Anil Bhowmick, Ph.D., a Research Professor in the William A. Brookshire Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the Cullen College of Engineering, is the recipient of the 2021 James L. White Innovation Award from the Polymer Processing Society.
Professor James L. White started polymer engineering programs at the University of Tennessee and the University of Akron. He founded the PPS in 1985 and served as an editor of the society's journal from 1986 to 2004. The award is given yearly by the society, and honors outstanding researchers or inventors from academia and industry, either as individuals or as a group, in the area of polymer processing and related fields. The award is for an innovative development in the field of polymer processing technologies with recent commercial impact. It aims to recognize originality, innovation and creativity among researchers or inventors in the science and technology of processing polymers and polymeric products.
Bhowmick said he was notified that he was this year's winner via letter from the chairperson of the selection committee. It was also publicized in the May 2021 newsletter of the PPS.
“I am happy and excited, as this is the highest award of the Polymer Processing Society,” he said.
According to the PPS newsletter, “Bhowmick is recognized for his impressive innovation, and development and commercialization of rubber products. Professor Bhowmick developed compositions and processing techniques for an energy optimized conveyor belt compound, for Phoenix-Yule, an Indo-German company for the first time in the world.” Bhowmick also developed track pads and rubberized road wheels for military battle tanks in India, electron beam curable cables and seals, high performance rubberised roll for a leading steel industry in the world, novel polymer-based nanocomposites for tire where the developed nanocomposite gives better wet traction, wear resistance and rolling resistance, and for non-tire products, where the designed nanocomposites impart higher mechanical properties and heat resistance, and also special purpose thermoplastic elastomers and other products. He holds 21 patents in various fields. He has more than 600 publications to his name, as well as 35 book chapters, seven co-edited books and two co-authored books. For more than 30 years, he was a professor at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kharagpur, and also served as a dean of IIT and the head of a Center at various points, and later Director of IIT, Patna.
In 2020, Bhowmick received the Syed Husain Zaheer Medal from the Indian National Science Academy. He was recognized with the Distinguished Alumnus award from the Indian Institute of Technology in 2019, as well as the Fred E. Schwab International Education award from the Society of Plastics Engineers, USA. He received numerous international awards for his work in the past. He is on the Editorial Board of several international polymer journals. He is also a fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, the Indian National Science Academy, the Indian Rubber Institute and the West Bengal Academy of Science & Technology.
Bhowmick joined the Cullen College of Engineering in 2019.
“I have been doing work on the behavior of polymers under extreme conditions, polymer nanocomposites and thermoplastic elastomers,” he said. “I'll be continuing my research into these topics.”
The award will be presented to Bhowmick at the PPS-36 International Conference in Montreal, Canada, which runs from Sept. 26 through Sept. 30, 2021. Both in-person and virtual attendance is planned for the event. For more information, visit the conference's website.