The Society of Plastics Engineers honored several members and students at the recent Antec conference in Denver.
Three individuals received Honored Service Member awards, recognizing outstanding service to and support of the society and its objectives. They are:
• Bradley Johnson of Penn State Erie, the Behrend College. Johnson was nominated by SPE's injection molding Division. Johnson has taught at Erie, Pa.-based Penn State Behrend since 1994. He has a background in industrial plastics and expertise in injection molding and process optimization. Johnson directs the Plastics Training Academy at the college, organizes and chairs conferences there and is a past chair of the SPE injection molding division.
• Elizabeth Puckerin, Ampacet Corp. color technology global manager. Based in Terre Haute, Ind., Puckerin has been with Ampacet of Tarrytown, N.Y., for 33 years. She leads the global color team in developing a global color management system, coordinating global color projects and harmonizing color testing. Puckerin works with her team to manage color evaluations for Ampacet North America and approves colorants for all Ampacet regions. Puckerin served on the SPE color and appearance division board for several years, chaired two CAD Retec conferences, was involved with several CAD committees and is now communication chair.
• Wei Zheng, professor and program director of the plastics engineering program at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Zheng has received the G.A. Taft professorship and an Outstanding Women of Color in Education Award at the college. She's worked on more than 40 technical assistant projects focusing on sustainability. Zheng started SPE's applied rheology division and served as its councilor and chair, as well as vice president and president of the Chinese American Society of Plastics Engineers.
Two SPE members were named Fellows of the Society, honoring them for outstanding contributions in plastics engineering, science or technology or the management of such activities.
Vivek Rohatgi, pipe resin and applications technical service manager at Chevron Phillips Chemical in The Woodlands, Texas, has 24 years of experience in polymer processing, application development and commercialization and is active in many industry organizations. Rohatgi holds 18 U.S. patents and has written 24 journal and conference papers and three book chapters.
Uday K. Vaidya, chief technology officer of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, holds the Governor's Chair in advanced composites manufacturing at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Vaidya is editor-in-chief of the journal Elsevier's Composites Part B: Engineering, author of two books about composites and education chair for SPE's composites division.
SPE also restarted its student poster competition this year. Officials said the competition is an effective way for college and university students to showcase their research and begin establishing network connections with industry experts.
First place went to Hannah Lacy, a graduate student pursuing a doctorate in materials science at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. She and her colleagues did research at the Technical University of Liberec in the Czech Republic on the method of alternating field electrospinning. Her work focused primarily on high-throughput fabrication of blended natural and synthetic biopolymeric nanofibrous scaffolds.
Second place went to Badal Lodaya, a Ph.D. candidate in the chemical engineering department of Michigan State University. His research involves the design and engineering of value-added products from polylactic acid for industrial applications.
Amin Jamei Oskouei took third place. He's a Ph.D. candidate in macromolecular science and engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Jamei Oskouei presented research on recycling thermoset polymers and on structure-properties relationships.
Honorable mention awards went to: Jake Kelly-Walley, a Ph.D. student at Queens University, Belfast; and three students from Penn State Behrend, Joseph Previte, Brianna Rathbun and Evan States.