Pojman receives 2023 Charles E. Coates Memorial Award

May 10, 2023

Dr. Pojman and Mr. Coates

Prof. John Pojman (left) and Mr. Charles Coates, grandson of Charles E. Coates (right).

BATON ROUGE - The recipient of the 2023 Coates E. Coates Memorial Award is John A. Pojman Sr., the William and Patricia Senn, Jr., Distinguished Professor and Chair of the LSU Department of Chemistry.

Established in 1957 by the Baton Rouge Sections of the American Chemical Society, ACS, and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, AIChE, the Coates Award honors the memory of Charles E. Coates, one of Louisiana’s most prominent figures in chemistry and chemical engineering. The award recognizes Pojman’s outstanding contributions to the profession of chemistry, the ACS, and the chemistry community. 

In 2008, Pojman moved to Baton Rouge and joined the LSU Chemistry faculty as a professor of macromolecular sciences. His research interests include frontal polymerization, nonlinear phenomena in polymeric systems, cure-on-demand polymerization, and the materials of art. And most recently, Pojman has been collaborating with scientists at the LSU AgCenter in developing a bait system to cut feral pig populations, protecting crops, people, and other animals.

As a scientist and educator, Pojman has maintained a successful research and mentoring program for over 30 years. He has over 315 scientific presentations, 180 peer-reviewed articles, and 15 book chapters. Not only maintaining a lab with graduate students, but Pojman is also passionate about providing research opportunities to undergraduates. Since 1990, over 180 undergraduates have worked with him. 

Pojman is also President of Pojman Polymer Products, LLC, or 3P, which he affectionately calls himself the 3PCEO. His company has licensed several products with worldwide distribution for artists and do-it-yourself home repair enthusiasts.  Based on his work with frontal polymerization, the products allow the “cure-on demand” of modeling clay, wood filler, and home repair putty. 

His contributions to the ACS and the chemistry community also include organizing several symposiums at national and regional meetings and the 11th National Graduate Research Polymer Conference in 2014, which included researchers from around the country and was sponsored by the ACS Polymer Chemistry Division and industry partners. Pojman also serves on the board of the Applied Polymer Technology Extension Consortium, or APTEC, a university-affiliated, nonprofit organization that promotes polymer technology in the South Central US. 

Outside the chemistry laboratory, Pojman is known for his “World’s Largest Pocket Protector Webseum” and interest in the three-toed amphiuma. To learn more about Professor Pojman’s research interests and hobbies, visit his research group webpage and website


About Dr. Charles E. Coates

Charles E Coates

Charles E. Coates served as a chemistry professor at LSU from 1893 to 1937, department head from 1893 to 1937, and dean of the Audubon Sugar School from 1908 to 1931. His research interest was in sugar chemistry and sugar engineering. Coates was also named chairman of graduate study when a separate graduate school was established in 1931. 

In addition to a being a world renowned academic for his research in sugar chemistry, Charles E. Coates became the first LSU football coach in 1893, the first official season with a football program. He is also known for his role in the adoption of purple and gold as the school’s colors and its nickname of “Tigers.”

More about the life and legacy of Dr. Charles E. Coates can be found at the LSU Library Special Collections