Indianapolis — Samuel Kenig, dean of engineering and head of graduate studies in plastics engineering at Shenkar College in Israel, received the International Award, the top honor from Society of Plastics Engineers, on May 22 in Indianapolis.
SPE honored Kenig and three other distinguished individuals at an awards gala ton the eve of the Annual Technical Conference, Antec 2016, at the JW Marriott Indianapolis. I'll be covering Antec for Plastics News this week, so if you see me, make sure to say hello.
In short remarks, Kenig thanked colleagues and family, and he noted that one of his mentors is a previous International Award winner: Musa Kamal, professor emeritus at McGill University in Montreal.
The International Award honors a single individual every year for a lifetime of achievement in plastics.
Other top awards went to:
Frank Macher, an automotive plastics expert and chairman and CEO of Continental Structural Plastics Inc., who won the Business Management Award. Macher joked that when he started in plastics, everyone was talking about "The Graduate," but he was mostly interested in Anne Bancroft, who played Mrs. Robinson.
Macher also noted that Plastic Man turns 75 years old this year ... and so does Macher.
"Plastic Man was amazing. He could stretch and do amazing things because he was so elastic," Macher said.
Tim Osswald, professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Polymer Engineering Center at the University of Wisconsin, picked up the Fred E. Schwab Education Award. Osswald is a native of Colombia, and has a highly globalist perspective as an expert on polymer processing.
Osswald said he was "incredibly touched" to be honored, especially for teaching. "Education, to me, is the most important thing," he said.
Gregory Campbell won the Research/Engineering Technology Award. He was a senior researcher at General Motors Corp. who, during a 13-year career there, worked on key research programs related to more usage of plastics in cars, and moved to academia to become a chemical engineering faculty member at Clarkson University.
Campbell thanked the SPE Automotive Division the SPE Detroit Section for their role in the awards dinner.
SPE gave out more information on each awards winner:
Samuel Kenig, in his PhD research from 1968 through 1972, was the first to study, model and simulate the complete injection molding process, according to SPE. His thesis inspired many commercial simulation software packages for injection molding.
Before joining academia, Kenig held several industrial research and development positions. In 1974, he joined the Research Authority of the Israel Ministry of Defense, and rose to become managing director of the Materials and Processes division from 1986-1991.
He established, in 1992, the Israel Plastics & Rubber Center (IPRC) Ltd., aimed at advancing the technical and scientific infrastructure of the rubber and plastics industries. He served as its managing director until May 2014. Concurrent with his industrial work, Kenig was involved with academic affairs for more than 30 years.
Kenig became a full professor in 2000, and was named deal of engineering faculty in 2007. In 2009, he established the Department of Plastics Engineering at Shenkar College, and was appointed the department head. Since its inception, the college has graduated more than 450 students with a bachelor's degree in plastics engineering.
In 2010, Kenig established a joint PhD program in plastics engineering with the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.
His R&D work has focused on nanocomposites since 2000, leading to four patents and numerous technical publications. The Italian company Nanto Ltd. commercialized the patents to develop corrosion resistant paints containing nanoclays; they are sold under the trade name Nanto Protective Paints. Nanto also has come out with fire-retardant polymers based on nanoclays, SPE reports.
A member of SPE since 1969, Kenig has written more than 150 papers and has delivered more than 120 lectures around the world. He has 16 patents.