Polymer Physics Group

This is an IOP special interest group, which is a community of IOP members focused on a particular discipline, application or area of interest. Special interest groups allow members to connect and share knowledge and ideas. The IOP funds groups to deliver a range of activities including events, prizes and bursaries. All of our groups are driven by members.

About the group

As a special interest, member-driven group, we are a forum for everyone interested in the physics of polymers.

We cover all aspects of the physical properties, structure and dynamics of polymers. This includes both synthetic and naturally occurring polymers in the form of:

  • gels
  • melts
  • glasses
  • solutions
  • elastomers
  • semi-crystalline solids

Fundamental phenomena are of interest, along with applications of polymers in technologies, like:

  • foods 
  • coatings
  • medicine
  • pharmacy
  • composites
  • photovoltaics
  • optoelectronics

What the group does

We work closely with The Royal Society of Chemistry and The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. We enjoy close links with the Macro Group with which we publish a joint newsletter.

We welcome physicists, chemists and engineers from both academia and industry.

Would you like to join this group?

Group physics prizes and competitions

Polymer Physics Group Founders' Prize

The prize is for a scientist who has made an outstanding contribution to polymer physics in the UK or Ireland.

To make a nomination:

  • propose a nominee 
  • send us 250 words on why the nominee should be awarded the prize

Nominees do not need to be British or working in the UK or Ireland, provided their research has a significant UK or Irish component.

Email group secretary j.cabral@imperial.ac.uk for details and deadlines.

The Polymer Physics Group Founders' Prize commemorates the work of Professor Andrew Keller.



Professor Mark Warner


Professor Richard Jones


Professor Donal Bradley


Professor Tom McLeish 


Professor Dame Athene Donald


Professor Alan Windle


Professor Dame Julia Higgins


Professor David Bassett


Professor Sir Sam Edwards

American Physical Society Division of Polymer Physics and Institute of Physics Polymer Physics Group Exchange Lectureship for a young polymer scientist

The recipient is invited to present their work at the March 2019 American Physical Society meeting, with expenses up to £1,500 paid by us. 

The nominee will be:

  • a member of our group
  • nominated or self-nominated
  • have no more than 10 years of professional experience since completion of their PhD (exclusive of career breaks like maternity leave)

Nominations will include:

  • a two page CV, including a publications list
  • a brief statement of up to 250 words explaining the nomination

Email: João Cabral j.cabral@imperial.ac.uk for details and deadlines.

Ian Macmillan Ward Prize for the Best Student Publication

The prize recognises the most outstanding publication on a journal website or in printed format by a PhD student.

The winner gets a financial award and is invited to present a lecture at our conference.

The applicant must be an author or co-author of the publication. 

The research reported in the publication must have been carried out as part of the PhD research of the applicant. 

Judges will consider:

  • originality
  • scientific quality
  • significance of the research

Nominations will include:

  • a paper or electronic copy of the publication in a journal
  • a signed letter (on university letterhead) from the supervisor of the PhD student confirming that the research was carried out by the applicant as part of PhD research
  • a statement from the applicant outlining the significance of the publication

More information

Write to Professor Aline Miller, Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, University of Manchester, 131 Princess Street, Manchester M1 7DN



Stephanie Burg

University of Sheffield


Charalampos Pappas

University of Groningen


Davide Michieletto

University of Warwick


Daniel Toolan

University of Sheffield    


Katherine Thomas

University of Cambridge    


Rita La Spina

University of Sheffield    


Tao Wang

University of Surrey    

Group events 

Each year we have several one day or longer meetings to discuss specific aspects of polymer physics. 

Find group events on our events portal. 


September 2017 (PDF 1.85MB)
February 2017 (PDF, 5.5MB)
August 2016 (PDF, 5.6MB)
January 2015 (PDF, 5.6MB)

Committee and contacts

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