artificial bone composites that exactly mimic the nanostructure of real bone. He is continuing this work by creating collagen scaffolds with controlled structure to optimize mechanical properties, as well as investigating the physical chemistry aspects of collagen assembly. A second area of research is in the area of epoxies for composite applications. Currently he is working with faculty in the Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering to investigate long-term durability of composites being used for repair of concrete bridge beams. He recently received an NSF grant to understand the fundamentals of adhesion between epoxy and cement. His third research area is in engineering education. He has conducted research on critical thinking, showing that standard multiple choice tests of critical thinking actually measure test-taking skills more than actual critical thinking. He has recently received an NSF grant to develop guided inquiry activities for the Introduction to Materials course. He is also looking at the application of qualitative research methods for understanding engineering education.

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