INDEPENDENCE, Ohio—The ACS Rubber Division handed out its 2020 Science & Technology Awards during a banquet April 28 at its Spring Technical Meeting in Independence.
The awards were a year late in being presented as last spring's meeting was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Charles Goodyear Medal—the association's highest honor—went posthumously to Nissim Calderon, who had worked for Goodyear and was recognized for his work related to the science of olefin metathesis. Goodyear colleague Adel Halasa, himself the medalist in 1997, accepted the award on Calderon's behalf.
Calderon died in February 2020.
Rubber Division Chair Kim Dempsey-Miller read a letter of thanks on behalf of his children Rina and Meir Calderon.
"Nissim was adamant about supporting other people's work," the letter read in part. "He had a strong philosophy that science is evolutionary, and that sharing, promoting and supporting other people's work was the nucleus, or essence, of scientific research. I think many scientists who knew my dad would agree that he heralded scientific advancement without looking for fanfare nor recognition—just the furthering of science itself."
Other honorees included:
• Melvin Mooney Distinguished Technology Award: Kenneth Gillen, retired distinguished member of the Polymer Group's technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories.
• George Stafford Whitby Award for Distinguished Teaching & Research: Chrys Wesdemiotis, distinguished professor of chemistry and polymer science at the University of Akron.
• Sparks-Thomas Award for Younger Scientists: David Simmons, an associate professor of chemical and biomedical engineering at the University of South Florida.
• Chemistry of Thermoplastic Elastomers Award: Lewis Fetters, retired professor from Cornell University.
• Fernley H. Banbury Award: Ken Nakajima, professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.
• Bioelastomer Award: Colleen McMahan, research chemist and lead scientist of domestic natural rubber at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The 2021 award winners, who normally would have been honored during this meeting, will receive their honors at the Rubber Division's International Elastomer Conference this October in Pittsburgh.