Hadjichristidis awarded continued outstanding achievement medal

Nikos Hadjichristidis, KAUST professor of chemical science, won the 2016 Macro Group U.K. Medal for Continued Outstanding Achievement in Polymer Science.

Nikos Hadjichristidis, KAUST Physical Science and Engineering Division professor of chemical science, recently received the prestigious 2016 Macro Group U.K. Medal for Continued Outstanding Achievement in Polymer Science. The award will be presented at the Warwick Polymer Conference in the U.K. in July 2016 after Hadjichristidis gives a keynote lecture.

This is the third major award Hadjichristidis has received for significant advances in polymer chemistry. He was previously honored with the International Award of the Society of Polymer Science, Japan, 2007 and the 2015 American Chemical Society National Award for Polymer Chemistry, U.S.

"Throughout his 40-year-long career, Dr. Hadjichristidis has designed and successfully synthesized a number of model polymeric architectures that were eventually translated into original polymeric materials and high-end applications. As a leading advocate for polymer science, he has played an instrumental role in shaping the direction of polymer science and the public perception of polymer applications," said Yves Gnanou, dean of the Physical Science and Engineering Division.

His achievements include the creation of unique macromolecular architectures that were not previously synthetically accessible. Among them are H- and pom-pom-shaped molecules, miktoarm stars (a term he coined), cyclic-block copolymers, dendritic copolymers and diverse grafted copolymers.

Hadjichristidis joined KAUST in 2011 from the University of Athens where he was a professor in the Department of Chemistry until 2010, and he has been professor emeritus there since 2011. His goal at KAUST has been to build a world-class Polymer Synthesis Laboratory that focuses mainly on the synthesis of novel homopolymers, copolymers and hybrids (polymers/polypeptides, polymers/CNT) with well-defined complex macromolecular architectures by anionic polymerization (AP) high vacuum techniques and combinations of AP with other polymerization methodologies. According to Hadjichristidis, these polymers are ideal models for checking theory and understanding and improving the performance of industrial polymers. They are also potential candidates for high-tech applications such as nanolithography, drug delivery and high temperature membranes.

Hadjichristidis is well-known for advocating for polymer science in Greece and Europe. He is a founder and former president of the Greek Polymer Society and is a founding member and a past president (1995-1996) of the European Polymer Federation. He has published more than 450 scientific papers in referred scientific journals and his papers have been referenced almost 20,000 times. He has 19 patents, is the editor of three books and authored “Block Copolymers” (Wiley 2003).

- By Nicholas G. Demille, KAUST News