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About Alfred Crosby

My research group in the Polymer Science & Engineering Department focuses on developing fundamental knowledge of hierarchical soft materials and demonstrating new design principles to scale advanced materials for technology. An overarching goal is to understand materials behaviors at the nanometer to micron size scales and to filter this understanding into simple, creative concepts and forms that can have impact at human scales. From the gecko to the Venus flytrap, our group uses beautiful examples of hierarchical design and fabrication found in nature to inspire the development and understanding of hierarchical structures that display predictable materials properties.
I organize my research along four themes:

• Bio-inspired Adhesion
• Polymer Surface Instabilities
• Polymer-Nanoparticle Assemblies
• Properties of Gels and Living Tissue

The impact of our research group’s accomplishments is strong and broad. Our work has resulted in more than 80 peer-reviewed manuscripts, several book chapters, and numerous patents. In addition to many national and international awards and honors, our findings have been much featured in the popular media, perhaps most notably, in regard to the creation of gecko-inspired adhesives called Geckskin™; this development has been featured on the Discovery, NPR, CNET, BBC, Popular Science, and other venues, and CNN Money-Fortune Magazine picked Geckskin™ as one of the top 5 science breakthroughs of 2012.


Present Professor, Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Curriculum Vitae

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Honors and Awards

  • 2015-16 Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowship University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • 2013 ESPCI ParisTech – Michelin Visiting Professorship
  • 2012 CNN Money-Fortune Magazine Top 5 Technology Breakthrough
  • 2012 CNN Money-Fortune Magazine Top 5 Technology Breakthrough
  • 2011 ESPCI ParisTech – Michelin Visiting Professorship
  • 2011 ACS Rubber Division Sparks-Thomas Award
  • 2011 National Academy of Engineering US-Japan Frontiers
  • 2010 National Academy of Engineering US-German Frontiers
  • 2008 Rohm & Haas New Faculty Award
  • 2008 Adhesion Society Outstanding Young Scientist Award
  • 2008 Adhesion Society Distinguished Paper Award
  • 2007 National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering
  • 2004-2009 National Science Foundation CAREER Award
  • 2005-2008 Army Research Office Young Investigator Award
  • 2003-2005 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award3M Non-Tenured Facult
  • 2000-2002 National Research Council Research Associateship
  • 2001 Sigma Xi National Scientific Research Honor Society
  • 2000 Adhesion Society Alan Gent Award
  • 2016 American Physical Society
  • 2016 National Academy of Inventors Fellow

Contact Information

Room A313, Conte Research Center
University of Massachusetts Amherst
120 Governors Drive
Amherst, MA 01003


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