AKRON—Roderic Quirk, a polymer science research professor and distinguished professor emeritus at the University of Akron, has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.
The program, NAI said in a news release, is designed to honor those "academic inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society."
"I am honored to be elected as a 2019 Fellow to the National Academy of Inventors," Quirk said in a statement. "This honor is a tribute to the outstanding opportunity that the University of Akron and the Department of Polymer Science research and education program provided to me to pursue a productive and creative research program.
Quirk, who was named the 2019 winner of the Charles Goodyear Medal, the most distinguished honor bestowed by the ACS Rubber Division, spent 27 years with the University of Akron before retiring in 2010. In that time, he has presented more then 126 lectures on polymers and tires at locations around the globe.
His research has been supported by companies such as Exxon, Mobil Chemical, B.F. Goodrich, Texaco and Goodyear, and his 350 publications have been cited more than 7,100 times in open literature.
"With the continuing financial support of industrial research sponsors and the help of the University of Akron Office of Technology Transfer and the University of Akron Research Foundation," Quirk said, "our research efforts resulted in the issuance of 35 U.S. patents."
A Detroit native, Quirk received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. He went on to earn master's and doctorate degrees in organic chemistry at the University of Illinois, and then spent two years of postdoctoral research at the University of Pittsburgh and Mellon Institute.
Before joining the University of Akron, he served nine years as a faculty member in the chemistry department at the University of Arkansas for nine years and then spent five years as a senior research scientist at Michigan Molecular Institute in Midland, Mich.
In 1996, Quirk was appointed Kumho Professor of Polymer Science and also distinguished professor of polymer science at Akron, where he has also held positions as chair in the Department of Polymer Science and interim director of the Institute of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering.