DSM honors Professor with the 2020 Bright Science Award
Royal DSM, a global science-based company in Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Living, announced that it awarded Professor Marc Hillmyer, from the Chemistry Department at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, with the 2020 Bright Science Award in materials sciences. The jury selected Professor Hillmyer because of the scientific breadth and depth of his work and its relevance to the advancement of bio-based and circular materials.
Over the past few decades, linear economic consumption of material resources has left the world facing a series of defining, complex and interdependent environmental challenges. It’s this concerning landscape that underpins the Bright Science Award in materials sciences. This award is for scientists who have made major contributions to fundamental or applied research in the field of sustainable materials and whose work is instrumental in helping businesses involved in materials industries adopt more sustainable strategic directions.
Professor Hillmyer’s scientific work, which combines deep knowledge of polymer synthesis and polymer properties, contributes to the development of recyclable and bio-based performance polymers. Hillmyer’s scientific breakthroughs also include controlled nano-porosity in materials made from sacrificial block copolymers as well as the hierarchical self-assembly of multifunctional block copolymers into, for example, multicompartment micelles with three distinct phylicities as used in nanolithography. Such breakthroughs, often achieved in collaboration with industrial advisors, are crucial for the transformation toward a bio-based and circular economy.
The 2020 Bright Science Award in materials sciences was organized by DSM in partnership with the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), the world authority on chemical nomenclature and terminology. An international jury including members from DSM, DSM’s Scientific Advisory Board, IUPAC, and a previous prize winner selected Professor Hillmyer from this year’s eight nominees. The jury praised Professor Hillmyer’s sustainability leadership and contributions to the wider scientific community including his work with the American Chemical Society (ACS), student outreach at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, his position as the Director of the Center for Sustainable Polymers, and his work as Editor-in-Chief of Macromolecules, a journal published by ACS.
“I am thrilled and honored to receive the DSM Bright Science Award. I appreciate DSM’s commitment to solving the world’s most pressing societal issues as many of these issues relate to sustainable materials science, and I am very grateful that our work in the area has been recognized in this way,” said Professor Hillmyer.
Dr. Marcus Remmers, Chief Technology Officer of DSM, commented: ‘’As a science-based company, with a purpose-led strategy, we believe it’s our responsibility to recognize and reward extraordinary scientists who dedicate their lives making our world a better place. One such extraordinary scientists is Professor Hillmyer, whose pioneering research in materials science is pivotal for the development of products and applications that help society transition towards a bio-based economy based on preserving natural resources and stimulating greater circularity. At DSM, we take this pretty seriously ourselves. Take DSM Engineering Plastics, which In 2019 announced that its entire business will offer a full alternative range of its existing portfolio based on bio- and/or recycled-based materials by 2030. Businesses involved in the materials industries wouldn’t be able to successfully make such a transition without the important work done by scientists like Professor Hillmyer’’.
The award ceremony took place at the IUPAC-MACRO conference on 5-9 July 2020 in JeJu Island, South Korea. During a DSM Award symposium, Professor Hillmyer delivered an acceptance speech followed by lectures from renowned scientists in the field of Macromolecular Sciences.
The DSM Bright Science Awards Program includes yearly awards for PhD graduates as well as awards for experienced scientists such as Professor Hillmyer. Every even year, the award for experienced scientists is related to materials sciences. In odd years, its related to life sciences. The award is accompanied by a cash prize of €25,000 – which should be allocated to the award winners’ research group to ensure that we all continue to benefit from bright science.