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Six receive faculty scholar medals

He also wrote one of the major books, “Polymer Physics”, which is currently undergoing its second revision. The book has sold over 6,500 copies and is currently used as a college-level text by approximately 40 universities around the world.

“Professor Colby is an exemplary international scholar of the highest caliber. Penn State should be proud to have him in their ranks,” said one nominator. Another added “Colby has made outstanding achievements that have brought us significant advances in our understanding of the properties and structures of polymeric materials containing ions.”

Colby’s group studies polymers containing ions and develops new materials for the conduction of two classes of ions. His research has shown that these ionic materials once considered powerful insulators are capable of being conductors. These materials have significant potential commercial applications as battery separators and/or ion actuators, the nominators said. These polymers are a promising new material for lightweight batteries because they potentially offer manufacturing, packaging and safety advantages over the liquid electrolytes found in traditional batteries.

“Colby has a rare knack for identifying high-impact open issues and designing model materials and experiments to solve them,” said one nominator. “His many fundamental contributions have shaped modern physics and soft materials science, advanced scientific knowledge, and contributed greatly to technological developments.”

Colby’s work determining the basic principles of charged polymer solutions answered questions in a cutting-edge area of ​​physics about which little was understood. The work, the nominators said, is essential because modern sensors, battery separators, adhesives and other advanced materials contain charged polymers. It also extends outside the realm of materials since DNA and proteins are also charged polymers. Work is of fundamental importance for living beings and biotechnology.

Recently, Colby uncovered details related to the science behind the rapid crystallization of polymers. It is a key step used in the manufacture of almost half of the polymers in the world. He has also had an impact on other areas of polymer science, including glassy polymers, high performance polymers, and 3D printing.

“His work is distinctive because it translates his considerable understanding of ionic interactions in polymers into designs for new polymeric materials,” said one nominator. “Dr. Colby’s work is an exquisite example of both his significant contribution to building the strong scientific basis of complex polymers and the implementation of this new understanding of materials engineering.

Jonathan P. Eburne

The nominators said Eburne, chosen for Arts and Humanities, is an internationally recognized scholar of surrealism and experimental art movements who has made enormous contributions to his field over the past two decades. The nominators called the scope of his academic work and services “extraordinary”. According to them, the quality of his research is revealed in the fact that in the last 10 years there has not been a collective volume devoted to surrealism which does not present his work.

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