Brooks Abel joins the College faculty specializing in soft materials and organic chemistry

October 19, 2021

Brooks AbelWe are delighted to introduce Dr. Brooks Abel who joined the College of Chemistry as an assistant professor this summer with a focus in polymer chemistry. Brooks’s position was funded by a generous donation from Rubber and Joy Chen of PMP Tech, an international company based in Taiwan. 

Brooks arrived from a postdoctoral appointment in the lab of Tisch University Professor Geoffrey Coates at Cornell University where he researched the development of catalysts for controlled anionic and cationic ring-opening polymerizations and created new materials capable of repeated chemical recycling to monomer. 

He received his Ph.D. in 2016 in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Southern Mississippi. His doctoral research focused on the development of synthetic approaches toward novel polymer architectures that specifically address the issues of in vivo drug delivery.

Currently he is developing new polymer chemistries to address issues surrounding polymer sustainability. A key objective of his research is to realize new polymerization methods to create polymer materials capable of repeated chemical recycling to monomers. He is interested in both designing and optimizing catalysts for both living and stereoselective polymerizations and developing new techniques for studying catalyst selectivity, activity, and reaction mechanisms. The end goal is to improve the fundamental understanding of organic and polymer chemistry concepts.

In addition to catalyst and methodology development, he has also been involved in a number of collaborations that involve the synthesis of polymer electrolytes for application in safer Lithium-ion batteries. His proposed use of modifiable thiol-ene networks was carried out in collaboration with the research group of Professor Lynden Archer at Cornell. He also worked in collaboration with UC Berkeley researchers as a part of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research.