Title: Technical director
Company: Polymer Valley Chemicals Inc.
Why he was selected: Since joining Polymer Valley Chemicals, Guilliams has been responsible for developing new products with two pending patents.
What inspired you to pursue a career in the rubber industry?
My passion for the rubber industry developed during my time as an intern/co-op at Bridgestone Americas Technical Center. Working in the analytical labs, I found great mentors in Dr. Julia Zimmerman, Lisa Dinger and Tim O'Connor. Under their direction, I had the opportunity to learn about teamwork, chemical analytical methods, process engineering, compound development and rubber technology outside of the classroom, while I was pursuing a degree in chemistry/engineering and polymer science. The hands-on experience I gained during this time challenged me and I began to excel. Prior to graduation, I was offered a full-time position with Bridgestone and worked there for 13 years in multiple facets of product development.
What accomplishment are you most proud of so far and why?
During my time at Lanxess' Butyl Division, I led a global team to revisit an industry concept for halobutyl in tire tread applications. Historically, the performance issue with halobutyl in tire tread applications dealt with tire wear performance issues. Our team was able to solve the wear performance issue, and as a result, we initiated a global market strategy for this technology. Since doing so, the technology has received multiple commercial successes.
What advice do you have for students considering a career in the rubber industry?
Mentorship is key. Surround yourself with people who have had success and challenges within in the industry. A great mentor will provide guidance and support, as well as challenge you. It's also important to be self-directed in your own success. Read trade publications and join trade associations, for example. Challenge yourself to study new technologies and be a life-long student of science.
Other interests: Exercising, improving his golf swing, and wine tasting with Debbie, his wife of nine years.