CLEVELAND—The ACS Rubber Division, in addition to its Charles Goodyear Medalist, also named the winners of its six other major awards during the first day of the International Elastomer Conference in Cleveland.
The winners will receive their honors at the Rubber Division's 2020 spring meeting to be held April 28-30 in Independence, Ohio, just south of Cleveland. They include:
• Melvin Mooney Distinguished Technology Award: Kenneth Gillen, retired distinguished member of the Polymer Group's technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories. According to his nomination form, Gillen has elucidated and quantified the understanding of polymer aging and service life prediction. His work has elucidated diffusion effects on service life prediction and importance and necessity of including diffusion limited oxidation effects into service life prediction. He showed the industry how to quantify oxidation kinetics using ultra-sensitive oxygen consumption techniques for prediction of field service of rubber and plastic components. He has published more than 115 refereed technical papers.
• George Stafford Whitby Award for Distinguished Teaching & Research: Chrys Wesdemiotis, distinguished professor of chemistry and polymer science at the University of Akron, for his research in the mass spectrometry of polymers. He's published 346 papers in peer-reviewed journals and delivered 112 plenary or invited lectures at venues in the U.S. and nine other countries. According to his bio, he has advanced tandem mass spectrometry as a technique for the characterization of polymer end groups and copolymer sequences and architectures.
• Sparks-Thomas Award for Younger Scientists: David Simmons, an associate professor of chemical and biomedical engineering at the University of South Florida. His bio outlined his implementation of theory and simulation to advance the understanding and design of polymers and other advanced soft materials. One byproduct of this work largely resolved the question of the mechanism of low-strain reinforcement of rubber through the introduction of fillers, which according to the nomination form, is one of the major open questions in rubber physics.
• Chemistry of Thermoplastic Elastomers Award: Lewis Fetters, retired professor, for being one of the pioneers in the field of anionic polymerization and the synthesis of well-defined block copolymers with high purity and controlled architectures. According to his nomination form, he helped develop synthetic strategies for the synthesis of new, well-defined TPEs with varying architectures, specifically citing star-branched TPEs.
• Fernley H. Banbury Award: Ken Nakajima, professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, who contributed to the development and research in the field of automatic force microscopy and nanomechanical properties of various polymers, including rubber. His nomination letter said many of Nakajima's papers on atomic force microscopy are still highly cited today.
• Bioelastomer Award: Colleen McMahan, research chemist and lead scientist of domestic natural rubber at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, for her contributions to rubber science and tire technology in advancing the scientific basis for development of domestic natural rubber production in the U.S. According to her nomination letter, McMahan demonstrated that, when properly extracted, natural rubber from guayule has physical and chemical properties suitable for rubber industry needs. This is the first year the Rubber Division has presented this award.