Regents Professor Tim Lodge named as inaugural Prager Chair in Macromolecular Science in Chemistry
University of Minnesota Regents Professor Timothy Lodge has been named the inaugural Prager Chair in Macromolecular Science in Chemistry. The chair is the first of two established by the late College of Science and Engineering Professor Emeritus Stephen Prager and the late Dr. Julie Prager.
Lodge is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. He is an internationally renowned polymer scientist and has served the University of Minnesota with distinction for almost four decades with an outstanding record of research, teaching, and service. Lodge has published more than 450 papers on his innovative and groundbreaking research, which has applications in the delivery of medicines within the body, solution viscosity modification, and nanostructure templating.
"There is no one in the world that has a more impressive record of leadership and accomplishment in the field of macromolecular science in chemistry," said Chemistry Professor and Department Head David Blank.
In addition to taking on many leadership roles for the Department of Chemistry and CSE, including serving as director of Materials Research and Science Engineering Center (MRSEC) since 2005, Lodge has received many awards for his research and teaching over the years.
At the University of Minnesota, Lodge has received top honors such as the Regents Professorship (2013), Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education Award (2012), CSE Distinguished Professorship (2004), and Distinguished McKnight University Professorship (2001). He also received the American Chemical Society Award in Polymer Chemistry in 2010 and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2016. In 2020, he received the Sustained Research Prize from the Neutron Scattering Society of America (NSSA) for his pivotal contributions to the fundamental understanding of polymer structure, thermodynamics, and dynamics through the use of small angle neutron scattering.
Lodge notably served as Editor-in-Chief of the ACS journal Macromolecules, the world’s premiere journal in Macromolecular Chemistry, from 2001–2017. He was also founding Editor of ACS Macro Letters from 2012–2017.
Lodge earned his bachelor's degree in applied mathematics from Harvard University and his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was a National Research Council post-doctoral research associate at the National Bureau of Standards and joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota in 1982.
About Stephen and Julie Prager
Professor Emeritus Stephen Prager was a professor of physical chemistry in the University of Minnesota Department of Chemistry for almost 40 years from 1952 to 1990, and Julie Prager was a pioneering polymer and fluoroxy chemist—and eventual executive director—at 3M and a notable advocate for women in research. The pair met at Cornell University where they were both pursuing doctorates, Stephen in physical chemistry and Julie in organic chemistry. They were married for 67 years and were dedicated, generous supporters of the University of Minnesota Department of Chemistry. They also established the department’s Chemistry Faculty Support Fund through their donations.
Stephen Prager spent a post-doctoral year as a Jewett Fellow at the University of Utah from 1951 to 1952 before joining the faculty at the University of Minnesota as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 1956, and to full professor in 1962. His research was in the area of the physical chemistry of macromolecules, particularly in the application of mathematics to rheology. He made many important contributions to theoretical chemistry, particularly in statistical mechanics and molecular quantum mechanics, and pioneered teaching techniques that combined both classical and statistical thermodynamics. Prager was also the founder of the Theoretical Chemistry Group at Minnesota—today, the Department of Chemistry’s Chemical Theory Center is one of the most renowned in the country.
Julie Prager began at 3M in 1957, where she worked for more than 27 years as a polymer and fluoroxy chemist, ending her career serving as Executive Director of 3M’s Corporate Technical Planning and Coordination. She was in charge of leading the assessment and evaluation of all of 3M’s research laboratories. Prager was also a pioneer for women in STEM and a mentor and guide for women at 3M. In 1971, she was the first female elected to chair 3M’s Technical Forum, which at that time was a 3,300-member professional organization of 3M scientists who came together to share ideas. At the time of her retirement, she was the senior ranking woman at 3M.