Building upon CPI’s decade-long effort to expand the industry’s educational resources, CPI awarded four travel honoraria to students pursuing their Masters or Ph.D. in a relevant scientific discipline to attend and present at the 2018 Polyurethanes Technical Conference. Promoting PU-specific education programs and encouraging students to consider careers in in the polyurethane industry is critical for the future of the polyurethanes industry.

CPI Scholars: Chorong Oh, Zhen Sang, and Vahab Solouki attend the Industry Reception at the 2018 Polyurethanes Technical Conference (Not pictured CPI Scholar, Sophia Do)

Applicants from across the globe applied for the 2018 CPI Travel Honoraria. Applications and poster or paper abstracts were reviewed by a panel of industry experts and students from the United States and South Korea were selected as the 2018 CPI Scholars. Each CPI Scholar presented research pertaining to polyurethane chemistry and were awarded $1,000.

CPI Scholar Vahab Solouki presenting his poster at the 2018 Polyurethanes Technical Conference

CPI’s 2018 Scholars and Paper or Poster Presentations:

  • Sophia Do, San Diego State University “Fabrication, Characterization, and Testing of Novel Polyurea Foams”
  • Chorong Oh, Chonbuk National University “Thermally Healable Graphene-Polyurethane Network Composites via Diels-Aler Reaction” 
  • Zheng Sang, Case Western Reserve University “Advanced Thermoplastic Polyurethane Composites for Piezoresistive Strain Sensor Applications”
  • Vahab Solouki, Case Western Reserve University “Thermoplastic Polyurethane Nanocomposites with Carbon Nanotubes and Carbon Nanostructures” 

In 2019, CPI will be offering this travel honoraria opportunity to Masters or Ph.D. students.

CPI Scholar Sophia Do presenting her paper at the Chemistry & Fundamentals technical session


All applicants must be pursuing their Masters or Ph.D. in a relevant scientific discipline including but not limited to chemistry and industrial hygiene. Applicants must register to attend the 2019 Polyurethanes Technical Conference in Orlando, FL on October 7-9, 2019. Applicants must submit a paper or poster abstract to present and an application by March 8, 2019.


A panel of industry experts and CPI staff will evaluate all eligible applications based on the impact on the polyurethanes industry and quality of the science and relevance in the industry.


CPI will notify all applicants or their application status on or before April 1, 2019.

Topics for Papers or Posters Can Include (but are not limited to):

  • Applications: Automotive, Appliances/Cold Chain, Construction, Furnishings, Recreation, Clothing, Medical, Packaging
  • Product Areas: Adhesives & Sealants, Coatings & Elastomers, Binders, Flexible Foam, Rigid Foam, Thermoplastic Polyurethanes, Agriculture
  • Chemistry: Chemistry & Fundamentals, Diisocyanates, Renewable Content Polyols, Blowing Agents, Flame Retardants, Release Agents, Catalysts 
  • Process: Processing Innovations, Equipment
  • Issue Areas: Combustibility, EHS, Energy Efficiency, Sustainability/Recyclability, Transportation* 

* Abstracts must be new content never presented before.

This opportunity provides students the forum to network and showcase their research with the leading companies in the PU industry and to learn about the latest breakthrough technologies across the industry.

“I wanted to know what the current TPU market looks like, and I wanted to share my current research with others. The Polyurethanes Technical Conference is the first conference I’ve ever attended, and it was very important to me to be able to learn about the current demands of the industry for TPU products. It was very valuable to see how university research connects to the real world. Any student would benefit from attending the conference because it’s an opportunity to broaden their horizons and learn some basics as well.” – Zhen Sang, Case Western Reserve University

“I’m planning to work in polyurethanes after graduation, so attending was very appealing to me. Having so many PU-related companies was the driving force for me to attend and learn more about the newest advancements as well as the opportunities and challenges of the industry. I really appreciated the opportunity to network with professionals, to get to know the new trends and advancements and to visit a new city. Other students should definitely apply. It’s a great and different experience compared to other conferences students normally attend. It can provide them with a real perspective of the PU industry and ultimately guide their research toward a more applied and meaningful end.” – Vahab Solouki, Case Western Reserve University

“I wanted to learn about the latest technologies and research in the field and to share our research on polyurea foams. The best part about attending this conference was experiencing how different this conference was to other conferences that I have attended. It was also nice to be able to get tips on different ways to test our foam from our moderator, who has been working with polyurethane foam for the past 40 years.” –Sophia Do, San Diego State University

“I was really glad to attend the conference because I wanted to get to know the attendees and their interests. Attending the conference also helped me to be more confident about my field of study in the future. When I accepted a travel honoraria, I thought that it would help reduce the burden of attending an overseas conferences. I was extremely happy and flattered to be accepted after applying for the travel honorarium. It was great to be able to see how research is actually applied in the real world and to see the direction the industry will be taking in the future. Other students should definitely apply. It was a wonderful opportunity.” – Chorong Oh, Chonbuk National University

Please contact Elizabeth Bailey for more information,


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