Meet the Faculty

Donald Sundberg

Prestigous Lecture Selection Recognizes Lifetime of Achievement

Picture of Donald SundbergThough impossible to see with the naked eye, the applications of the scientific contributions from Donald Sundberg clearly exist – just under the aide of an electronic microscope.

In fact, the professor emeritus of Material Science’s contributions to understanding physical structure of nanoparticles in synthetic latex coatings are so renowned that Sundberg was selected to give the 2016 Mattiello Memorial Lecture at the American Coatings Conference (ACC). He will deliver it on April 13 in Indianapolis.

The lecture recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to science, technology, and engineering related to the coatings industry. Held in conjunction with the American Coatings Show, April 12–14, the ACC is the leading scientific event for the coatings industry and celebrates its innovative advancements.

Sundberg, who is the director of the Nanostructured Polymers Research Center at UNH, credited his colleagues, students, and post-doctoral associates for the recognition.

“This award recognizes the value of the contributions from my research group over many years to the coatings science and technology community,” said Sundberg, who previous served as the vice president of research and public service at UNH. “This work involved a significant number of different research partners over the years to whom I am deeply grateful.”

It is the second time Sundberg has been recognized internationally in his field. In 2004, he received the Roon Foundation Award for an award-winning paper delivered at the Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology’s annual meeting. Sundberg also has three patents and authored and coauthored nearly 100 peer reviewed publications and articles in the field.

Sundberg retired from 31 years of teaching at UNH in 2009, but has remained active in research on campus. The focus of his research has been with synthetic latex, specifically trying to understand the fundamental chemical and physical parameters that control the physical structure of multi-component - two or more polymers – and synthetic latex nano-particles. 

“To the scientist or researcher, our work has provided a science based platform on which to base their assessment of the results of their experiments as they probe new ideas,” said Sundberg. “To the industrial technologists, our work provides them with certain degrees of confidence as they develop new, competitive products.”

Sundberg noted that society benefits from the center’s research papers via archival documentation of advances in basic polymer science. Through private industry, new and useful products have resulted, in part, from the center’s work.

The American Coatings Association is celebrating its 50th anniversary of the lecture, honoring world renowned chemical scientist Joseph J. Mattiello. Nominated candidates are judged based on technical accomplishment, service to the coatings industry, product and/or technology available to the industry, scope/impact, and presentation capability. Sundberg was nominated by a senior research scientist from a company located in Europe.

Sundberg’s lecture, titled, “Towards an Understanding of How Complex Latex Particles are Formed: What Do We Know and When Did We Know It,” will explore how complex latex particles are formed. More specifically, it will focus on the variety of synthetic latex nanoparticles and their multitude of physical structures, delve into what is known about them, what tools are used to assist in learning about them, and when the scientific community began to better understand them.

The ACA, which is hosting the event, is a voluntary, nonprofit trade association working to advance the needs of the paint and coatings industry and the professionals who work in it. The organization represents paint and coatings manufacturers, raw materials suppliers, distributors, and technical professionals.

Departments: 
Materials Science