Lloyd Robeson, an expert in polymer blends who holds 100 U.S. patents, has won the Society of Plastics Engineers' International Award.
SPE presented Robeson with its top annual award April 1 in Orlando at the Plastics Hall of Fame banquet. SPE's Antec conference is happening during NPE2012 at the Orange County Convention Center.
Robeson is an adjunct professor at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa.
He received his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University and his doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Maryland. He was employed at Union Carbide Corp. from 1967 to 1986, and at Air Products and Chemicals Inc. from 1986 to 2007.
During his career, he worked in the areas of polymer blends, polymer composites, permeability, engineering polymers, extrusion polymerization, flame retardants, polyurethanes, copolymers, emulsion polymers, adhesives, water soluble polymers, polymers for electronic applications and conducting polymers.
While at Union Carbide, he developed a number of thermoplastic blends, which were patented and produced commercially.
In addition to thermoplastic blends, Robeson also helped develop materials for gas separation polymeric membranes, and made major contributions to low-K dielectric systems.
Robeson has written about 100 publications.
He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and is in the University of Maryland's College of Engineering Innovation Hall of Fame.
SPE also gave out three other awards in Orlando:
Steve Maguire, founder and president of Maguire Products Inc. in Aston, Pa., picked up the Business Management Award.
Maguire is a prolific inventor who transformed the technology of handling and blending plastics raw materials. He wrote the entire business organization system for Maguire Products, which employs 200 people. Individual employees are responsible for maintaining the proper inventory levels.
In Maguire's business philosophy, product design is the most important consideration for growth. “Slow, reasonable growth is what we work toward, Maguire said. “We invest in more manufacturing space to make operations simple and efficient, because more space means less wasted motion, less movement of goods. We carry sufficient inventory so that production is smooth and uninterrupted, goods are always in stock and customer orders are filled quickly.”
He founded Maguire Products in his house in 1977. Today, 57 percent of shipments go to export markets. Sales and service centers in Europe and Asia enable Maguire to ship products anywhere in the world within two weeks.
The award is sponsored by the SPE Marketing and Management Division.
The Education Award went to Gerard McNally director of the Polymer Processing Research Centre at Queen's University in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
McNally has developed new undergraduate and postgraduate courses on polymer processing, polymer materials and polymer analysis.
At the Polymer Processing Research Centre, McNally is responsible for teaching and research, industrial training courses and collaboration with industry.
He holds a degree in polymer science and engineering from Queen's University, is a graduate of the Plastics and Rubber Institute and holds a diploma in plastics technology and a higher national diploma in chemistry.
The Education Award is sponsored by SPE's Detroit Section in memory of Fred Schwab, one of the founding members of SPE.
Krishna Venkataswamy, senior global technology director of PolyOne Corp. of Avon Lake, Ohio, won the Research/Engineering Award.
At PolyOne, he heads up the product development, application development, materials science and technology and foundation research efforts. He has been in the thermoplastics industry for 24 years, working in thermoplastic elastomer development for consumer, medical, industrial and automotive sectors.
His key discoveries have been commercialized, helping TPE replace rubber in many auto weathersealing applications. He played a key role in the development of novel styrene block copolymer-based TPEs that can be overmolded onto nylon in insert molding.
Venkataswamy also has developed soft bio-renewable TPEs that have the industry's highest level of renewable content.
He holds a doctorate degree in polymer science and engineering from Case Western Reserve University, a master's degree in materials science and engineering from the University of Florida and a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology.