The Society of Plastics Engineers handed out awards for education, research, humanitarian work, technology and business management May 7 during Antec 2003.
* Robert A. Weiss, the A.T. DiBenedetto Distinguished Professor of Engineering at the University of Connecticut, earned the Engineering/Technology Award. His research has focused on ionomers, liquid-crystal polymers and polymer blends. In his fundamental work on LCPs, Weiss was among the first to realize that they could be used in-situ to reinforce other thermoplastics. He holds 15 patents and has written more than 300 research papers and book chapters.
* Former President Jimmy Carter and the Carter Center earned the John W. Hyatt Award for benefit to society. The Atlanta-based Carter Center used a special nylon monofilament cloth filter to largely eradicate Guinea worm disease in Sudan, Nigeria and Ghana, by filtering out the worm's larvae from drinking water. SPE said the number of people afflicted by the disease was cut from 3.2 million in 1987 when the effort began, to less than 100,000 today.
* Donald A. Baird, co-director of the Center for Composite Materials and Structures at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, received the Research Award. His is an internationally known expert in polymer rheology and processing, especially for LCPs. He has completed landmark studies of blends of LCPs with flexible polymers. He holds four patents, has given more than 100 invited lectures and written more than 100 journal articles.
* Charles L. Beatty, professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of Florida, won the Education Award. A chemical engineer, Beatty was instrumental in establishing plastics engineering at the university, creating eight core polymer courses and creating specialty courses on product design and rapid prototyping. Beatty holds 15 patents and has written more than 450 technical articles.
* William Stavropoulos, Dow Chemical Co.'s chairman, president and chief executive officer, won the Business Management Award. His career with Dow began in 1976, working in pharmaceutical research. Other positions have included business manager for polyolefins, marketing director for Dow's U.S. plastics department, president of Dow Latin America, group vice president for U.S. plastics and hydrocarbons, president of Dow U.S.A and vice president of Dow Chemical. He has served on Dow's board of directors since 1990.