NEWS | May 21, 2012

Dr. C. Michael Roland Receives the 2012 Charles Goodyear Medal

By Donna McKinney

Dr. C. Michael Roland, head of the Polymer Physics Section at the Naval Research Laboratory, has been chosen to receive the 2012 Charles Goodyear Medal. This award, the most prestigious award given by the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society, honors an individual for outstanding invention, innovation or development, which resulted in significant change or contribution to the nature of the rubber industry.

Dr. Roland is recognized for diverse accomplishments in the field of polymers, and in particular, elastomers. Among his discoveries are:
  • density scaling of viscoelastic properties and its relation to the steepness of the intermolecular repulsive potential;
  • the invariance of relaxation times at various phase transitions;
  • the non-ideality of polymer isotope mixtures and dynamic heterogeneity in miscible blends;
  • phenomena in rubbery networks, including properties of double network rubbers and the origin of the Mullins effect; and
  • elastomeric coatings that enhance the resistance of hard substrates to impact penetration, technology applicable to military armor and civilian infrastructure protection.
Dr. Roland received a bachelor's degree from Grove City College in 1974 and a doctorate from the Pennsylvania State University in 1980, both in chemistry. He was employed at Firestone Central Research Labs until 1986, when he joined NRL. His research involves experimental study of the viscoelastic, mechanical and dielectric properties of materials. He has been an advisor to 19 postdoctoral researchers at NRL. He received the NRL E.O. Hulburt Award (2010), the Sigma Xi Pure Science Award (2002), the NRL Edison Award (2000), six Berman publication awards, two Rubber Division Best Paper Awards (2009 and 2010), and is a fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (United Kingdom).

Dr. Roland has authored over 370 peer-reviewed publications, 24 book chapters, 13 patents, and the book, Viscoelastic Behavior of Rubber Materials (Oxford University Press. 2011). His publications have been cited 8,400 times, and he has an H-index of 47. He has given 135 lectures at conferences and workshops, including four at Gordon Research Conferences. He chaired the 1999 Gordon Research Conference on Elastomers, Networks and Gels, and the 1996 International Rubber Science Hall of Fame Symposium. Dr. Roland was editor of Rubber Chemistry & Technology from 1991-1999, and has served, inter alia, on the editorial board of Macromolecules and the advisory board for the American Chemical Society Advances in Chemistry and Symposium Series.