Registration is now open for the annual lecture-laboratory short course for those who produce or utilize adhesives and sealants.  The course is taught by Virginia Tech faculty.  For further details, refer to the Adhesion Science Short Course Brochure and the Agenda.

Instructors & Areas of Expertise

Richey M. Davis
Department of Chemical Engineering

Office Phone: (540)  231-4578; Email:

Physical chemistry and rheology of polymer solutions and colloidal suspensions with emphases on water-soluble polymers and suspensions in aqueous media; polymer adsorption at interfaces; waterborne adhesives; dispersion and processing of fine powders for coating, ceramic and composite applications.

Michael Bortner
Department of Chemical Engineering

Office Phone – (540) 231-4213; Email:

Polymer nanocomposites; nanostructured materials and surfaces; polymer morphology and structure-property relationships; surface and interface phenomena in polymers. Applications: Additive manufacturing, composite processing, smart materials, advanced materials, structural composites, multifunctional coatings. Nanomaterial dispersion and characterization, manufacturing process development, novel nanocomposite characterization techniques, transport at polymer / particle interfaces and in multi-phase systems

Charles E. Frazier
Department of Sustainable Biomaterials

Office Phone – (540) 231-8318; Email:

Characterization of the wood-adhesive bondline with emphasis on thermosetting adhesives for wood-based composites, latex adhesives and reactive hotmelts, analysis of the effects of wood-adhesive interactions as they control the morphology and chain dynamics of the bondline, performance evaluation through fracture testing.

Timothy E. Long
Department of Chemistry

Office Phone – (540) 231-2480; Email:

Synthesis and characterization of interfacially active polymeric systems including block, graft, and star copolymers. Interfacial adhesion in polymer blends and polymer coatings on inorganic substrates. Synthesis of block copolymer adhesion promotors and pressure sensitive adhesives via living polymerization methodologies, in-situ FTIR spectroscopic studies on urethane-based adhesive kinetics, synthesis of liquid crystalline and semi-crystalline polyesters, ionomeric hotmelt polyesters with decreased melt viscosity, adhesion studies in semi-conductor fabrication, and adhesion between bio-derived molecules and organic polymer substrates.

David A. Dillard
Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics

Office Phone: (540)  231-4714; Email:

Fracture and time dependent behavior of adhesives, elastomers and other polymeric materials; development of appropriate test methods for adhesive bonds; analytical and numerical (finite element) analysis of stresses in bonded joints; durability measurements and predictions for adhesive bonds

Alan Esker
Department of Chemistry

Office Phone – (540) 231-4601; Email:

Solution casting, spin-coating, self-assembly, and the Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) technique for exploration of the physical chemical aspects of polymer dynamics in confined geometries and at surfaces and interfaces. Investigation of contemporary issues affecting nanotechnology like nanofiller reinforcement in polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS)/polymer nanocomposites, magnetic nanoparticle-lipid interactions for drug delivery systems, and biomimetic engineering of cellulose/polymer interfaces in composites. Characterization techniques through neutron scattering and X-ray reflectivity at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and dynamic mechanical and thermal analysis (DMTA), rheology, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), surface light scattering (SLS), the fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) technique, ellipsometry, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and optical (OM), fluorescence (FM), atomic force (AFM), scanning electron (SEM), transmission electron (TEM), and Brewster angle (BAM) microscopy.

Topics Covered

Adhesives and Polymer Design Parameters

Adhesives, Sealant, and Waterborne Rheology

Adsorption on Surfaces/Surface Energy

Classes of Adhesive Structure and Synthetic Methods

Stresses in Bonded Joints

Surfaces and Surface Preparation

Fracture of Adhesive Bonds

Viscoelasticity and Applications to Adhesives

Adhesive Test Methods

Analysis of Surfaces

Free Volume and DSC

Dynamic Mechanical Methodology

PSA Performance and Testing

Accelerated Characterization

Frontiers in Adhesion Science

Wood Adhesion

Durability and Design

Course Site and Housing

Lecture sessions for the Adhesion Science Short Course will be held on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia.

The closest airport (Roanoke Blacksburg Regional Airport—ROA) is located in Roanoke, Virginia, about an hour’s ride from Blacksburg. A shuttle service and three major car rental agencies are available at the airport.

 For more information, please visit our Contact Us page or contact Carmen Hamlin at (540) 231-6824.

Comments from Past Attendees

This is a great course: it’s well organized, the instructors are top-notch, and the course material is very informative.

- Research Specialist

Very well presented, handouts contained a lot of information.  The course gave a very good overview of materials and structure-properties relationship.  It provided me with knowledge that would otherwise require years of studying to become familiar with. Good Overall Scope

- Anonymous

This has been an excellent course.  The instructors demonstrated a keen interest in the topics they presented.  I could tell that they were presenting the information to help our understanding rather than just to complete a task

- Associate Chemist