Pearson honored for career in adhesion research

A career-long quest to create and understand "toughened" epoxies has led to The Adhesion Society's 2018 Award for Excellence for Lehigh University’s Ray Pearson.

Pearson is a professor in the materials science and engineering department as well as the director of the Polymer Science and Engineering graduate program.

The award, sponsored by 3M, is the society's premier recognition for outstanding achievement in scientific research about adhesion. Pearson was honored at the Adhesion Society Symposium earlier this year.

"I began my career looking at rubber-toughened epoxies that contain rubber particles with diameters ranging from 2 to 100 microns," said Pearson. “Today, the particles are closer to 50 nm in diameter."

Since the award’s initiation 31 years ago, Lehigh University is the only organization to have won more than once. Past winners include Anand Jagota in 2014, Manoj Chaudhury in 2005 and Frederick Fowkes in 1989.

Pearson's research focuses on the fracture of polymeric materials, specifically blends and composites. A prolific author who has written over 65 refereed publications and eight textbook chapters, Pearson has also presented more than 130 conference papers and presentations in the U.S. and abroad and edited volumes for the American Chemical Society, Materials Research Society, Polymer Engineering and Science and American Society of Mechanical Engineers.  

Pearson is a fellow of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) and was recently elected to its execuritve board, where he will provide insight/oversight for SPE’s advancement of technology related to the plastics industry as well as education programs to the Executive Board.