split face logo
Department of Chemistry
Share page: 

The Polymer Chemistry Initiative

Dr. Petar Dvornic
Polymer Chemistry Initiative at Pittsburg State University is an educational and research program offering to qualifying students Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Polymer Chemistry. Graduates will possess skills necessary to assume leadership positions in polymer-related industries, as well as to have increased chances of qualifying for acceptance into complimentary Ph.D. programs in leading institutions and universities nationally and abroad.

PSU launches major new polymer chemistry initiative

“With polymers, you can make this table,” Petar Dvornic said, slapping the hard surface for emphasis. “You can make the window. You can make the walls. Polymers taken away from our daily lives would be a catastrophe. Buildings would fall. There would be no cars or airplanes, no clothing, no computers, no food industry..."   continue reading >>

New polymer science degrees offer better opportunities for students

A new degree program at Pittsburg State University is the only one offered in the region. The Kansas legislature and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback are supporting the initiative that has the potential to make PSU a center for excellence in polymer science education, research and economic development.  continue reading >>

It's an initiative that's been three years in the making

It’s an initiative that’s been three years in the making and it’s now about to take full effect tin the fall of 2014. PSU’s Polymer Science Initiative will enroll its first students this year, offering a new bachelor’s degree program.  

Polymers are material built of large molecules that are composed of one or more types of structural building blocks which repeat many times along their structure. Petar Dvornic, Ph.D., chairman of Pittsburg State University’s Department of Chemistry, says that PSU’s new polymer chemistry initiative is an academic program that he hopes will create polymer chemists for high-value jobs in industry and research.  continue reading >>

New polymer program gets strength from subparts

When Pittsburg State University combined elements from the chemistry department at the College of Arts and Sciences, the plastics engineering technology program in the College of Technology and the Kansas Polymer Research Center, then added cutting-edge researchers as faculty, the resulting new degree programs for polymer chemistry essentially took on a synergic equation similar to those of the polymers students soon will study.  continue reading >>

PSU makes Southeast Kansas one of the only areas in the nation where polymer science can be studied at an undergraduate level

read the transcript >>


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.

STRATEGIC GOAL #4 “Ensure that students earning credentials and degrees across the higher education system possess the foundational skills essential for work and in life”

STRATEGIC GOAL #5 “Enhance alignment between the work of the state’s higher education system and the needs of the Kansas economy”

STRATEGIC GOAL #6 “Enhance the regional and national reputation of Kansas universities through aspirational initiatives”


Polymer Chemistry Initiative
at Pittsburg State University

What is Polymer Chemistry Initiative?

What are Polymers?

Why Polymers?

The Polymer Chemistry Program at PSU

Why PSU?

The Faculty

PSU Facilities

Students - Degree and Career Outcomes


Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences

Plastics Engineering Technology Program, Engineering Technology Department, College of Technology

Kansas Polymer Research Center (KPRC), Pittsburg State University


Contact Information

Dr. Petar Dvornic
Chair, Department of Chemistry
104 Heckert-Wells
Pittsburg State University
Pittsburg, KS 66762

Phone: 620-235-4748
Fax: 620-235-4003

For more information about the Polymer Chemistry Initiative, contact Dr. Dvornic

* is a required field