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Dr. Hung-Jue Sue
Dr. Hung-Jue Sue will be honored at the 2024 meeting of the American Chemical Society for his collaborative research with industry professionals. Sue and his team will receive the Cooperative Research Award in Polymer Science and Engineering for their research that improves the toughness of epoxy applications. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Dr. Hung-Jue Sue has been selected to receive the 2024 Cooperative Research Award in Polymer Science and Engineering from the American Chemical Society (ACS). Sue serves as the Meinhard H. Kotzebu ‘14 Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University and the Director of the Polymer Technology Consortia.

The Cooperative Research Award recognizes collaborative research between scientists in academic and industrial institutions. For this research, Sue partnered with Dr. Frank S. Bates from the University of Minnesota, Dr. Nikhil Verghese from Saudi Arabia’s Basic Industries Corporation and Ha Pham from The Dow Chemical Company (retired).

The team’s research focused on developing a technology to improve the toughness of epoxy without increasing its viscosity. Their collaboration yielded a new technology that increases the toughness of epoxy by 100% through the use of nanoscale worm-like micelles that increase the epoxy’s fracture toughness.

“The technology can be utilized in various adhesives, coatings and composite applications,” Sue said. “The impact spans across green energy implementation, lighter and more fuel-efficient vehicles and aircraft, more durable floors and furniture and other household items.”

Collaboration between academia and industry researchers has many benefits, explained Dr. Mike Mullins, a retired senior research scientist from The Dow Chemical Company, and a nominator of the team.

“This is an excellent example of how universities and companies can work together to bring new products to market,” Mullins said. “Successful partnerships are ones where each partner brings a skill the other needs. Academia needs market knowledge and manufacturing skills while companies need new ideas and technology.”

Sue and the research team will attend the 2024 ACS meeting in March 2024, where they will be recognized for their collaboration and speak about their research.