Chris Ellison (’00 chemical engineering) is the Zsolt Rumy Innovation Chair in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. He specializes in the field of polymer science and engineering, and he and his team are developing more sustainable plastics, ranging from improved recycling strategies to new degradable materials.
Ellison’s research has led to over 150 scientific publications that have been cited nearly 10,000 times, and he holds more than 20 patents. His outstanding contributions to the field have been recognized with prestigious national awards, including the Owens Corning Early Career Award, DuPont Young Professor Award, 3M Nontenured Faculty Award, and more.
Dedicated to putting his discoveries into practice, Ellison has recently won a TechConnect Innovation Award for developing a new recycling approach for mixed plastic waste, and he is co-founder of Standup Energy, in Austin, Texas.
A talented and dedicated instructor and mentor, Ellison has graduated or is currently mentoring 130 students and postdocs, is the faculty advisor to the University of Minnesota’s Tau Beta Pi chapter, and serves on Iowa State’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering’s external advisory board.
After graduation from Iowa State, Ellison received a PhD in chemical engineering from Northwestern University, and held research and faculty positions at the University of Minnesota, Rohm and Haas Company, and University of Texas at Austin, before rejoining the University of Minnesota, where he is also a senior investigator and serves on the executive committee of the National Science Foundation’s Center for Sustainable Polymers.
Chris is married to Suzanne, and they have a daughter Finley.