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Polymer science is an interdisciplinary area comprised of chemical, physical, engineering, processing, and theoretical aspects. It also has enormous impact on contemporary materials science. Its goal is to provide the basis for the creation and characterization of polymeric materials and an understanding for structure/property relationships. Polymer science is of increasing importance for everyone's daily life. Many modern functional materials, gears, and devices have polymers as integral parts. Not surprisingly, roughly 30% of all scientists in the chemical industry work in the field of polymers.
Despite its importance today and potential for future economic growth, there was no adequate university-level study program for polymer science in Germany. The Berlin-Brandenburg Polymer Society (Berlin-Brandenburgischer Verband für Polymerforschung e.V.) became aware of this misbalance and initiated a two-year Master of Science polymer program, which started in the winter semester of 1999/2000. It was jointly designed by polymer scientists of the three Berlin universities, Free University Berlin (FU), Humboldt University Berlin (HU), Technical University Berlin (TU) and the nearby University of Potsdam (UP) with the goal in mind to be competitive with renowned polymer centers abroad. To make it more attractive to foreign students, the program is held in English.
The challenging interdisciplinary program benefits from the close proximity of several other Berlin and Potsdam scientific centers such as the institutes of the Max Planck, Fraunhofer, and Helmholtz Societies, including the BESSY II synchrotron. The universities are very well equipped with state-of-the-art technical equipment and laboratories, specialty work shops, large service units, and modern computer facilities. The work of the polymer scientists in charge of the Polymer Science program is internationally renowned and endowed by industry, state, and private grants and awards.