Headed by Dr. Andrew McNitt, the Center for Sports Surface Research is a multi-departmental effort involving numerous faculty and staff.

Members of the Center for Sports Surface Research

Dr. Andrew McNittDr. Andrew McNitt, Director of the Center for Sports Surface Research

Areas of Expertise: Maximizing the safety and playability of athletic field playing surfaces through development of improved construction and maintenance techniques. Current projects include: Evaluation of the playing surface characteristics of infilled synthetic turf systems; Evaluation the effectiveness of antimicrobial and disinfectants on survival of S. aureus on synthetic turf. Dr. McNitt is currently the technical advisor to the NFL's Ground Keepers Association.

Thomas SerensitsThomas Serensits, M.S. Agronomy, Manager of the Center for Sports Surface Research

Serensits has practical experience in the NFL working for the Philadelphia Eagles and has extensive research experience as a research technician at Virginia Tech. Tom's masters thesis evaluated the surface stability of NFL playing fields.

Dianne PetrunakDianne Petrunak, M.S. Plant Pathology, Primary Research Technologist

Petrunak has an M.S. in plant pathology and has extensive research experience. She was the primary researcher implementing the S. aureus studies conducted at Penn State and has been implementing research on infilled synthetic turf systems for seven years.

Dr. John ChallisDr. John Challis, Director of Biomechanics Lab, Department of Kinesiology

Areas of Expertise: Measurement and simulation modeling of the human musculo-skeletal system, with the aim of examining the role, function, and coordination of muscle in vivo. Development of improved biomechanical measurement protocols.

Dr. Gary PerdewDr. Gary Perdew, Director of the Center for Molecular Toxicology and Carcinogenesis

Areas of Expertise: Mechanisms of toxicity of dioxin and related compounds. Ah receptor mediated signal transduction. Role of heat shock proteins and co-chaperones in soluble receptor and kinase function. Physiological role of the Ah receptor.

Herbert CombsHerb Combs, Associate Athletic Director

Combs is in charge of preparation and maintenance of all outdoor athletic surfaces at Penn State. Mr. Combs received his B.S. degree from Penn State and previously held a similar position at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Evangelos ManiasDr. Evangelos Manias, Leader of Center for the Study of Polymeric Systems

Areas of Expertise: Novel nanometer-structured polymers and nanocomposites, as they lead to the next generation of materials, enable new applications, and unravel the relevant science in the field. This approach spans the range of engineering development of nanocomposites, chemistry-processing-structure-property-relationships, synthesis and characterization, experimental physical chemistry and polymer science, and molecular modeling theory.