Ph.D. student Andrea Westlie of the Chen Group was selected as the Grand DSM Prize Award winner of the ACS Polymer Division DSM Bright Science Award for Ph.D. students at the fall ACS national meeting on August 25, 2021.
The purpose of the DSM Bright Science Award for Ph.D. Students is to recognize and reward excellence in innovative PhD research in polymer technology. The award is administered by the POLY division of the ACS and is sponsored by Royal DSM. Four finalists were selected from the international pool of nominees, and each finalist gave a lecture during a special DSM-POLY symposium held at the fall national meeting of the ACS. At the end of the symposium, the selection committee comprising members from the DSM and ACS POLY selected Andrea as the winner of this year’s award.
Andrea presented a lecture entitled “Catalyzed chemical synthesis of designer PHAs: tuning function, microstructure, topology, and property of biodegradable polymers”. The selection Committee noted that “She had a magnificent combination of chemistry and material properties, catalyst selectivity and addressing in depth biodegradability, bio based materials of PHA steered in various ways to many different materials. Also she addressed recycling options. Her way of presenting was taking the listener with her commitment to use science to come to better more sustainable materials in our future although she recognized and addressed the hurdle of large volume commercial success.”
In a recent interview with DSM, Andrea shared how she got into the world of chemistry as well as her hopes in the coming years.