Rowan Group: Stuart Rowan

Barry L. MacLean Professor for Molecular Engineering Innovation and Enterprise

Rowan Group


  • Phone
  • Address

    Eckhardt Research Center

    Room 211

    5640 South Ellis Avenue

    Chicago, IL 60637

  • Email
  • Assistant
    Tracy Walker


The Rowan Group focuses on studying the chemistry of non-covalent interactions (supramolecular chemistry). This is embodied by studying the synthesis of metallosupramolecular and stimuli-resonsive polymers; isolation and utilization of cellulose nanocrystals in biomimetic and porous systems; and finally, reversible covalent chemistry.


Stuart Rowan is a Professor in Molecular Engineering at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering. He has a secondary appointment in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Chicago.

Stuart was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1969 and grew up in Troon, Aryshire on the west coast of Scotland.  He received his B.Sc. (Hons.) in Chemistry in 1991 from the University of Glasgow and stayed there for his Ph.D. where he worked on Supramolecular Crystal Engineering of Inclusion Compounds in the laboratory of Dr David D. MacNicol, receiving his Ph.D. in 1995. In 1994 he moved to the Chemistry Department at the University of Cambridge to work with Prof. Jeremy K. M. Sanders FRS. There he carried out research on the development of Dynamic Combinatorial Libraries focusing on the transesterification reaction. In 1996 he was appointed a Research Associate of Girton College, Cambridge. In 1998 he moved across the Atlantic (and the continental U.S.) to continue his postdoctoral studies with Prof. Sir J. Fraser Stoddart FRS at the University of California, Los Angeles (now Northwestern). While in Southern California he developed numerous new methods for the construction of interlocked species, specifically using dynamic covalent chemistry and “surrogate” stoppers. In 1999 he was appointed as an Assistant Professor to the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2005 and became a Full Professor in 2008. He is a NSF CAREER awardee, received the CWRU School of Engineering Research Award in 2008, the Morley Medal in 2013 and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He is the Deputy Editor of the ACS Macro Letters (, and on the editorial advisory board for the Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry, Chemical Science, and J. Macromolecular Sci, Pure & Applied Chem. He has published over 125 scientific papers and reviews. His research interests focus on the potential of dynamic chemistry (covalent and non-covalent) in the construction and properties of structurally dynamic polymeric materials. His group works on supramolecular polymers, self-healing materials, stimuli-responsive material and nanocomposites, metal-containing polymers, gels, biomaterials, and developing new synthetic methods for the construction of complex polymeric architectures.

To download a copy of Professor Rowan's most updated biography, please click here.

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