Information for

Alexander Penlidis

Canada Research Chair - Tier 1, Engineering of Polymers with Tailor-Made Properties, Professor, PEng, FCIC, FCAE

Alexander PenlidisDegrees

  • Dipl. ChE, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • PhD, McMaster University

Research interests

Polymerization kinetics, mathematical modelling and computer simulation of polymer reactors, on-line sensor development for polymer and latex characterization, polymer reactor design, optimization and computer control, emulsion/solution/suspension polymerization.

Over the last twenty five years or so, Penlidis has made outstanding and innovative research accomplishments with major impact on the field, culminating in the 1993 Canadian Society of Chemical Engineering Albright and Wilson Americas Award, for distinguished contributions in Chemical Engineering before the age of 40. He has been the founding co-editor and editor in the last 12 years of "Polymer Reaction Engineering Journal". He has been involved with the internationally known Institute for Polymer Research at the University of Waterloo for over twenty five years, being its Associate Director and Director from 1991 to 2010. All these international recognitions culminated in the Fellowship of the Chemical Institute of Canada (FCIC) in 1994. He has a superior record in attracting and supervising graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and research engineers (45 MASc, 25 PhD and 30 post-doctoral fellows/research engineers in the last 25 years), and in attracting and collaborating with visiting scientists/engineers from all over the world. He has attracted more than $ 15,500,000 in research funding. Finally he has been a consultant with all major polymer industries internationally. In 2002, he was awarded a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Polymer Engineering. More information about the Canada Research Chair (CRC) program can be found at the Canada Research Chairs website. Also in 2002, he was elected a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (FCAE), the highest engineering honour in the country.

Long-term objectives

  • To enhance the engineering of polymers with "tailor-made" properties for different applications.
  • To promote in parallel interdisciplinary research for polymers with advanced technology applications and novel properties, with research nuclei in polymers in health applications, biological polymers, polymeric sensors, polymeric materials for photonics, and polymeric materials for a variety of civil engineering applications.
  • To train graduate (and undergraduate) students and post-doctoral fellows in polymer engineering, to train (and collaborate with) scientists/engineers from other countries, and, finally to disseminate this new knowledge via academic publications and courses, patents, consultancies, and industrial in-house training courses.

My graduate students and I are currently working on the following projects:

  • Kinetics and modelling of multicomponent bulk, solution, suspension and emulsion polymerizations (styrenics/vinyl acetate/acrylates/methacrylates)
  • Development of flexible simulator packages for polymerization processes
  • Dynamic optimization of polymer reactor operation
  • Polymer reactor pilot-plant instrumentation and automation
  • On-line multivariable non-linear model predictive control of polymerization reactors
  • State estimation and Kalman filtering of polymerization processes
  • High temperature terpolymerizations and depropagation studies
  • Multifunctional initiators
  • Living free-radical polymerizations
  • Nano-structured particle technology

Selected references

  • Scott, A.J., M. Riahinezhad and A. Penlidis (2015). Optimal design for reactivity ratio estimation: A comparison of techniques for AMPS/acrylamide and AMPS/acrylic acid copolymerizations. Processes, 3 (4), 749-768 (open access; accepted on Oct 29, 2015; doi: 10.3390/pr3040749).

  • Amintowlieh, Y., C. Tzoganakis and A. Penlidis (2015). Continuous modification of polypropylene via photoinitiation. Polym. Eng. Sci., 55 (10), 2423-2432 (accepted in May 2015).
  • Jung, W., M. Riahinezhad, T.A. Duever and A. Penlidis (2015). Case studies with mathematical modeling of  free-radical multi-component bulk/solution polymerizations. Part 1. J. Macromol. Sci., Pure & Appl. Chem., 52 (9), 659-698 (accepted in May 2015) .
  • Stewart, K.M.E., W.T. Chen, R.R. Mansour and A. Penlidis (2015). Doped poly(2,5-dimethyl aniline) for the detection of ethanol. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 132, 42259-42265, accepted March 22, 2015; doi: 10.1002/APP.42259.

  • Sardashti, P., C. Tzoganakis, M. Zatloukal, M.A. Polak and A. Penlidis (2015). Rheological indicators for environmental stress cracking resistance of polyethylene. Intern. Polymer Processing (IPP), XXX (1), 70-81. 

  • Scott, A.J., M.D. Hazlett, E. Vivaldo-Lima and A. Penlidis (2015). D-optimality in model-based experimental designs: Applications in NMRP of styrene. Macromol. React. Eng., 9 (3), 205-227 (mren.201400060, accepted Jan 21, 2015).

  • Riahinezhad, M., N.T. McManus and A. Penlidis (2015). Effect of monomer concentration and pH on reaction kinetics and copolymer microstructure of acrylamide/acrylic acid copolymer. Macromol. React. Eng., 9 (2), 100-113.

  • Kazemi, N., T.A. Duever and A. Penlidis (2015). Design of optimal experiments for terpolymerization reactivity ratio estimation. Macromol. React. Eng., Macromol. React. Eng., 9 (3), 228-244. (accepted Dec 8, 2014; doi 10.1002/ mren.201400048).

  • Scott, A.J., A. Nabifar, C.M. Madhuranthakam and A. Penlidis (2015). Bayesian design of experiments applied to a complex polymerization system: Nitrile butadiene rubber production in a train of CSTRs. Macromol. Theory and Simul., 24 (1), 13-27.

  • Izadi, H., K.M.E. Stewart and A. Penlidis (2014). Role of contact electrification and electrostatic interactions in gecko adhesion. J. Roy. Soc. Interface, 11 (98), 371-374.

  • Amintowlieh, Y., C. Tzoganakis and A. Penlidis (2014). The effect of depth and duration of UV radiation on polypropylene modification via photoinitiation. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 131, 41021-41031 (accepted, May 13, 2014, doi 10.1002/APP.41021.)

  • Riahinezhad, M., N. Kazemi, N.T. McManus and A. Penlidis (2014). Effect of ionic strength on the reactivity ratios of acrylamide/ acrylic acid (sodium acrylate) copolymerization. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 131 (20) (accepted, May 2, 2014, doi: 10.1002/APP.40949).

  • Hernandez-Ortiz, J.C., E. Vivaldo-Lima, M.A.Dube and A. Penlidis (2014). Modeling of network formation in the atom transfer radical copolymerization (ATRP) of vinyl/divinyl monomers using a multifunctional polymer molecule approach. Macromol. Theory Simul., accepted Mar 2014.

  • Scott, A.J., A. Nabifar and A. Penlidis (2014). Branched and crosslinked polymers synthesized through NMRP: Quantitative indicators for network homogeneity? Macromol. React. Eng., 8 (9), 639-657. Featured in MaterialsViews (March, 2014).

  • Kazemi, N., T.A. Duever and A. Penlidis (2014). Demystifying the estimation of reactivity ratios for terpolymerization systems. AIChE J., 60 (5), 1752-1766. (This paper was based on a conference presentation at AIChE Conf., Nov 2013, San Francisco, identified by the industrial session chair as the ‘best presentation of the session’, paper # 432c).
  • Hernandez-Ortiz, J.C., E. Vivaldo-Lima, M.A. Dube and A. Penlidis (2014). Modelling of network formation in reversible addition-fragmentation transfer (RAFT) copolymerization of vinyl/divinyl monomers using a multifunctional polymer molecule approach. Macromol. Theory and Simul., 23 (3), 147-169.
  • Kazemi, N., B.H. Lessard, M. Maric, T.A. Duever and A. Penlidis (2014). Reactivity ratio estimation in Radical copolymerization: from preliminary estimates to optimal design of experiments. Ind. & Eng. Chem. Res., 53 (18), 7305-7312.

  • Scott, A.J., A. Nabifar, J.C. Hernandez-Ortiz, N.T. McManus, E. Vivaldo-Lima and A. Penlidis (2014). Crosslinking nitroxide-mediated radical polymerization of styrene with divinylbenzene. Eur. Polym. J., 51, 87-111.

  • Sardashti, P., C. Tzoganakis, M.A. Polak and A. Penlidis (2014). Radiation induced long chain branching in high density polyethylene through a reactive extrusion process. Macromol. React. Eng., 8 (2), 100-111  (doi 10.1002/mren.201300134).

  • Sardashti, P., A.J. Scott, C. Tzoganakis, M.A. Polak and A. Penlidis (2014). Effect of temperature on environmental stress cracking resistance and crystal structure of polyethylene. J. Macromol. Sci., Pure and Appl.Chem., 51 (3), 189-202.

  • Izadi, H., K. Sarikhani and A. Penlidis (2013). Instabilities of teflon AF thin films in alumina nanochannels and adhesion of bi-level Teflon AF nanopillars. Nanotechnology, 24, 505306 (12 pp).

  • Izadi, H. and A. Penlidis (2013). Polymeric bio-inspired dry adhesives: van der Waals or electrostatic interactions? Macromol. React. Eng., 7 (11), 588-608.Featured in MaterialsViews, Nov. 2013.

  • Riahinezhad, M., N. Kazemi, N. McManus and A. Penlidis (2013). Optimal estimation of reactivity ratios for acrylamide/acrylic acid copolymerization. J. Polym. Sci., Polym. Chem., 51, 4819-4827.

  • Kazemi, N., T.A. Duever and A. Penlidis (2013).Design of experiments for reactivity ratio estimation in multi-component polymerizations using the Error-in-Variables approach. Macromol. Theory Simul., 22, 261- 272. Selected to feature in Materials Views.

  • Scott, A.J. and A. Penlidis (2013). Nitrile rubber reactor operation troubleshooting with Principal Component Analysis. J. Macromol. Sci., Pure and Appl. Chem., 50, 803-811.

  • Izadi, H., M. Golmakani and A. Penlidis (2013). Enhanced adhesion and friction by electrostatic interactions  of double-level Teflon nanopillars. Soft Matter, 9, 1985-1996.
  • Kazemi, N., T.A. Duever and A. Penlidis (2013).  A powerful estimation scheme with the error-in-variables-model for nonlinear cases:  Reactivity ratio estimation examples.  Comput. and Chem. Eng., 48, 200-208.

  • Madhuranthakam, C.M., and A. Penlidis (2013).  Improved operating scenarios for the production of acrylonitrile-butadiene emulsions.  Polym. Eng. Sci., 53 (1), 9-20.

  • Nabifar, A., J. Hernandez-Ortiz, E. Vivaldo-Lima and A. Penlidis (2013).  Cross-linking NMRP copolymerization from a Bayesian experimental design angle.  Macromol. Symp., 324, 19-32.

  • Stewart, K.M.E. and A. Penlidis (2013).  Novel test system for gas sensing materials and sensors.  Macromol. Symp., 324, 11-18.


University of Waterloo