Texas Tech University




Dr. Gregory B. McKenna gave a seminar presentation about Challenging Paradigms of Glass Formation: The Kauzmann Paradox and Diverging Time-Scales at the university of Cambridge. 

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Dr. Sindee L. Simon gave a seminar presentation about Polymerization Kinetics, Thermodynamics, and Synthesis under Nanoconfinement at the university of Cambridge.

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Satish Mangalara(right) and Aric Denton(left) from Dr. Gregory B. McKenna's group have been working with the West Texas Covid-19 Relief Consortium to 3D print brims and laser cut face shields for distribution to key medical facilities around Lubbock and the region.

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Dr. Sindee L. Simon was selected as the recipient of the 2019 International Award from society of plastic engineers and also is the first woman to receive the award in the society's history.

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Congratulations to Qi Li(right)! Qi won the SPE Thermoplastic Materials & Foams Division Scholarship from the 2019 Polyolefins Conference in Houston.



Congratulations to Sixue Cheng(right)! Sixue Cheng's poster "Temperature and concentration behavior of the viscosity of lubricating oil-polymer viscosity index improvers" won the second prize in the Polyolefin Meeting 2019. which was hold in Houston from Feb 24th to Feb 27th. The poster focus on how polymer additive influence the properties of lubricating oil.



Dr. Gregory B. McKenna has been awarded a grant of $110,000 for two years from the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society. His project is entitled "Antiplasticization, Nanoparticles, and Fragility: A Novel Framework for Improving Polymer Properties".

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Profs. Gregory McKenna and Sindee Simon wrote an invited perspective on glasses for the 50th anniversary year of Macromolecules. Their work was featured on the journal cover and included photos of a 20 M year old amber glass rock, flowing molasses, and the amber machined to perform torsion tests in the unexplored region of the phase diagram.



The group had a nice showing at the 2018 Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) International Polyolefins Conference, held in Houston in February. Five graduate students from Dr. Gregory McKenna's group attended the meeting: Sourya Banik, Amer el Banna, Ricky Li, and Zhiyuan Qian. Three of the students (Ricky, Zhiyuan, and Sourya) presented posters on their research, and Zhiyuan received the 2018 SPE Thermoplastic Materials and Foams (TPM&F) Division/Polyolefin scholarship. A number of student-centered activities were planned at the conference, including helping with registration, a student dinner, and bowling night. Our students found the conference to be a good venue to meet students from different universities, build their professional networks, and connect with industrial professionals.



A cohort of TTU Chemical Engineering students, alumni, and faculty met up for lunch at the Society of Plastics Engineers Annual Technical Conference (ANTEC) in Orlando at the beginning of May. Two of the students, Qian Tian and Qi 'Ricky' Li, obtained travel awards from the SPE to attend the meeting. Also in attendance were Prof. Gregory McKenna, graduate student Zhiyuan Qian, alumna Dr. Wei Zheng who is tenured at the University of Wisconsin Stout in Plastics Engineering, and alumna Dr. Qian Qin who is working at GAF.



Dr. Gregory B. McKenna received a $345,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to further his research of ring molecules in the hope of producing more fuel-efficient tires in the future.

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Dr. Gregory B. McKenna was honored to open the Third International Conference on Polymer Science and Engineering in Beijing, China, as plenary speaker. Dr. McKenna's talk focused on his conclusions that there is no "ideal" glass transition underlying the experimentally observed glass transition, based on work from his laboratory on vapor-deposited amorphous teflon and 20-million-year-old amber.




Dr. Gregory B. McKenna was awarded the fellowship by the American Association for the Advancement of Science(AAAS).



Ph.D. students Aric Denton(left) and Zach Fondren(right) spent a week at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey, working with researchers there to make glassy energetic materials. The aim of the research, which is part of a larger effort led by Drs. McKenna, Weeks, and Simon, is to make energetic materials more safe. Making glasses eliminates defects associated with crystal boundaries and is expected to result in more stable energetic materials.




Dr. Gregory B. McKenna received a $525,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to discover how the thin film's properties change beyond the relationship to reduced glass transition temperatures seen in ultrathin films.




Gregory B. McKennaDr. Gregory B. McKenna has been named a recipient of the 2014-2015 Barnie E. Rushing Jr. Faculty Distinguished Research Award from the Texas Tech Parents Association.



TorresYoonAstrid Torres and Heedong Yoon received NATAS Student Travel Awards to present their work at the 2014 annual meeting of the North American Thermal Analysis Society (NATAS). The meeting will held in September in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


LopezTorresDoctoral students Evelyn Lopez and Astrid Torres were awarded the Carl Storm Underrepresented Minority (CSURM) Fellowship to attend the 2014 Gordon Research Conference on Polymer Physics. Evelyn and Astrid are supervised by Drs. Sindee L. Simon and Greg McKenna, respectively.



Drs. Sindee L. Simon and Greg McKenna have been selected to receive the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Lubbock Chapter Scientists of the Year Award. The award will be presented at the Annual Scientist of the Year (SOY) Dinner. The ARCS Foundation,Inc. is a national volunteer women's organization dedicated to providing financial support to academically outstanding students majoring in the fields of natural science, medicine, and engineering. This academic year the local chapter has awarded thirteen scholarships to students enrolled at Texas Tech, the TTUHSC, and LCU.


Dr. Greg McKenna has been elected president of the Society of Rheology; his term will start during the annual meeting on October 17, 2013.


Graduate Student Jing Zhao's work on 20 million year old amber published in Nature Communications, was highlighted by National Geographic , the Tikalon blog and by Texas Tech. Zhao made calorimetric and viscoelastic measurements on 20 million year old amber under the guidance of Dr. Sindee L. Simon and Dr. Greg McKenna. The purpose of the work was to test the idea of glass formation through an "ideal" glass transition. The findings challenge this view and alter the current paradigms for the physics of glasses.




Xiguang Li, a graduate student working under the direction of Dr. Greg McKenna, goes to Paris, France, on a nine-month Chateaubriand Fellowship awarded by the French government. Li will perform research at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Métiers (ENSAM) on a joint project between Dr. McKenna and ENSAM faculty Drs. Miquelard-Garnier and Régnier in the area of forced assembly of polymer nanofilms and graphene-based nanocomposites. Li joined the graduate program at Texas Tech in 2009 after completing a B.S. in chemistry at Nanjing University and a M.S. in chemistry at University of California-Irvine. He is only the second Chinese student ever awarded a Chateaubriand Fellowship.


Dr. Greg McKenna served as the Scientific Chair of the 15th International Conference on Deformation, Yield and Fracture of Polymers, held April 1-5, 2012, Rolduc Abbey, Kerkrade, The Netherlands.


Dr. Greg McKenna has been named an Outstanding Referee of the Physical Review and Physical Review Letters journals, as chosen by the journal editors for 2012.



Dr. Greg McKenna begins serving a two-year term as Vice President of the Society of Rheology.



Dr. Greg McKenna receives the coveted Bingham Medal from the Society of Rheology. "The Society's Bingham Medal has been awarded annually since 1948 to a resident of the North American Continent or a member of The Society who has made an outstanding contribution to the science of rheology. The Society of Rheology is composed of physicists, chemists, biologists, engineers, and mathematicians interested in advancing and applying rheology, which is defined as the science of deformation and flow of matter." This Medal will be given to Professor McKenna in the 81st Annual Meeting, October 18−22, 2009, in Madison, Wisconsin. For more additional information about Professor McKenna, visit his website.



Dr. Greg McKenna has been awarded the 2007 Founders Award by the Polymer Analysis Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers. This award will be given to him at the next ANTEC to be held in Cincinnati, OH, May 6−10, 2007. There will be a symposium in his honor at this Annual Technical Conference of the Society of Plastics Engineers (ANTEC). The Award is named in honor of the founders of the Polymer Analysis Division, Tom Gedemer, Jesse M. Howard III, Alan Riga, and George Schmitt. The Award consists of a check for $3,000 and a plaque citing the contribution of the recipient.

Polymers and Condensed Matter Physics Group