Roderick Heelis

Dennis Smith


  • chemistry
  • membranes
  • rubber
  • plastics
  • fuel cells
  • micro-optics
  • renewable resources
  • biodegradable materials


Katherine Morales

Expert at a Glance

Dennis W. Smith, Ph.D. School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Robert A. Welch Chair in Chemistry

Dr. Smith is an expert on general polymer science and synthetic organic chemistry. He studies long-chain macromolecules that make up films, coatings, rubber, membranes, plastics and other materials for opto-electronic, electro-active and high performance applications.

Some of his materials have been tested for use on future Space Shuttle missions and in hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles. In addition, his research in micro-optics — using light rather than electricity to communicate and process energy — has the potential to double storage space on DVDs and lighten the weight of military aircraft.

He is listed as a co-inventor on 14 U.S. patents, six of which are under commercial license. His publications include 100 refereed papers (published or in press) and two book editorships.

He received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Florida.

Updated: July 6, 2010