About “Christopher J. Ellison”

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The research in Christopher’s group focuses on the design, synthesis, characterization, and processing of nanostructured polymeric systems. The direction of our research is motivated by a combination of fundamental and practical implications. Several central research themes include manipulating polymers with light for micropatterning or modulating physical properties (e.g., by photopolymerizations or reversible light activated reactions), exploiting and understanding structure or molecular dynamics arising from confining polymers to the nanoscale, engineering bioinspired/bioderived materials or materials processes and sub 20 nm lithography using self assembled thin film polymer templates. An important aspect of their laboratory is the use of well established synthetic chemistries (anionic and controlled free radical polymerization, basic monomer synthesis, etc.) to control all aspects of molecular architecture. This critical framework is required for establishing quantitative relationships in complex multi scale materials. They also work closely with other research groups focused on theory and simulation to both guide and advance our understanding of the experiments when appropriate.
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Iowa State University (2000)
  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Northwestern University (2005)


  • Norman Hackerman Award in Chemical Research from the Welch Foundation (2016)
  • Best Paper Award – International Conference on Photopolymer Science and Technology, Japan (2015)
  • Owens Corning Early Career Award from AIChE MESD (2014)
  • Young Investigator of the Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering Division of the American Chemical Society (2014)
  • Plenary Lecture, Emerging Areas in Polymer Science and Engineering, Area 8A Polymers, American Institute of Chemical Engineers National Meeting (2013)
  • DuPont Young Professor Award (2012)
  • 3M Nontenured Faculty Award (2012)
  • NSF CAREER Award (2010)
  • Contributed as one of “Twenty-five of the profession’s thought-leaders” to AIChE’s Centennial Chemical Engineering Progress issue article titled “Chemical Engineering in the Next 25 Years” (2008)
  • Frank J. Padden Jr. Award for Excellence in Polymer Physics Research, APS Division of Polymer Physics (2005)