This NPE's crop of Plastics Hall of Fame inductees includes the woman who developed Kevlar, the man who spurred on the radical new Unipol process for making polyethylene and a consultant who has taught plastics, by his own count, to nearly 30,000 people — one short-course at a time.
The industry will celebrate their achievements June 19, during a banquet at Chicago Hilton and Towers. Organizers expect about 700 people to attend.
Nine industry standouts will be inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame, including the hall's first woman member, Kevlar inventor Stephanie L. Kwolek. Extrusion pioneer Bruce H. Maddock will be inducted posthumously. He died in November shortly after being picked for the Hall of Fame.
After NPE 1997, photographs of the nine new Plastics Hall of Fame members, along with biographical information, will go on display at the National Plastics Center and Museum in Leominster, Mass. Future plans call for a CD-ROM program on the hall.
The Plastics Hall of Fame began at the 1973 NPE show. The new members were picked last fall by living Hall of Fame members, from a group of nominees presented by a screening committee of plastics trade magazine editors.
The nonprofit Plastics Academy administers the hall.
This year's honorees:
Glenn L. Beall, a frequent speaker, consultant, engineer, educator and writer whose career has spanned 40 years. He is president of Glenn Beall Plastics Ltd. in Libertyville, Ill.
Robert D. Forger, longtime executive director of the Society of Plastics Engineers in Brookfield, Conn. He retired from SPE in 1993 and lives in Wilton, Conn.
Robert A. Hoffer Sr., an industry veteran who actively supports plastics education and the museum in Leominster. Hoffer is founder and chairman of Hoffer Plastics Corp., a custom injection molder in South Elgin, Ill.
Frederick J. Karol, senior corporate fellow at Union Carbide Corp.'s Polyolefins Division. Karol is best-known for his role in developing Carbide's Unipol process to make polyethylene.
Kwolek, a research chemist at DuPont who developed super-strong Kevlar aramid fibers, used to make a range of products, including bulletproof vests. Kwolek retired from DuPont in 1986 and lives in Wilmington, Del.
Maddock, another Union Carbide veteran, who did some of the first work in extruding thermoplastics beginning in the mid-1930s. Maddock died Nov. 9. One of his inventions — adding a barrier mixing section to the extruder screw — still is known today as the Maddock Mixer.
Frank S. Marra, the charismatic president of Marra International Associates in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and a founder of the Plastics Academy. He also helped raise money to build Ferris State University's Plastics Engineering Center in Big Rapids, Mich. Marra worked at D-M-E Co. from 1949 until 1983.
James McGrath, a professor of polymer chemistry at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va., and director of the National Science Foundation's Science & Technology Center at VPI.
George S. Nalle Jr., founder of Nalle Plastics Inc. in Austin, Texas. He developed a way to directly extrude nonwoven plastic netting. Nalle's invention has been used in everything from the common onion bag to a net that supports special membranes in medical dialysis machines.
Tickets are priced at $110 each or $1,000 for a table of 10. During NPE, they can be purchased at the main registration area in the Grand Concourse that links the McCormick Place North and South buildings. The banquet begins with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. Dinner follows at 7:30 p.m.
The keynote speaker will be William H. Joyce, chairman and chief executive officer of Union Carbide Corp. in Danbury, Conn. The Plastics Academy will give Joyce its Dan Fox Lifetime Achievement Award. The Achievement Award for Machinery Manufacturing will go to Donald Rainville, president of Universal Dynamics Inc., an auxiliary equipment firm in Woodbridge, Va.