VOLUME 20 #2

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New professorship rewards young faculty talent

Thomas Epps
Photo by Kathy F. Atkinson
Thomas Epps

ON THE GREEN | Thomas H. Epps, III, has been named the Thomas and Kipp Gutshall Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, the University's first "career development" chair specifically for young faculty members.

The endowed position is funded through a gift from Thomas Gutshall, EG60, and his wife, Kipp, and is meant to reward exceptional young faculty talent. Unlike senior endowed chairs, the designation may rotate among faculty members periodically, depending upon need.

The professorship is intended for a teacher/scholar at the assistant or associate professor level. Epps recently was promoted to associate professor with tenure.

Epps conducts innovative research focused on designing, building and characterizing new polymers. His multifaceted research program generates nanoscale structures in soft (plastic) materials, work crucial to creating conducting membranes for energy generation and storage devices. The work also is useful in developing nanoscale capsules for drug delivery and self-cleaning and templating applications.

"We are especially delighted with the selection of Dr. Thomas Epps, as he has already proven himself to be an outstanding researcher and academician," Thomas Gutshall says. "His future contributions to the field of chemical engineering will be exemplary."

In 2010, Epps received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, an elite distinction bestowed by President Obama. He is also a 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.

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In 2011, he received UD's Gerard J. Mangone Young Scholars Award.

Thomas Gutshall is co-founder and chairman of Cepheid, a leading molecular diagnostics company, and with his wife has remained active with the University over many years.

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