The plastics industry long has been populated with the manner of remarkable people to be honored this year with induction to the Plastics Hall of Fame.
Founded in 1973 to recognize the extraordinary accomplishments of individuals who have significantly contributed to the industry's growth, the Hall has enshrined 99 such achievers to date.
This year, the class includes the first woman inductee, Stephanie L. Kwolek, another notable milestone for the industry.
Kwolek, who had a distinguished 40-year career at DuPont Co., invented Kevlar, a material commonly known for its use in bulletproof vests. Less well known to the general public is its application in advanced composites and aerospace components.
No less significant were the careers of the other eight honorees:
Glenn L. Beall is known for his contributions to plastics design.
Robert D. Forger was the respected executive director of the Society of Plastics Engineers for 22 years.
Robert A. Hoffer Sr., founder and chairman of Hoffer Plastics in South Elgin, Ill., created one of the nation's first two-year college programs in plastics technology.
Frederick J. Karol played a major role in the development and commercialization of the low-pressure, fluid-bed Unipol process.
Bruce H. Maddock, who will be inducted posthumously, did pioneer work in adapting rubber extrusion to thermoplastics.
Frank S. Marra, a longtime industry corporate executive and founder of the Plastics Academy, helped create the Plastics Engineering Center at Ferris State University in Big Rapid, Mich.
James McGrath, a research scientist and academician, is director of the National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, Va.
George S. Nalle Jr., holder of 26 U.S. patents, developed direct extrusion of nonwoven plastic netting.
Each of the individuals produced a sizable professional and personal imprint on the plastics industry. They are good company for the other select members of the Hall of Fame they will join after induction ceremonies June 19 during NPE in Chicago.