Harry Allcock elected member of the National Academy of Engineering

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Harry Allcock, Penn State Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry, has been elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for his pioneering research in phosphazene polymer chemistry and its use in the field of biomedical materials. Election to the NAE is an honor bestowed upon members by current NAE members, and is among the highest professional honors awarded to engineers and scientists.

Allcock conducts research at the interface between inorganic and organic chemistry, polymer chemistry and materials science. In particular, his research involves the design and synthesis of new polymers that contain organic components, together with elements such as phosphorus, silicon, boron or transition metals. He is the discoverer of a major class of polymers known as polyphosphazenes, which now are being developed both at Penn State and in other laboratories for uses in fuel cells, lithium batteries and scaffolds for biomedical tissue regeneration. He also discovered a new class of molecular-inclusion compounds known as clathrates, which have been used to separate a wide variety of small organic molecules and high polymers. Clathrates also serve as nanoscale templates for addition polymerizations, a chemical process used to produce particular kinds of polymers.

In 2010, Allcock received the Paul J. Flory Polymer Education Award from the American Chemical Society (ACS), recognizing his outstanding achievements in promoting undergraduate or graduate polymer education. Allcock also has received numerous awards for his research, including the ACS National Award in Polymer Chemistry, the ACS National Award in Materials Chemistry, the ACS Herman Mark Award in Polymer Chemistry and, in 2007, the ACS National Award in Applied Polymer Science. He was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1986 and 1987, and he received the American Institute of Chemists Chemical Pioneer Award in 1989.

Allcock has authored or co-authored more than 620 peer-reviewed papers, and he is the author of three research monographs on inorganic-organic rings and polymers, including the 725-page Chemistry and Applications of Polyphosphazenes, published in 2003. He is also the author of a 2008 textbook, titled Introduction to Materials Chemistry.

Allcock received his bachelor's and doctoral degrees in chemistry from the University of London in the United Kingdom. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Purdue University and at the National Research Council of Canada, and was a research chemist at the American Cyanamid Laboratories in Stamford, Conn., from 1961 to 1966.  In 1966, he joined the faculty at Penn State as associate professor. He was promoted to professor in 1970 and was named Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry in 1985. As a professor at Penn State, he has directed the training of more than 130 graduate students and postdoctoral scientists, as well as numerous undergraduates.  He also has been a visiting scientist at Stanford University, the Imperial College of Science and Technology in the United Kingdom, and IBM Almaden Laboratories in California.

Last Updated May 28, 2014