Dr. Al Schwab


  • Ph.D. Polymer Science, University of Akron (Akron, OH)
  • B.S. Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Champaign County, IL)

Professional Experience: 

  • Dr. Schwab joined the Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Science at Appalachain in 2005.
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Haverford College, Haverford, PA 
    • Mentors: Julio C. de Paula, Walter F. Smith, and Robert Fairman 
    • Molecular self-assembly


Dr. Schwab’s research involves the development of rubbery materials employing metal-coordination complexes as crosslinks.  Using metal-coordination complexes rather than covalent bonds as crosslinks imparts the rubbery materials with enhanced recyclability, an electrically switchable rubber-to-liquid transition, and the ability to act as mechanical sensors.  Students working on this project are exposed to a wide range of topics including organic synthesis, liquid chromatography, spectroscopy, mechanical testing, and thermal characterization.  In addition to materials science, Dr. Schwab’s research interests include studying the heat produced by yeast fermentation using a fermentation calorimeter. Measuring heat production in real-time can serve as a gauge of fermentation progress and quality.

Selected Publications: 

Williams, Z. H.; Burwell, E. D.; Chiomento, A. E.; Demsko, K. J.; Pawlik, J. T.; Harris, S. O.; Yarolimek, M. R.; Whitney, M. B.; Hambourger, M.; Schwab, A. D. Rubber-Elasticity and Electrochemical Activity of Iron(II) Tris(bipyridine) Crosslinked Poly(dimethylsiloxane) Networks. Soft Matter 2017, 13, 6542-6554.

Kovaric, B. C.; Schwab, A. D.; Twomey, M. A.; Kokona, B.; de Paula, J. C.; Fairman, R. Self-Assembly of Peptide Porphyrin Complexes: Towards the Development of Smart Biomaterials. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2006, 128, 4166-5167.

Schwab, A. D.; Smith, D. E.; Bond-Watts, B.; Johnston, D. E.; Hone, J.; Johnson, A. T.; de Paula, J. C.; Smith, W. F. Photoconductivity of Self-Assembled Porphyrin Nanorods. Nano Lett. 2004, 4, 1261-1265.

Schwab, A. D.; Smith, D. E.; Rich, C. S.; Young, E. R.; Smith, W. F.; de Paula, J. C. Porphyrin Nanorods. J. Phys. Chem. B 2003, 107, 11339-11345.

Schwab, A. D.; Dhinojwala, A. Relaxation of a Rubbed Polystyrene Surface. Phys. Rev. E 2003, 67, 021802. 24

Title: Associate Professor, Research Mentor
Department: Chemistry

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-6808

Office address
GWH 349