Anaheim, Calif. — Tadamoto Sakai, the newest winner of the International Award — the Society of Plastics Engineers' top honor — said SPE was an important source of information when he began working at machinery maker Japan Steel Works in 1964.
"It's a great honor," he said.
Sakai's first job at JSW was machine designer and researcher. He had just earned a degree in applied chemistry from Shizuoka University, where today he is a visiting professor.
"The biggest problem at that time, when I started, is there were few textbooks in polymer processing technology in Japan. So the technical papers published by SPE were very good for our knowledge," he said.
SPE recognized Sakai and other award winners at an awards banquet on May 7, the day before the 2017 Antec kicked off in Anaheim.
Sakai has been a member of SPE since those early days. In 2003 he became the first SPE fellow from Japan. The SPE Extrusion Division gave him the Heinz Herman Award for Excellence in Twin-Screw Extrusion in 2006.
Sakai cracked a joke in his short acceptance speech. "This year is the 75th anniversary of SPE. Coincidentally, I am 75 years old," he said.
During his career at JSW, he designed injection molding machines, single-screw extruders and twin-screw compounding extruders.
"SPE has supported me every time," he said. "And therefore, this International Award was beneficial to me."