Polymer Chemistry Initiative

Creating the future…today

Just as industry must continuously evolve to meet a changing marketplace, so too must the field of higher education. Pittsburg State University is doing just this with the creation of its new academic program in Polymer Chemistry. This program would allow students to earn both a Bachelor and Master of Science degree.

The demand for qualified polymer scientists is only expected to grow in the coming years, and industry needs graduates with the skills to advance this dynamic science field. Pittsburg State is in the unique position of having the perfect combination of academically rigorous chemistry program, a nationally accredited plastics engineering technology program, and an internationally recognized research facility in the Kansas Polymer Research Center. These elements have provided the perfect foundation for the new academic program in Polymer Chemistry.

The polymer and plastics industries are among the largest employers of high tech, high value jobs for science majors. In fact, the American Chemical Society division of Polymer Chemistry projects 50 percent of all chemists work with polymers at some time in their career. in the absence if a formal Polymer Chemistry program, the burden for training falls to polymer companies and new students must learn on the job.

Graduates of Pittsburg State’s Polymer Chemistry program would enter the workforce with a true understanding of polymer chemistry, providing the students with an advantage in the job market and allowing industry to invest in new projects that can develop at a faster pace.

Aligning higher education and industry for a stronger Kansas

Agriculture remains an important part of the Kansas economy, particularly the production of corn and soybeans. As our world places more of an emphasis on sustainability, these renewable materials, and the ability to convert them into new bio-based materials, will be the fuel that powers Kansas’ economic engine.

The Kansas Polymer Research Center has an established history of using and converting these raw materials in the development and production of polymers for a variety of uses including foams, plastics, synthetic fibers, adhesives, and construction materials. Having this incredible research facility on the campus allows our polymer chemistry students to gain knowledge in research and applied science while promoting of the Kansas economy.

Our research shows that Pittsburg State University would be one of the only universities in the Midwest region to offer an undergraduate and graduate degree in Polymer Chemistry; this creates the opportunity to enhance the national reputation of not only Pittsburg State, but the entire higher education system in Kansas.

The Kansas Board of Regents, Foresight 2020

In September 2010, the Kansas Board of Regents approved a 10-year strategic agenda for the state’s public higher education system. Entitled Foresight 2020, the plan sets long-range achievement goals that are measurable, reportable, and ensures the state’s higher education system meets Kansans’ expectations. Pittsburg State University new Polymer Chemistry program aligns with three of the strategic goals in the Foresight 2020 document.

“Ensure that students earning credentials and degrees across the higher education system possess the foundational skills essential for work and in life”

“Enhance alignment between the work of the state’s higher education system and the needs of the Kansas economy”

“Enhance the regional and national reputation of Kansas universities through aspirational initiatives”