Wiggins named director of School of Polymers and High Performanc - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Wiggins named director of School of Polymers and High Performance Materials at Southern Miss

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

This is a news release from the University of Southern Mississippi

Buoyed by a record of excellence in research and leadership at The University of Southern Mississippi, Associate Professor Jeffrey Wiggins has been named the new director of the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials.

For the past year Wiggins has served as the school's interim director, filling a void left by longtime Director Dr. Robert Lochhead, who relinquished the title to spend more time in the classroom and laboratory.

"I am honored to have this opportunity to serve the School, College of Science and Technology and the University in this capacity," said Wiggins, who has been a member of the Southern Miss polymer science faculty since 2005. "I am particularly humbled by the confidence provided to me from my colleagues, students and the University administration."

Wiggins' research and teaching efforts have produced impressive results, including:

Developing a high performance football helmet cushioning system implemented by Rawlings Sporting Goods.Working closely with colleagues to create a partnership between the University and GE Aviation, which opened a new production plant in Ellisville, Miss., last spring.Establishing an advanced next generation aerospace materials development infrastructure at Southern Miss.Graduating five doctoral candidates from his personal mentorship.

"His leadership qualities and organizational skills make him an ideal fit for the position," said Dr. Patricia Biesiot, interim dean of the College of Science and Technology. "I look forward to working with Dr. Wiggins in his new role. He will help develop the next generation of exceptional faculty that continue the tradition of excellence in research and teaching we expect from the School."

Wiggins takes particular pride in the success rate polymer students have enjoyed in finding employment after graduation. Nearly 100 percent of undergraduates in the program find high-paying jobs immediately, while 100 percent of the graduate students have jobs waiting on them.

"Polymer Science offers a lifelong career and opportunity to truly make a difference in the world," said Wiggins. "Our students are hired by the world's leading corporations."

Wiggins had the idea for the advanced cushioning helmet when he approached Rawlings executives in August of 2008. At that point, Rawlings had not produced a football helmet in 20 years, and was only willing to attempt the project if it could produce one that stood out from the competition.

The Rawlings Neuro Responsive Gear (NRG) helmet includes dual protection inside the helmet combining a layer of foam reinforced by pneumatic cushioning made of pressurized "air bladders" that takes over and absorbs the energy from high-velocity contact, protecting the athlete.

Last April GE Aviation opened its new facility at the Howard Technology Park in Ellisville. Wiggins is leading teams of researchers currently working in polymer science labs at Southern Miss to create composite materials such as fan blades for the global marketplace.

These advanced materials are lightweight and durable which translates to fuel savings, lower energy costs and reduced maintenance for sophisticated jet engines. GE Aviation has committed to hiring 250 employees and investing more than $50 million by 2017 at the 340,000-square-foot plant.

Wiggins lists among his primary goals as the school's new director to "hire and develop the next generation of polymer science faculty" and "assure a rewarding ‘student experience' for all students in polymer science."

"You get out of your education what you put into it," said Wiggins. "If you join polymer science at Southern Miss, we are going to facilitate your journey, push your mind into places you do not understand you can reach, assure you a meaningful career, and help you achieve whatever it is you want in your professional life."

To learn more about the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials at Southern Miss, call 601.266.4868 or visit: http://www.usm.edu/polymer

About The University of Southern Mississippi
Founded in 1910, The University of Southern Mississippi is a comprehensive doctoral and research-driven university with a proud history and an eye on the future. As one of only 34 institutions in the nation accredited in art, dance, music and theatre, we are a haven for creativity and artistic expression. A dual-campus university, Southern Miss serves students on campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach, in addition to five teaching and research sites in Mississippi. We are among U.S. News & World Report's most popular universities and recognized by The Princeton Review for our commitment to sustainability. Our Center for Undergraduate Research affords our students meaningful research opportunities, and as a proven leader in innovation, we conduct transformative research that translates into real-world solutions. In the classroom or lab, on the playing field, or in the performance hall, we strive to have a positive impact not only on our students, but also the world around us. Further information is found at www.usm.edu.

-30-

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Ellisville man charged with murder of wife

    Ellisville man charged with murder of wife

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 5:58 PM EST2018-02-20 22:58:37 GMT
    Whitney G. Kitchens, 42, was charged with second degree murder. (Photo source: Jones County Sheriff's Dept.)Whitney G. Kitchens, 42, was charged with second degree murder. (Photo source: Jones County Sheriff's Dept.)

    An Ellisville man has been charged with murder in the shooting death of his wife. Jones County Sheriff's Deputies arrested Whitney G. Kitchens, 42, on Tuesday after responding to a shots fired complain on Oak Bowery Road in Ellisville, according to a Jones County Sheriff's Department press release.  Deputies were advised that the suspect had shot his wife multiple times. The victim, Erin Elizabeth Kitchens, 43, was pronounced dead at the scene. Whitney Kitc...

    More >>

    An Ellisville man has been charged with murder in the shooting death of his wife. Jones County Sheriff's Deputies arrested Whitney G. Kitchens, 42, on Tuesday after responding to a shots fired complain on Oak Bowery Road in Ellisville, according to a Jones County Sheriff's Department press release.  Deputies were advised that the suspect had shot his wife multiple times. The victim, Erin Elizabeth Kitchens, 43, was pronounced dead at the scene. Whitney Kitc...

    More >>
  • Hattiesburg pastor speaks at PRCC Black History Program

    Hattiesburg pastor speaks at PRCC Black History Program

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 5:57 PM EST2018-02-20 22:57:25 GMT
    Pastor Tony Reimonenq, Jr. speaks to students and faculty at an annual Black History Month program at PRCC in Hattiesburg Tuesday. Photo credit WDAM.Pastor Tony Reimonenq, Jr. speaks to students and faculty at an annual Black History Month program at PRCC in Hattiesburg Tuesday. Photo credit WDAM.

    The speaker at a Black History Month event in Hattiesburg Tuesday talked about the importance of faith.  Tony Reimonenq, Jr. is the executive pastor of West Point Baptist Church.  He addressed students and faculty at an annual Black History Month program at he Forrest County campus of Pearl River Community College. It was organized by the college's History and Humanities Club.  "The principle that the people before us exuded was faithfulness in spite of, puttin...

    More >>

    The speaker at a Black History Month event in Hattiesburg Tuesday talked about the importance of faith.  Tony Reimonenq, Jr. is the executive pastor of West Point Baptist Church.  He addressed students and faculty at an annual Black History Month program at he Forrest County campus of Pearl River Community College. It was organized by the college's History and Humanities Club.  "The principle that the people before us exuded was faithfulness in spite of, puttin...

    More >>
  • Walk-On's breaks ground on first MS location

    Walk-On's breaks ground on first MS location

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 4:29 PM EST2018-02-20 21:29:46 GMT
    Franchise owners break ground on the first Walk-On's location in Mississippi. (Photo Source: WDAM)Franchise owners break ground on the first Walk-On's location in Mississippi. (Photo Source: WDAM)

    A taste of the bayou is coming to the Hub City. Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar, a Baton Rouge-based restaurant, hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday.  

    More >>

    A taste of the bayou is coming to the Hub City. Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar, a Baton Rouge-based restaurant, hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday.  

    More >>
Powered by Frankly