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Emily Pentzer smiles for a photo
Dr. Emily Pentzer became the inaugural editor-in-chief for the new journal RSC Applied Polymers after working as an associate editor for the journal Polymer Chemistry, aligned with the Royal Society of Chemistry. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Inside Dr. Emily Pentzer’s office in the Reed McDonald Building sits a row of accolades neatly lined up along her windowsill.

One of her newest achievements is not up there but still sits in high regard in her heart. Pentzer, an associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Department of Chemistry at Texas A&M University, was named editor-in-chief of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s (RSC) newest journal, RSC Applied Polymers.

"With most awards, you get them, put up the plaque and move on. But with this, you get the honor, and then you get to do a lot of work," she said. "It's really an honor to be trusted with this opportunity.”

The journal places a spotlight on the broad application of polymers and will specifically highlight new studies that can help members of the chemical sciences community learn from each other as they tackle some of the significant challenges facing the world today. The journal tackles energy harvesting and storage and addresses sustainability and water remediation concerns, from membranes for separations to bio-based adhesives and coatings.

RSC Applied Polymers is Gold Open Access, meaning all articles will be freely available online for anyone anywhere to read. The RSC will also pay for all article processing charges (APCs) until mid-2025, making it accessible for researchers from across the globe to publish their work for free.

The RSC has a strong history of publishing top impact journals, including the journal Polymer Chemistry, where Pentzer has served as an associate editor since 2017. The society includes a diary of materials in chemistry-related journals.

When the RSC sought interest in launching a new journal, it contacted Pentzer to ask if she was interested in applying for the role of editor-in-chief. She sat down and envisioned the purpose of the journal and how she could incorporate her experience as a researcher into helping the journal succeed.

"This is a great opportunity to impact the field, and it's closely tied to the research my group is doing from the standpoint of leveraging polymers to make better structures, devices and technologies," Pentzer said.

The applied focus of the journal goes beyond academia as it provides an excellent opportunity to engage people in the industry and encourage more collaboration among researchers from various scientific backgrounds.

Maintaining RSC Applied Polymers' success is important to Pentzer because it shows that she can support the community by launching this journal and making it as exceptional as it can be.

"My biggest career goal is to enable the best possible science to be done, and that’s accomplished by conveying research in an accessible way,” she said.

Pentzer was also selected as a recipient of the 2023 Journal of Polymer Science Innovation Award on March 16.