Harry Allcock works at the interdisciplinary junction between inorganic and organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, biomedicine, and materials science. His insight that incorporating inorganic elements into the backbone structure of polymers could give rise to a class of polymers with never before seen characteristics has led to several hundred new polymers with applications in medicine, aerospace materials, batteries, fuel cells, solar cells, and photonic materials.
Allcock joined Penn State in 1966. He was named an Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry, the highest honor bestowed by Penn State,
He has obtained 55 university patents on his discoveries, and in 2014 was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for his pioneering research in phosphazene polymer chemistry and its use in the field of biomedical materials. He is the author of more than 650 papers on phosphazene chemistry. His collaborations with engineers and physicians has led to numerous practical applications of phosphazene science,
many of which are still in development.