Thomas H. Epps, III, has been named the Thomas and Kipp Gutshall Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. The endowed position, funded through a generous gift from UD alumnus Thomas Gutshall and his wife, Kipp, is designed to reward exceptional young faculty talent.
The professorship is the University’s first “career development” faculty chair, a term synonymous with young faculty chair. It is intended for a teacher/scholar at the assistant or associate professor level. Unlike senior endowed chairs, it may rotate among young faculty periodically, depending upon need.
Epps conducts innovative research focused primarily on designing, building and characterizing new polymers. His multi-faceted research program generates nanoscale structures in soft (plastic) materials, work crucial to creating conducting membranes for energy generation and storage devices. The work is also useful in developing nanoscale capsules for drug delivery and self-cleaning and templating applications.
In 2010, Epps received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from the U.S. Department of Defense, an elite distinction bestowed by President Barack Obama. He is also the recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Award, the DuPont Young Professor Award, an Air Force Young Investigator Award and the Lloyd Ferguson Young Scientist Award from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers. In 2011, Epps won the Gerard J. Mangone Young Scholars Award, bestowed by the University’s Francis Alison Society. Epps recently was named a 2012–2013 MLK visiting professor and scholar at MIT.