Jeffrey T. Koberstein


810 S.W. Mudd
Mail Code 4721

Tel(212) 854-3120
Fax(212) 854-3054

Jeffrey T. Koberstein is an accomplished researcher having successfully guided 41 PhD theses to matriculation. His group has published more than 140 manuscripts and the impact of his work is reflected by a current h-index of 48. Recent fundamental research has provided his group with an extraordinarily versatile platform of technologies for polymer synthesis and surface modification using a molecular building block approach. These base technologies are employed in a wide variety of fields including nanoparticle surface modification, photochemical surface modification and patterning, control of interfacial reactions and functionality, the synthesis of gels and block copolymers, and the synthesis of smart polyacetals and their drug conjugates as drug delivery vehicles.

Research Interests

Polymer Surface and Interface Structure and Thermodynamics, Application of Click Chemistry to the Synthesis of Well-Characterized, Nanoparticle Surface Characterization and Modification, Smart Polymers.

Research Areas

The Koberstein group is highly interactive conducting collaborations with researchers from diverse fields: developing molecular models of smart polymers in collaboration with scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, producing antimicrobial creams and devices with researchers from the Columbia Medical Center, creating new polymeric drug delivery vehicles for the treatment of pancreatic cancer with Columbia’s interventional endoscopists, and creating new time release products with industrial scientists.

Koberstein received a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin in 1974 and a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Massachusetts in 1979.   He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He has received numerous teaching and research awards and has been elected to leadership positions in several professional societies.



  • Postdoctoral fellow, Centre de Recherches sur les Macromolecules,Strasbourg, France (NATO and CNRS postdoctoral fellowships), 1979-1980.


  • Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, Princeton University, 1980-86
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin, 1981    
  • Visiting Research Scientist, IBM Research Labs, San Jose, California, 1985        
  • Associate Professor Chemical Engineering, University of Connecti­cut, 1986-89
  • Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of Connecticut, 1989-99
  • Guest Professor, Max-Plank Institüt, Mainz, Germany, 1993-94
  • Director, Polymer Science Program, University of Connecticut, 1994-98
  • Director, NSF Graduate Traineeship Program in Environmental Aspects of Plastics Recycling, University of Connecticut, 1994-99
  • Co-Director, Biomaterials Design Initiative, University of Connecticut, 1996-99
  • Distinguished Professor of Engineering, University of Connecticut, 1998-99
  • Professor, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Columbia University, 2000-03
  • Chair, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Columbia University, 2000-05
  • Co-Director, NSF IGERT grant on Soft Materials, Columbia University, 2002-2009
  • Percy and Vida Hudson Professor of Chemical Engineering, Columbia University, 2003-present
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship, Kyushu University, 2004
  • Guest Professor, Kyushu University, 2004
  • Guest Professor, Universite Monreal, 2004
  • IRG leader Columbia NSF MRSEC program, 2007-2008


  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Material Engineering and Sciences Division: 2nd-Vice Chair: 2004, 1st Vice-chair: 2005, Program Chair: 2005, Division Chair: 2006, Past Chair: 2007
  • American Physical Society, Division of High Polymer Physics: Publication Comm.: Chair-1986, Program Comm.: 1989, 1990-Chair, Education Committee: 1994-Chair, Padden Award Committee: 1994-Chair, Ford Prize Committee: 1995, 1996-Chair, Executive Committee: Vice-Chair of Division-1994, Chair Elect of Division-1995, Chair of Division-1996, Past Chair of Division-1997
  • American Chemical Society, Polymer Division, Polymer Science and Engineering Division
  • North American Thermal Analysis Society, Awards Committee: 1987
  • Society of Plastics Engineers, Engineering Properties and Structure Division, Board of Directors: 1989-1990
  • Adhesion Society, Program Chair: 2003
  • Gordon Conference on Adhesion, Vice-Chair: 2006, Chair: 2009


  • Arthur K. Doolittle Award, Amer. Chem. Soc., Div. Polym. Sci. Eng., 1984        
  • ANTEC Best Paper Award, Society of Plastics Engineers, Plast. Anal. Div., 1985
  • American Cyanamid Academic Award, 1990
  • Elected Fellow, American Physical Society, 1992
  • Elected Member, Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1994
  • Rogers CorporationTeaching Award, UCONN Department of Chemical Engineering, 1998
  • Distinguished Engineering Professorship, UCONN School of Engineering, 1998
  • Percy and Vida Hudson Chair in Chemical Engineering, Columbia University, 2002
  • NSF Special Creativity Award, 2005
  • Stine Award, AIChE, Materials Engineering and Science Division, 2006
  • Elected Fellow, AIChE, 2007
  • IUPAC Grande Conference Lecturer at the University of Montreal, 2008
  • Columbia School of Engineering Distinguished Teacher Award, 2011
  • Kim Faculty Involvement Award, Columbia School of Engineering, 2015


“I have many strong opinions, some of which I agree with” George H. W. Bush 

Jeffrey T. Koberstein