BOSTON - SPE leaders presented seven awards during a May 9 luncheon at ANTEC '95. Each winner received a $2,500honorarium and an acrylic plaque. Frank Nissel, president of Welex Inc., a manufacturer of extruders in Blue Bell, Pa., received the International Award in Business Management.
Nissel, who founded Welex in 1967, gained early recognition as an inventor in extrusion machinery and dies. His innovations include the specific gravity density column, a patent for the Autoflex Die, development of an early sheet coextrusion line and work on vented extrusion.
Welex extruders are running in more than 70 countries.
Nissel donated his cash award to the SPE International Scholarship Fund.
Robert S. Langer, who has developed controlled-release polymeric delivery systems for drugs, received the John W. Hyatt Award for Service to Mankind.
Langer, a professor of chemistry and biomedical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1991. His patents have been licensed and commercialized by 15 companies involved in biomaterials or polymeric drug delivery systems.
George S. Nalle Jr., founder of Nalle Plastics Inc., a netting extruder in Austin, Texas, received the Fred O. Conley Award in Plastics Engineering/Technology.
The holder of 26 U.S. patents, Nalle invented a way to extrude bilayer plastic net, avoiding the knots associated with woven metallic or synthetic fibers. The invention, patented in 1962, opened the door to significant medical advances, including the artificial kidney, reverse osmosis membrane and dialysis of circulating blood.
The semiconductor industry also used the netting to make ion-free water.
By creating triangular cross-section filaments precisely aligned for minimal fouling, Nalle improved the flux rate of membrane support nets, used to protect polished metal surfaces, hold seedlings for reforestation, soil stabilization and vegetable bags.
Nalle doubled the amount of his award, to $5,000, and donated it to the Central Texas Section of SPE.
Gerhard Wegner, director of the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, received the award for Outstanding Achievement in Plastics Research.
The Max Planck Institute is a major global center for polymer scientists. Wegner is internationally recognized for his contributions to the chemistry and physics of polymers. SPE said his work has had a major impact on studies of the electronic, optical and mechanical properties of polymers.
His current research has centered on novel polymeric solids based on the self-organization of macromolecules. That research could lead to materials with a high refractive index, ionic conduction, electronic conduction, special mechanical properties and nonlinear optical properties.
Wegner was unable to attend the Boston ANTEC.
Stephen A. Orroth Jr., professor of plastics engineering at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, received the award for Outstanding Achievement in Plastics Education.
SPE said Orroth received numerous nominations for the award from his colleagues and former students, who called him an innovative educator. He keeps his students up-to-date on the latest plastics technology and industry issues.
Orroth has taught thousands of students since joining the Lowell faculty in 1966. His former students range from engineers to scientists to chief executive officers.
SPE also gave two Plastics Products Design Awards atANTEC:
A glass-reinforced nylon manifold for General Motors Corp.'s 1995 Cadillac Northstar V-8 engine won in the industrial design category. Jack Elder and Leonard Sackett, both engineers at GM Powertrain Group in Warren, Mich., accepted the award. The manifold weighs about eight pounds less than the one it replaced, a 50 percent weight reduction. It reduced the number of parts from 118 to 33 and improved engine performance. The fusible-core molded part was developed and made by Freudenberg NOK at its plant in Manchester, N.H.
A disposable, full-face oxygen mask developed by Respironics Inc. of Murrysville, Pa., won in the consumer products category. Eric Starr, a mechanical engineer, designed the product. The molder is Namsco Plastics Industries Inc. of New Kensington, Pa. Namsco Plastics Industries first molds a polycarbonate shell. Then, onto the shell, the company insert molds a flexible vinyl part that fits around the patient's nose and mouth. Other plastic parts include a three-part polycarbonate valve that uses insert molding for the metal and magnet components.