Dr. Ali Dhinojwala

Dr. Ali Dhinojwala

Title: W. Gerald Austen Endowed Chair and H.A. Morton Professor
Dept/Program: School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering
Office: GDYR 423
Phone: 330-972-6246
Fax: 330-972-5290
Email: ali4@uakron.edu
Website: https://blogs.uakron.edu/dhinojwala/


Dr. Ali Dhinojwala, H.A. Morton Professor of Polymer Science, has been a part of the School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering (SPSPE) for over twenty years, first serving as a professor and then as the Department Chair from 2008-2012. He has served as the co-Principal Investigator of the Biomimicry Research Innovation Center (BRIC) since its inception in 2011, and during his time at the University has helped to hire several faculty members who teach here still today. His participation in the School as well as his dedication to building a successful team of faculty and staff made him a perfect fit as director.

Dr. Dhinojwala obtained a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University and spent two years as a research scientist at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After spending one year at GE Plastics, he joined The University of Akron in 1997.

His current research is in the areas of adhesion, friction, and wetting. His group has developed unique surface technique to study buried polymer interfaces. His recent interest is in understanding how geckos and spiders use adhesives for locomotion and prey capture. These studies have led his team to develop synthetic adhesives using aligned carbon nanotubes. His latest passion is on developing structural colors, a strategy inspired by bird colors.


Dhinojwala’s research is focused in the area of interfacial science. His group is using infrared-visible sum-frequency-generation spectroscopy (SFG) techniques to study fundamental problems in adhesion, wetting, and friction. They have developed approaches to couple SFG and mechanics together to relate macroscopic properties such as adhesion and friction with the structure and dynamics of interfacial molecules. His group is applying this fundamental knowledge of interfacial science to design new materials inspired by nature.

As part of the Biomimicry Research Center (BRIC) at the University of Akron and in collaboration with faculty members in the BRIC program, his group works on gecko adhesion, spider silk, mussel adhesion, and structural colors inspired by birds and other organisms. His research work is supported by National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and Industries.


Google Scholar | ResearchGate | Ohio Innovation Exchange

  • Patil A, Heil CM, Vanthournout B, Singla S, Hu Z, Ilavsky J, Gianneschi NC, Shawkey MD, Sinha SK, Jayaraman A, Dhinojwala A, “Modeling Structural Colors from Disordered One-Component Colloidal Nanoparticle-Based Supraballs Using Combined Experimental and Simulation Techniques”, ACS Materials Letters 23 Aug 2022 4(9):1848-1854 Link

  • Maksuta D, Dalvi S, Gujrati A, Pastewka L, Jacobs TDB, Dhinojwala A, “Dependence of adhesive friction on surface roughness and elastic modulus”, Soft Matter 10 Aug 2022 18(31):5843-5849 Link

  • Amarpuri G, Dhopatkar N, Blackledge TA, Dhinojwala A, “Molecular Changes in Spider Viscid Glue As a Function of Relative Humidity Revealed Using Infrared Spectroscopy”, ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering 27 Jul 2022 8(8):3354-3360 Link

  • Garner AM, Wilson MC, Wright C, Russell AP, Niewiarowski PH, Dhinojwala A, “Parameters of the adhesive setae and setal fields of the Jamaican radiation of anoles (Dactyloidae: Anolis ): potential for ecomorphology at the microscopic scale”, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 26 Jul 2022 137(1):85-99 Link

  • Merriman S, Chandra D, Borowczak M, Dhinojwala A, Benko D, “Simultaneous determination of additive concentration in rubber using ATR-FTIR spectroscopy”, Spectrochimica Acta Part A Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy 12 Jul 2022 281:121614 Link

  • Palecek AM, Garner AM, Klittich MR, Stark AY, Scherger JD, Bernard C, Niewiarowski PH, Dhinojwala A, “An investigation of gecko attachment on wet and rough substrates leads to the application of surface roughness power spectral density analysis”, Scientific Reports 7 Jul 2022 12(1):11556 Link

  • Heil CM, Patil A, Dhinojwala A, Jayaraman A, “Computational Reverse-Engineering Analysis for Scattering Experiments (CREASE) with Machine Learning Enhancement to Determine Structure of Nanoparticle Mixtures and Solutions”, ACS Central Science 1 Jul 2022 8(7):996-1007 Link

  • Patil A, Heil CM, Vanthournout B, Bleuel M, Singla S, Hu Z, Gianneschi NC, Shawkey MD, Sinha SK, Jayaraman A, Dhinojwala A, “Structural Color Production in Melanin‐Based Disordered Colloidal Nanoparticle Assemblies in Spherical Confinement”, Advanced Optical Materials 29 Dec 2021 10(5):2102162 Link

  • Singla S, Htut KZ, Zhu R, Davis A, Ma J, Ni QZ, Burkart MD, Maurer C, Miyoshi T, Dhinojwala A, “Isolation and Characterization of Allomelanin from Pathogenic Black Knot Fungusa Sustainable Source of Melanin”, ACS Omega 14 Dec 2021 6(51):35514-35522 Link

  • Narayanan A, Dhinojwala A, Joy A, “Design principles for creating synthetic underwater adhesives”, Chemical Society Reviews 29 Nov 2021 50(23):13321-13345 Link


  • 1994 Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Northwestern University
  • 1986 B.Tech., Chemical Eng., Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India