Sponsored by the SPE Polymer Modifiers and Additives Division

Deadline for submisson extended to March 13, 2017

Program Description: The PMAD Challenge is a technical writing competition designed to encourage student members to participate in SPE activities as well as to promote scientific and engineering knowledge relating to plastics. The award sponsors the participation of students (undergraduate and graduate students) in the Society of Plastics Engineers annual technical (ANTEC) meeting, having a significant polymer modifiers and plastic additives component, to grow the students’ education in polymer/plastics engineering. 

Awards: There will be six awards (three each to graduate and undergraduate students) based on estimated travel expenses, up to $2,500. As an incentive to improve the number of high-quality entrees, PMAD is offering a FREE, one-year SPE membership a ($144 value for new members) to the first five faculty members who facilitate 5 or more students to enter our contest (must be acceptable entries).

Eligibility: Students (undergraduates and graduate students) residing within the U.S. are eligible for this grant. The applicant must demonstrate research or educational interest in polymer/plastics engineering. The student should be prepared to give an oral or poster presentation on his/her interest area during the conference if feasible, serve as a usher in a PMAD session and submit a technical report to PMAD on his/her experience after the conference.

Application Procedure: Applications must be no longer than six, 8½-by-11-inch pages, written in font no smaller than 11 point, with margins of at least 1 inch and should include the following, in a single PDF file:

  1. Cover page (no more than one page), including:
    • Applicant’s name, department, institution, field of study.
    • Name of applicant’s faculty advisor (or supervisor) and contact information.
  2. Brief (no more than one-page) essay by the applicant concerning his/her interest in polymer/plastics engineering, including any previous experience with the field, how he/she will benefit from participation in the selected conference, and why he/she should be selected to receive the award. Include your intention to present during the conference.
  3. Curriculum vita or résumé no more than two pages in length, including:
    • Applicant’s name, department, institution, and faculty advisor (or supervisor).
    • Applicant’s mailing address, telephone and email.
    • A few sentences on the applicant’s plastics engineering teaching or research interests and career plans.
    • Field of study, degrees (including month and year earned or expected), education experience, including GPA or other measure of class standing, and work experience (if any).
    • List of recent presentations and publications (if any).
  4. Letter of nomination from the applicant's faculty advisor, supervisor or department chair (no more than two pages in length). The letter may be sent separately or included with the other application materials.

A single PDF file of the application is preferred, and must be received by 5:00 p.m. (EST) on March 13, 2017. Send via email to pmadchallenge@4spe.org with “PMAD Challenge Award Application – [your last name]” in the subject line.

Judging: A panel of experts selected by the SPE PMAD division will judge the applications. This panel might include members of the scientific, educational and industrial communities. Successful candidates will have a strong interest in polymer modifiers and additives described by a compelling story of their experience or interest with the field.

Notification and Award: Notification of the award will be made on or before March 31, 2017. The award will comprise of an advance of $1,500 to cover hotel, flight and registration expenses with a bonus check of $1,000 to reimburse meals and other expenses after the conference takes place. To receive the bonus reimbursement, a 1-page written technical report on the talks attended and travel expense receipts will be required. 

Questions about the SPE PMAD Challenge Awards in Plastics Engineering should be directed to Email: pmadchallenge@4spe.org.