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Former VP receives international research award
March 23, 1998

Anthony T. DiBenedetto, emeritus professor of chemical engineering, is the most recent recipient of the Plueddeman Award for Excellence in Composite Interface Research. Presented once every two years by an international committee of peers, the Plueddeman is widely acknowledged as the most prestigious award in the area of composites and recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement.

DiBenedetto is currently a member of the Polymer Science Program in the Institute of Materials Science (IMS) and has been an internationally-known scientist in the area of composites and composite/matrix interactions for much of his career. In the 1970s he pioneered work on a single fiber fracture test that is now widely used. He is also one of the world's foremost authorities on the fracture mechanics of polymer composite interphases.

"Receiving this award was both a surprise and very satisfying," DiBenedetto says. "It requires a nomination process and then the decision of an international committee. To receive that kind of recognition from my peers is a great honor."

During his career at the University, DiBenedetto served as vice president for academic affairs, vice president for research and graduate education, dean of the graduate school, dean of the school of engineering, and director of IMS. He also received the Faculty Excellence Award for Outstanding Leadership from the Alumni Association, as well as an Outstanding Educators in America Award, and a Distinguished Service Award from the University of Wisconsin. DiBenedetto is an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin and also served as a faculty member there. When he retired from UConn in 1997, the School of Engineering created the A.T. DiBenedetto Distinguished Professorship Award in his honor.

The Plueddeman Award commemorates the work of Edwin P. Plueddeman, the inventor of silane coupling agents and a renowned figure in the fiberglass composites industry. Sponsored by the Dow Corning Company, the Plueddeman includes a cash award. It will be formally presented at a ceremony during the International Conference on Composite Interfaces (ICCI-VII) in Japan in May.

David Pesci