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Dr. Brian Benicewicz

Endowed Chair for Polymer Nanocomposite Research

Polymer Nanocomposites

  • Specializes in high-temperature fuel cell membranes and hydrogen pumps, polymer synthesis, designed chemistry on the surface of nanoparticles, and polymer nanocomposites.
  • Working with South Carolina-based and global companies to develop new products and improve existing technologies.
  • Research supported by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Defense, and industry partners.
  • BS, Florida Institute of Technology
  • PhD, University of Connecticut
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Dr. Brian Benicewicz brings diverse experience from industry, a national research lab, and academia to his SmartState Endowed Chair in Polymer Nanocomposites, giving his research a practical and cutting-edge perspective.

Dr. Benicewicz’s research is focused in the areas of high-temperature fuel cell membranes and hydrogen pumps, polymer synthesis, conducting polymers, and liquid crystalline polymers and thermosets, with commercial applications ranging from energy generation to sophisticated packaging technology. 

He is helping South Carolina play a leading role in the future of nanoscience and plastics. Nanoscience can be used to help the state’s plastics industry develop new products and improve existing ones. South Carolina is one of the nation’s top producers of plastics, specifically polymers that are used to manufacture packaging products for items such as juices, water, soft drinks, household cleaners, and cosmetics. 

Dr. Benicewicz’s research funding includes grants from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Defense, and private industry entities. His work in high-temperature fuel cell membranes has resulted in a research contract with BASF. 

Prior to accepting his SmartState Program Endowed Chair at the University of South Carolina, Dr. Benicewicz conducted research for the Celanese Research Company; Ethicon, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson Company; and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). While at Los Alamos, he received the LANL Distinguished Patent Award, the LANL “Excellence in Industrial Partnerships Award,” the NASA Technical Achievement Award, and NASA Technology Program Award. Additionally, he served on the faculty of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is the co-founder of H2 Pump, LLC, a start-up company.

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