Alan Gent, a retired professor of polymer physics and polymer engineering at the University of Akron, died Sept. 20 at his home in Ravenna with his wife, Ginger, at his side.

He was 84.

A pioneer in adhesion research and rubber engineering, Mr. Gent was inducted into the Ohio Science, Technology and Industry Hall of Fame and the inaugural Tire Technology International Lifetime Achievement Award.

He earned three degrees from the University of London, conducted polymer research in London and joined UA in 1961, retiring in 1994. He was the scientific adviser to the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.’s Research Division for more than 50 years.

Along the way, he served on the 11-member National Research Council panel that oversaw the redesign of the space shuttle’s solid-fuel rockets in the aftermath of the Challenger explosion.

“Truly, Dr. Gent was a visionary scientist and educator,” Stephen Cheng, dean of the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, said in a news release.

Details about burial services were not immediately available.