Dr. Richard J. Spontak, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and materials science and engineering, has been honored for seminal research on thermoplastic elastomer systems.
He will be recognized with the Colwyn Medal from the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining during an October awards ceremony in the United Kingdom. The institute awards the Colwyn Medal every two years for outstanding scientific, technical or engineering contributions to the rubber industry.
Spontak, an alumni distinguished professor, studies multifunctional and nanostructured polymers, polymer morphology and phase stability, and application of microscopy techniques to polymer science and engineering.
Before joining the NC State faculty in 1992, Spontak worked as a research scientist with Procter and Gamble. He has authored or co-authored more than 250 peer-reviewed publications, and his work has been featured on 16 international journal covers and one book. He is the recipient of an Alumni Outstanding Research Award, the 2007 Ernst Ruska Prize of the German Electron Microscopy Society, and the American Chemical Society’s 2006 Cooperative Research Award in Polymer Science and 2008 Chemistry of Thermoplastic Elastomers Award. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and sits on several editorial advisory boards. A member of the NC State Academy of Outstanding Teachers, Spontak received the College of Engineering’s 2003 Blessis Award and the 2008 University of North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence.
Spontak earned a B.S. degree from Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, both in chemical engineering. He pursued postdoctoral studies at the University of Cambridge in England and the Institute for Energy Technology in Norway.