AKRON—The Akron-based ACS Rubber Division, in addition to its Charles Goodyear Medalist, also named the winners of its six other Science & Technology awards during its virtual International Elastomer Conference.
The winners will receive their honors during a banquet next fall at the Rubber Division's 2021 International Elastomer Conference in Pittsburgh. The honorees include:
Melvin Mooney Distinguished Technology Award: Howard Colvin, who worked at Goodyear and Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. in his career, made significant contributions to both the development of new rubber chemicals and polymers during his four decades in the rubber industry. He spent 22 years in the Goodyear Chemical Division, where he was an organic chemist in the Hydroquinone and Derivatives Group and later was section head of new polymer research and development. He later worked as a section head in a number of areas that centered on the new product development for a variety of Goodyear polymer businesses, before finishing his time at Goodyear as a project manager. In 2001, he went to work for Solvay Engineered Polymers, where he developed new thermoplastic polyolefins for the automotive industry. He worked for Cooper as an advanced chemist from 2005-07, before taking a post as professor of chemistry at Florida College. He returned to Cooper in 2011 to lead Cooper's efforts in guayule rubber as part of a $6.9 million Biomass R&D Initiative grant that led to an all-guayule concept tire being successfully road-tested in Texas. He retired from Cooper in 2017 and now serves as a consultant, both to Cooper and others in the rubber industry.
George Stafford Whitby Award for Distinguished Teaching & Research: James Busfield is professor of materials and head of the Soft Matter Research Group at Queen Mary University of London. He has been head of the Soft Matter Group since 1994, and it is the largest rubber materials research group in the United Kingdom, with 14 doctorate students, two post-doctoral research assistants and five senior academics. Busfield's group has investigated the strength and fatigue life of elastomer components; the friction and abrasion of elastomers; and the behavior of elastomers and reinforcing of carbon blacks, clays and silica filler in elastomers, among a number of other areas of study. He received a National Teaching Fellowship in 2009, and was awarded the Sparks-Thomas Award by the Rubber Division in 2010.
Sparks-Thomas Award for Younger Scientists: Kevin Cavicchi, associate professor of polymer engineering at the University of Akron, has made significant contributions to rubber science, having researched organogels, shape memory elastomers, ionomers and block copolymers. At UA, he developed a creative program of polymer synthesis using RAFT polymerization, and has contributed to a number of RAFT agents. Cavicchi, who has been active in the American Chemical Society, has had his work cited more than 1,900 times, and several works have been cited more than 100 times each.
Chemistry of Thermoplastic Elastomers Award: For more than four decades, Takashi Inoue has been involved in thermoplastic elastomers and polymer blends research, which has led to many commercial blends and polymers. Currently an emeritus professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and a research professor at Yamagata University, Inoue holds 50 patents. He has published 270 original papers, 60 review articles and 50 books, covering areas including structure properties of polymer blends and crystalline polymers, block copolymers, sol-gel transition of polymer solutions, oil-resistant elastomer and polymer recycling.
Fernley H. Banbury Award: James Stevenson has spent more than 40 years in the rubber industry, retiring from Honeywell Aerospace as a senior scientist in 2011, where he focused on turbine blade containment, jet engine noise reduction, composite enclosures for electronic and medical devices, and polymer and metal/ceramic powder processing. During his career he has made a number of contributions to rubber extrusion technology, and has worked with all technical aspects of extrusion operations: die design, feeding and takeaway operations, as well as instrumentation and process control methods. Stevenson, now president of his own consulting company, has taught about 50 extrusion short courses during the last three decades.
Bioelastomer Award: Buddy Ratner, a professor at the University of Washington and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, also is the director of University of Washington Engineered Biomaterials and co-director of the Center for Dialysis Innovation. He has published more than 340 papers in refereed journals, with 40 of those focusing specifically on the area of bioelastomers. He holds 26 U.S. patents. One of those patents, regarding precision-porous biomaterials, has resulted in the commercialization of silicone bioelastomer used in humans as a glaucoma drain and as a vascular prosthesis. His work has garnered a number of awards and honors including the University of Washington School of Medicine 2014 Lifetime Innovator and Inventor Award and the 2020 Technology, Innovation and Development Award from the Society for Biomaterials.