Research Partnerships

The CSP partners with industry, academic institutions abroad, and non-profits to pursue research goals of a common interest.
CSP researchers collaborate with former CSP Investigator William Tolman who is currently Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of St. Thomas.
The CSP partners with Professor Melissa Maurer-Jones from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota, Duluth to study the relationship between enzyme adsorption kinetics, concentration, and protein structure as related to environmentally weathered biodegradable polymers.

The CSP partners with the Department of Chemistry at Clark Atlanta University (CAU) through the NSF-supported Partnership in Research and Education in Chemistry (PREC) grant. Collaborative research projects are conducted at CAU by co-mentored students, who also participate in research exchanges with the CSP partner lab.

CSP researchers collaborate with former CSP Investigator Chris Cramer, who is an
Emeritus Professor from the University of Minnesota.

The CSP collaborates with Eureka Recycling on the intersection of polymer research and the viability within the recycling industry and infrastructure.  Eureka Recycling is a zero waste social enterprise that owns and operates a recycling Materials Recovery Facility that sorts over 100,000 tons of material a year.

The CSP collaborates with Dr. Jeff Cernohous, President and Founder of Interfacial Consultants, LLC. Interfacial Consultants provides a tradition of idea to production technical services with expertise in utilizing post-consumer waste plastics.

West Lake University

Former CSP Investigator Kechun Zhang will collaborate with CSP members from Westlake University.

CSP researchers are working with the Minnesota Corn Growers Association to pursue new monomers and polymers that expand the uses of corn-based sugars. Additionally, the MCGA supports our outreach efforts including the summer undergraduate research program and our high school teacher workshop in green chemistry.


McCutcheon, C. J.; Zhao, B.; Jin, K.; Bates, F. S.; Ellison, C. J. Crazing mechanism and physical aging of poly(lactide) toughened with poly(ethylene oxide)-block-poly(butylene oxide) diblock copolymers. Macromolecules, 2020, 53, 10163-10178.

Xu, S.; Wang, Y.; Hoye, T. R. Poly(4-ketovalerolactone) from levulinic acid: Synthesis and hydrolytic degradation. Macromolecules, 2020, 53, 4952-4959.

Kumar, G.; Liu, D.; Xu, D.; Ren, L.; Tsapatsis, M.; Dauenhauer, P. J. Dehydra-decyclization of 2-methyltetrahydrofuran to pentadienes on boron-containing zeolites. Green Chem., 2020, 22, 4147-4160.

Kuznetsov, A.; Kumar, G.; Ardagh, M. A.; Tsapatsis, M.; Zhang, Q.; Dauenhauer, P. J. On the economics and process design of renewable butadiene from biomass-derived furfural. ACS Sustain. Chem. Eng., 2020, 8, 3273-3282.

Yee, G. M.; Wang, T.; Hillmyer, M. A.; Tonks, I. A. Mechanistic study of palladium-catalyzed hydroesterificative copoloymerization of vinyl benzyl alcohol and CO. Organometallics, 2019, 38, 1778-1786.

Lundberg, D.; Lundberg, D.; Zhang, K.; Dauenhauer, P. J. Process design and economic analysis of renewable isoprene from biomass via mesaconic acidACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 20197, 5576–5586.

Yee, G. M.; Hillmyer, M. A.; Tonks, I. A. Bioderived acrylates from alkyl lactates via Pd-catalyzed hydroesterification. ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 20186, 9579–9584.

Lundberg, D.; Lundberg, D.; Hillmyer, M. A.; Dauenhauer, P. J. Techno-economic analysis of a chemical process to manufacture methyl-ε-caprolactone from cresolsACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 20186, 15316–15324.

Wang, Y.; Xu, S.; Hoye, T. R. Poly(α-methyleneglutarimide)s from radical polymerization of α-methyleneglutarimidesJ. Polym. Sci. A 2018, 56, 1020-1027.

Pehere, A.D.; Xu, S.; Thompson, S.K.; Hillmyer, M.A.; Hoye, T.R. Diels–alder reactions of furans with itaconic anhydride: Overcoming unfavorable thermodynamics. Org. Lett. 2016, 18, 2584–2587. 

CSP researchers have worked with Kimberly Clark Corporation to study PET blends and inclusion chemistry.


Lee, B.; Onbulak, S.; Xu, Y.; Topolkaraev, V.; McEneany, R.; Bates, F. S.; Hillmyer, M. A. Investigation of micromechanical behavior and voiding of polyethylene terephthalate/polyethylene-stat-methyl acrylate blends during tensile deformationInd. Eng. Chem. Res. 201958, 6402–6412.

Todd, A. D.; McEneany, R. J.; Topolkaraev, V. A.; Macosko, C. W.; Hillmyer, M. A. Reactive compatibilization of poly(ethylene terephthalate) and high-density polyethylene using amino-telechelic polyethylene. Macromolecules 2016, 49, 8898–8994.

Xu, Y.; Delgado, P.; Todd, A. D.; Loi, J.; Saba, S. A; McEneany, R. J.; Topolkaraev, V.; Macosko, C. W.; Hillmyer, M. A. Lightweight micro-cellular plastics from polylactide/polyolefin hybrids. Polymer 2016, 102, 73–83.

Xu, Y.; Delgado, P.; Topolkaraev, V.; McEneany, R. J.; Macosko, C. W.; Hillmyer, M. A. Reactive compatibilization of polylactide/polypropylene blends. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 2015, 54, 6108–6114.

CSP researchers have partnered with Land O’ Lakes to pursue lactose-derived materials for various applications.


Fonseca, L. R.; Dirlam, P. T.; Hillmyer, M. A. Atom-economical, one-pot, self-initiated photopolymerization of lactose methacrylate for biobased hydrogels. ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2020, 8, 4606–4613.

Phoam Labs

CSP researchers have partnered with Phoam Labs to explore renewable and biodegradable foams.


Dirlam, P. T.;  Goldfeld, D. J.; Dykes, D. C.; Hillmyer, M. A. Polylactide foams with tunable mechanical properties and wettability using a star polymer architecture and a mixture of surfactants. ACS Sustainable Chem. & Eng. 20197, 1698-1706.

Professor Mark Matsen and his group at University of Waterloo provide expertise in field theory as it pertains to ternary homopolymer and diblock copolymer blends, a key interest in the CSP.


Spencer, R. K. W.; Matsen, M. W. Field theoretic simulations of bottlebrush copolymersJ. Chem. Phys. 2018149, 184901.

Spencer, R. K. W.; Matsen, M. W. Fluctuation effects in blends of A + B homopolymers with AB diblock copolymer.  Journal of Chem. Phys2018148, 204907.

Spencer, R. K. W.; Matsen, M. W. Continuous thermodynamic integration in field-theoretic simulations of structured polymers. Macromol. Theory Simul., 2017, 1700036.

Beardsley, T. M.; Matwen, M.W. Fluctuation correction for the critical transition of symmetric homopolymer blends. J. Chem. Phys., 2017, 147, 0440905.

Spencer, R. K. W.; Matsen, M. W. Domain bridging in thermoplastic elastomers of star block copolymer. Macromolecules 2017, 50, 1681–1687. 

Beardsley, T. M.; Matsen, M. W. Universality between experiment and simulation of a diblock copolymer melt. Phys. Rev. Lett. 2016, 117, 217801. 

Spencer, R. K. W.; Matsen, M. W. Critical point of symmetric binary homopolymer blends. Macromolecules 2016, 49, 6116–6125. 

Dalsin, S. J.; Rions-Maehren, T. G.; Beam, M. D.; Bates, F. S.; Hillmyer, M. A.; Matsen, M. W. Bottlebrush block polymers: Quantitative theory and experiments. ACS Nano 2015, 9 (12), 12233–12245. 

Through our partnership with Kristopher McNeill and Michael Sander at ETH Zürich, researchers are investigating the enzymatic degradation of CSP-developed elastomers at environmentally relevant conditions.


Batiste, D. C.; De Hoe, G. X.; Nelson, T. F.; Sodnikar, K.; McNeill, K.; Sander, M.; Hillmyer, M. A. Site-specific mineralization of a polyester hydrolysis product in natural soilACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 202210, 1373–1378.

De Hoe, G. X.; Zumstein, M. T.; Getzinger, G. J.; Rüegsegger, I.; Kohler, H.-P. E.; Maurer-Jones, M. A.; Sander, M. Hillmyer, M. A.; McNeill, K. Photochemical transformation of poly(butylene adpiate-co-terephthalate) and its effects on enzymatic hydrolyzability. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2019, 53, 2472–2481.

De Hoe, G. X.; Zumstein, M. T.; Tiegs, B. J.; Brutman, J. P.; McNeil, K.; Sander, M.; Coates, G. W.; Hillmyer, M. A. Sustainable polyester elastomers from lactones: Synthesis, properties, and enzymatic hydrolyzabilityJ. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 963–973.