Academy of Dental Materials

Paffenbarger Award

The Academy of Dental Materials (ADM) sponsors several programs aimed at encouraging students to conduct research in dental materials and hopefully to pursue careers in academics. One of these programs is the George C. Paffenbarger Student Research Award, which has been continuously awarded by the ADM since 1986.

Who was George Paffenbarger?

George C Paffenbarger (1902-1985) graduated from Ohio State University in 1924. He was associated with his father in the practice of dentistry in McArthur,Ohio from 1924-25. Following this, he was an extern at the Palama Settlement Dental Clinic, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1925-26; instructor in the College of Dentistry, Ohio State University, 1927-28. George C. Paffenbarger then joined the Research Unit at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, where he worked from 1929 to 1974. Now known as the ADA Foundation’s Paffenbarger Research Center (PRC), it was renamed in his honor in 1985. The high-speed contra-angle handpiece, the panoramic x-ray technique, and composite restorative materials were developed at the National Bureau of Standards while Dr. Paffenbarger was director of the ADA Research Unit. He was an internationally recognized authority on dental materials and a pioneer in the development of specifications and standards for testing materials. He was an author of over 170 publications, developer of specifications for the American Dental Association, lecturer, and teacher. His contributions have revolutionized the concepts, ideas, and practices of dental materials in the military and civilian sectors. He received the IADR Wilmer Souder Distinguished Scientist Award in 1958. He was the first recipient of the ADA’s scientific fellowship and he received honorary D.Sc. degrees from Georgetown University, Ohio State University, and the College of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He held both an honorary M.D.Sc. degree (1959) and a D.Sc. degree (1961) from Nihon University (Tokyo), the latter having been awarded at the time he was a visiting professor in dentistry at Nihon University. In 1972, he received the International Miller Prize from the President of Mexico, which is awarded only every five years and established in 1908 by the Federation Dentaire Internationale. Although he retired officially in 1968, he continued to work at the laboratory until 1984.

The ADM Paffenbarger Award

The award was created in 1987 to recognize annually the best paper in the field of Dental Materials. The idea was first muted in 1986 by Lyle Zardiackas, who was the first corporate liaison of the ADM EC and he was very active raising money for the ADM. Zack first brought up the idea of the award and helped with all the planning and knew George Paffenbarger very well. The plaque was designed by Lyle Zardiackas and Grayson W. (Bill) Marshall.

At the 1989 ADM Board meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, it was decided that the Paffenbarger award would be based either on a Journal or Transactions, and the first winner would be identified by December, 1989. However, in the The ADM Newsletter of the Fall of 1991 it was reported: “In the future, the Paffenbarger Award will be given at the ADM annual meeting on the basis of student presentations. The next award following this procedure was presented to Alaa M. El-Araby in 1993.” This is how things remained until 2007 when the Paffenbarger Award was extended to offer a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize. The value of the award has increased substantially over the years and currently stands at:


1st Prize: $1750+ free registration the following year.

2nd Prize: $1250+ free registration the following year.

3rd Prize: $1000+ free registration the following year.


To be eligible for consideration for the Paffenbarger award you must be a student member of the Academy of Dental Materials who does not hold a Ph.D. at the time you apply for the award. You will also be required to attend the Academy of Dental Materials Annual Meeting and give a short presentation of your project.  At the time you submit your abstract, you will be required to indicate if you wish to be considered for the Paffenbarger Award.  (There will be an award application checkbox)  Please note that previous Paffenbarger Award winners are not eligible for this competition.

Awards will be presented at the Awards Ceremony, and include free registration to attend the meeting next year.

2010 1st Prize Matjaz Golobič University of Ljubljana Slovenia
2010 2nd Prize Pekka Mehtälä University of Oulu Finland
2010 3rd Prize Claudine Wulfman Paris Descartes University France
2011 1st Prize CH Zanchi Federal University of Pelotas Brazil
2011 2nd Prize LH Silva University Estadual Paulista Brazil
2011 3rd Prize RS Williamson University of Mississippi USA
2012 1st Prize DLS Scheffel UNESP Brazil
2012 2nd Prize VE Salgado Federal Fluminense University Brazil
2012 3rd Prize AS Oliveira Federal University of Pelotas Brazil
2013 1st Prize A Ionescu University Of Milan Italy
2013 2nd Prize JD Padovano University of Illinois, Chicago USA
2013 3rd Prize A Frasetto University of Trieste Italy
2014 1st Prize LD Randolph Université Catholique De Louvain Belgium
2014 2nd Prize A Al-Haddad University of Manchester UK
2014 3rd Prize R Seseogullari-Dirihan University of Turku Finland
2015 1st Prize MR Kaizer Federal University of Pelotas Brazil
2015 2nd Prize M Wendler University of Erlangen-Nuremberg Germany
2015 3rd Prize BU Peres University of British Columbia Canada
2015 Commendation S Jain University of Mississippi Medical Center USA
2016 1st Prize S Sirovica University of Aston UK
2016 2nd Prize A Arata Nuclear and Energy Research Inst. Brazil
2016 3rd Prize S Gali M S Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences India
2017 1st Prize B Fronza Piracicaba Dental School, UNICAMP Brazil
2017 2nd Prize D Soares Araraquara School of Dentistry, UNESP Brazil
2017 3rd Prize D Oliveira Piracicaba Dental School, UNICAMP Brazil
2018 1st Prize I Garcia Federal Department of Conservative Dentistry Brazil
2018 2nd Prize L Mendes Barcelos Federal University of Uberlândia Brazil
2018 3rd Prize V Mosquim University of São Paulo Brazil
2019 1st Prize Kangmin Kim University of Colorado Boulder United States
2019 2nd Prize Humberto Escobedo University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus United States
2019 3rd Prize Robert Bailey University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus United States
2020 (No Awards)
2021 1st Prize Aya Ali University of Mississippi Medical Center United States
2021 2nd Prize Maria Luísa Leite Araraquara School of Dentistry, São Paulo State University Brazil
2021 3rd Prize Jiahe (Dylan) He University of Minnesota, School of Dentistry United States

Previous award winners

1989 Akane Akashi Kyushu University Japan
1993 Alaa M. El-Araby Alexandria University Egypt
1994 Steven R. Armstrong University of Iowa USA
1995 Akihisa Urayama Tokushima University Japan
1996 Andrea Graf University of Erlangen-Nuremberg Germany
1997 Hae-Hyoung Lee Wonkwang University South Korea
1998 Anne Raskin Université de la Méditerranée, Aix-Marseille II France
2000 Alvaro Della Bona University of Passo Fundo Brazil
2001 Sylvia Foppiano University of California San Francisco USA
2002 Reiko Kato Tokyo Medical and Dental University Japan
2003 Lulwa Al-Turki University of Illinois at Chicago USA
2004 Andre F Reis Piracicaba School of Dentistry Brazil
2005 Fernanda Calheiros University of São Paulo Brazil
2006 Marcelo M Pinto University of São Paulo Brazil
From 2007 Award extended to include 2nd and 3rd prizes UNIVERSITY COUNTRY
2007 1st Prize Vinicius Rosa University of São Paulo Brazil
2007 2nd Prize Cristina Yuri Okada University of São Paulo Brazil
2007 3rd Prize Hatem El-Damanhoury Suez Canal University Egypt
2008 1st Prize Paul Hooi Dublin Dental School and Hospital Ireland
2008 2nd Prize Yu-Chih Chiang Ludwig-Maximilians-University – Munich Germany
2008 3rd Prize Muhanad Hatamleh University of Manchester UK
2009 1st Prize Julian Leprince Université Catholique de Louvain Belgium
2009 2nd Prize Márcia Borba University of São Paulo Brazil
2009 3rd Prize Renan Belli Federal University of Santa Catarina Brazil

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