Thomas H. Epps, III

Thomas H. Epps, III, is the 2014 YoungThomasEpps Investigator Award recipient because of his growing influence in the field of polymer physics. This field studies complex macromolecular interactions, down to the nanometer and micrometer levels.

Epps joined Sigma Xi in 1998. He is the Thomas and Kipp Gutshall Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering with a joint appointment in Materials Science at the University of Delaware.

The Epps Research Group designs, synthesizes, and characterizes new polymeric materials that have molecular level self-assembly. Materials being investigated by the group have a range of potential applications, from improving batteries to making drug delivery more targeted to patients’ needs.

Read Sigma Xi's interview with Epps about his career and the field of polymer physics. .

He has, in a relatively short time, established a world-recognized and highly collaborative research program at Delaware by distinguishing himself as one of the rising stars in polymer and soft matter physics,” wrote University of Delaware Professors Darrin J. Pochan and Abraham Lenhoff in their nomination letter.

Nominators also noted Epps’ efforts to communicate to students and the public about the impacts of materials science and chemical engineering.  They added that he is taking on a leadership role in understanding new ways of applying polymers.

He holds a PhD from the University of Minnesota’s Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. He has been a guest editor for the Journal of Polymer SciencePart B: Polymer Physics and for Chemical Society Reviews. He also serves on the American Chemical Society Scholars Advisory Board.

In 2013, Epps participated in the National Academy of Engineering’s Frontiers of Engineering program, which brings together those considered to be the next generation of engineering leaders. He also won the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers after he was recommended by the Department of Defense.

Read his CV.

Read an article about his research.

Since 1998, the annual Young Investigator Award recognizes excellence in research and includes a certificate of recognition and a $5,000 honorarium. The recipient is invited to present a lecture at the Sigma Xi Annual Meeting or other suitable occasion.