Paula Hammond has been named the MIT Bayer Professor in Chemical Engineering thanks to a three-year, $300,000 grant from the Bayer Foundation that will also support a fellowship for Bradley Niesner, a first-year graduate student in the department.
The grant continues Bayer's support of the Bayer Professorship in Chemical Engineering and the Bayer Graduate Fellowship, which it first began in 1979, through its philanthropic arm, the Bayer Foundation.
Hammond's research in macromolecular design and synthesis, directed assembly and nanoscale design of materials has wide-ranging potential applications for various products, processes and technologies in a number of industries. In the health-care industry, for example, her approach to electrostatic layering or "ordering" of films may one day be applied to medical devices implanted in the body and to drug-delivery systems, such as patches and pills. The next generation of microbatteries (necessary as technologies become smaller and smaller), alternative energy technologies like fuel cells, and computer displays all may be significantly advanced by Hammond's work.
Hammond is also a strong advocate for diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields and has called for reversing underrepresentation of women and minorities in these fields if the United States is to remain the world's innovation leader.
In addition to this latest gift, Bayer has awarded more than $2 million to MIT for the Bayer Professorship and Graduate Fellowship since 1979. Former MIT Bayer Professors are Gregory Stephanopoulos (Bayer Professor 2001-2006); Gregory J. McRae (1995-2001); Robert E. Cohen (1988-1995); and Clark Colton (1979-1986).