HOUSTON (Nov. 4, 2010)—The International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers has named Nobuyuki Takahasi of Ube Industries Ltd. winner of its General Award, and Akira Saito recipient of its Technical Award.
The men will receive their honors at the IISRP's 52nd Annual General Meeting in Seoul, South Korea, the week of April 11, 2011.
Takahashi is being honored for his contributions to the success of organization of the world's synthetic rubber producers, and to the industry, the IISRP said. He has held a number of management positions during his 40-year career at Ube, and is senior executive managing director and president of the Plastics Co. of Ube. During his tenure he has helped expand the synthetic rubber industry through his oversight of joint ventures in Southeast Asia.
Takahasi became an IISRP director in 2000, has served as Far Eastern Section president and a member of the Finance Pension and Audit Committee, the IISRP's primary oversight committee. He has served on the IISRP's Executive Committee since 2005.
Saito joined the industry as a rubber chemist in research and development Asahi Kasei's Synthetic Rubber Division 36 years ago, and has worked as an engineer on solution-SBR, polybutadiene rubber and thermoplastic elastomers.
His current position is senior engineer. He has specialized in the development, manufacturing and processing of solution-SBR for tire treads, and invented the first functionalized styrene-butadiene thermoplastic elastomer, modified with maleic acid, the institute said. This invention gave SBS improved affinity with polar material, without losing the typical properties of SBS, and opened the way for a new product design concept for TPEs.
His experience with functionalized groups and improving the affinity with polar materials became the foundation of his future work in functionalized S-SBR for silica tires, the IISRP said.
Saito has been an IISRP Environmental Health and Technical Operating committee member for the Far East Section during 2003 to 2009. He also has chaired the EHC for the FES from 2006 to 2008.
He holds 18 Japanese patents and has authored two publications.