MMI Adds Two Researchers, Promotes Two Others: The Midland-based Michigan Molecular Institute recently added two new polymer experts to its ranks, while two other MMI research scientists earned promotions. Joining the MMI research staff were Patrick Smith and Edmund Stark. Promoted were Claire Hartmann-Thompson and Steven Kaganove, both to the level of Research Scientists. Smith comes to MMI following more than 30 years at Dow Chemical Co., his most recent role as a scientist team leader exploring new business opportunities in biofeedstocks. In his time at Dow, he served as a scientist in the analytical sciences laboratory, responsible for Dow’s global polymer characterization capabilities. He also spent the past three years as a consultant for Archer Daniels Midland Co. in their renewable industrial chemicals group. His areas of expertise include polymer science and characterization, molecular spectroscopy and biobased chemicals and materials. At MMI, Smith will head up new research projects related to bio-based chemicals. He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry at Michigan State University. Stark brings his expertise in organic chemistry to MMI after nearly 20 years at Dow, where he served most recently as leader of market development plant for Dow’s advanced electronics materials business. In his time at Dow, he also conducted research in resin development and toughening, process research, product development, formulation studies, analytical and characterization methods and statistical analysis. His immediate work at MMI will deal with improving space solar cell technology. He earned his Ph.D. in physical-organic chemistry at Yale University. Hartmann-Thompson joined MMI in 2001 following positions at Dow Corning Corp. and Raychem. She holds a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Oxford and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Exeter. Her areas of expertise include dendritic polymers, polyhedral oligosilsesquioxanes, polymer synthesis, and high energy materials. Her current projects at MMI focus on fuel cell membrane development and improving optical materials for space solar cells. Kaganove has worked at MMI since 1998, following postdoctoral positions at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Indiana University. He earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles. His areas of expertise include dendritic polymers, polyhedral oligosilsesquioxanes and polydiacetylenes. His work at MMI currently includes developing biocidal coatings targeting spore forming bacteria and polymeric blood substitutes. Michigan Molecular Institute, founded in 1971, is a non-profit organization dedicated to polymer research and education. In addition to its research activity, MMI has served as the incubator for several successful businesses, including Dendritech, the world leader in commercial dendrimer production; Impact Analytical, a premier analytical testing lab; Oxazogen, a supplier of advanced specialty films, coating materials and polymers; and MITCON, which serves the information technology needs of more than 35 local non-profit organizations. For more information, visit

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