Craig Hawker

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Craig Hawker
Born (1964-01-11) 11 January 1964 (age 58)
Scientific career
FieldsSynthetic polymer chemistry, nanotechnology
InstitutionsMaterials Research Laboratory, University of California, Santa Barbara

Craig Jon Hawker (born 11 January 1964) is an Australian-born chemist. His research has focused on the interface between organic and polymer chemistry, with emphasis on the design, synthesis, and application of well-defined macromolecular structures in biotechnology, microelectronics, and surface science. Hawker holds more than 45 U.S. patents,[1] and he has co-authored over 300 papers in the areas of nanotechnology, materials science, and chemistry. He was listed as one of the top 100 most cited chemists worldwide over the decade 1992–2002,[2] and again in 2000–2010.[3]

In 2021, Hawker was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering for contributions to polymer chemistry through synthetic organic chemistry concepts and the advancement of molecular engineering principles. He is the director of the California Nanosystems Institute and holds a number of other laboratory directorships at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

He was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2022.[4]


Hawker was born in Australia and attended high school in Queensland. It was in high school that he developed his interest in chemistry because, as he put it, "it really allowed me to develop things with my hands. Chemistry is a very hands-on science."[5] He studied at the University of Queensland and graduated with a Chemistry degree.[6] He worked with Professor Alan R. Battersby at Cambridge University on his post-graduate studies achieving his PhD in bio-organic chemistry.[7] Hawker then moved to the United States to pursue post-graduate work at Cornell University in 1988.[8]

Research history[edit]

The California NanoSystems Institute building with mural at the University of California, Santa Barbara

In 1990, Hawker returned to Queensland as a Queen Elizabeth II Research fellow at the University of Queensland.[9] From 2004, he was a research staff member at the IBM Almaden Research Center in California.[10] Hawker is the director of the California NanoSystems Institute, co-director of the Materials Research Laboratory, and the Alan and Ruth Heeger Professor of Interdisciplinary Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara.[11]

Influence and research focus[edit]

In 2012, Hawker won the Centenary Prize from the Royal Society for developing strategies for the design of new polymers, which has had a major influence in the area and on those studying polymers.[12] In 2013, Hawker and another colleague invented Olaplex, a successful commercial product designed to relink hair bonds and to help reduce hair breakage.[13] In 2018, Olaplex won a patent infringement action against L'Oréal.[14] In 2015, Hawker was named as an American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow for "revolutionising materials research through the development of powerful synthetic methods and strategies for molecularly engineering functional macromolecules, inspiring scientists across multiple disciplines."[15] He also serves or has served as editor for journals, such as the Journal of Polymer Science,[16] and is on the editorial board for a number of journals of chemistry, including the International Journal of Polymeric Materials,[17] and the Journal of Polymer Science Part A.[18]

In 2017, Hawker was described as "one of the top materials scientists in the world, "[19] In 2018, he and his colleagues developed a "3D-printing technique that can produce objects with both rigid and flexible properties will allow scientists to make bioinspired structures in just a single stage."[20] This could lead to the development of structures with "mechanically and chemically distinct properties". Hawker is researching nanostructured materials in areas associated with microelectronics and biotechnology.[21]



  1. ^ "Patents by Inventor Craig J. Hawker". Justia Patents. Justia. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Hirsch index ranks top chemists". Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  3. ^ "TOP 100 CHEMISTS, 2000-2010". Clarivate Analytics. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  4. ^ "2022 NAS Election".
  5. ^ Ober, Christopher (7 February 2011). "Interview with Craig Hawker (YouTube)". University of California, Santa Barbara. Materials Research Laboratory.
  6. ^ "Craig J. Hawker: Biography". Hawker Group. University of California, Santa Barbara. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Executive Profile: Craig J. Hawker". Company Overview of Tricida. Bloomberg. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  8. ^ "Craig Hawker". Center for Nanotechnology in Society. University of California Center for Nanotechnology in Society. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  9. ^ "Craig J. Hawker". ACS: Chemistry for Life. Australian Chemical Society. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  10. ^ "Professor Craig Hawker Director, California Nanosystems Institute University of California, Santa Barbara". ARC Centre of Excellence Convergent and Bio-Nano Science and Technology. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Craig Hawker". UC Santa Barbara: Chemistry and Biology. University of California, Santa Barbara. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  12. ^ "UC Santa Barbara's Craig Hawker wins Centenary Prize for Chemistry". EurekaAlert!. AAAS. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  13. ^ Nhung, Nguyen (April 2015). "Olaplex: The Science Beind the Strand". Arches. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  14. ^ Hopewel, Bethan; Fred, Wu. "Olaplex v L'Oréal". Intellectual Property Magazine. Maritime Intelligence. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  15. ^ Sonia, Frenandez. "Materials Professor at UCSB Craig Hawker Named AAAS Fellow". Noozhawk. Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  16. ^ "Craig Hawker". Center for Nanotechnology in Society. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  17. ^ "Editorial Board EOV". International Journal of Polymeric Materials and Polymeric Biomaterials. Taylor & Francis Online. 63 (18): ebi. 2014. doi:10.1080/00914037.2015.943833. S2CID 216559276.
  18. ^ "Journal of Polymer Science Editor Craig Hawker Elected to Royal Society". Wiley. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  19. ^ Adela, Talbot (26 October 2017). "Governor General taps trio for top PhD honours". Western News. Western Univsity. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  20. ^ "Lighting the way to versatile 3D printing". Nature. 559 (7713): 155. 2018. Bibcode:2018Natur.559S.155.. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-05629-5. PMID 29991780. S2CID 51612869. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  21. ^ "Professor Craig J. Hawker". Bordeaux Polymer Conference – May 28–31, 2018. Bordeaux Polymer Conference. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  22. ^ "UCSB polymer chemist receives Overberger International Prize for creating innovative materials". News Medical Life Science. AZoNetwork. 2 June 2017. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  23. ^ "Awards". Belgian Polymner Group. Archived from the original on 19 September 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  24. ^ "Fellows List". National Academy of Inventors. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  25. ^ "Elected Fellows". AAAS. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  26. ^ "Centenary Prize Previous Winners". Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  27. ^ "Royal Society: New Fellows". 20 May 2010. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  28. ^ "Top 100 Chemists, 2000–2010". Clarivate Analytics. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  29. ^ "PMSE Fellows". Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  30. ^ "Interview: Craig Hawker". Chemistry in Australia. 76 (1): 13–14. 1 February 2009.