The Plastics Academy announced Monday that it would honor nine individuals for their contributions to the plastics industry by inducting them into the Plastics Hall of Fame at a ceremony to be hosted in Orlando, Fla. at NPE2015. The inductees that comprise the Plastics Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015 come from different walks of life and diverse backgrounds, but all of them have had a lasting impact on the economic health and vibrancy of the entire $374-billion plastics industry, as well as on generations of plastics industry workers.
Induction into the Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed in the plastics industry. The Plastics Academy, under the auspices of SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association (plasticsindustry.org ), is tasked with collecting and screening nominations for new members. Established in 1972, the Hall of Fame resides at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, and stands as a tribute to the men and women who through dedication and perseverance have significantly contributed to the development and growth of the plastics industry over the past century.
“The Academy is very honored to introduce the Class of 2015, consisting of individuals from the various disciplines within plastics, and also representative of the global growth and development of our industry,” says Jay Gardiner, president of the Plastics Academy. “We are also looking forward to the new format for the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies at NPE 2015.”
In a departure from previous Hall of Fame events, the 2015 Plastics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will debut a new format when it takes place on March 22 next year, with a standing reception from 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m., followed by a streamlined awards program from 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m. The entire event will be hosted in the Linda W. Chapin Theatre in the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., one day before NPE 2015 officially begins.
This year’s inductees are:
- John Beaumontof Beaumont Technologies, Inc., who was one of the three founding faculty members of Penn State Erie’s Plastics Technology Program. In addition to his noteworthy contribution to the education of a generation of future plastic workers, Beaumont was nominated by John Ralston, Operations Manager at Beaumont Technologies for 1) “serving as a professor in the Plastics Technology program he helped found for 25 years; 2) inventing several patented industry-revolutionizing technologies; 3) authoring, co-authoring and contributing to several industry-related publications and 4) founding Beaumont Technologies, Inc., a company that strives to advance the plastics industry.”
- Terry Browitt, director and founder of Terinex International, Inc., who served as the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) president in 2001, only the second Canadian to do so after Ralph Noble in 1970. Noble was inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame at NPE 2009, after being nominated by Browitt, who now joins him in the Hall of Fame. Browitt was nominated by his son and business partner Paul Browitt for 1) “his more than 50 years of service to the plastics industry; 2) his service to and continued involvement with SPE; 3) his service on the board of directors of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) from 2000-2009 and 4) several other achievements and research and development contributions to the plastics industry.”
- William Carteaux, president and CEO of SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association, a former top official of international injection press manufacturer Demag Plastics Group, and the youngest person ever inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame. Carteaux was nominated by Jay Gardiner, president of the Plastics Academy, for 1) “reinventing SPI into the leader in the worldwide plastics association arena; 2) helping to reenergize and relocate the most successful triennial plastics tradeshow—NPE: The Plastics Industry Showcase—to Orlando, Fla. where in 2015 it will break all records for exhibition space; 3) bringing a business management style to SPI, which has resulted in programs that have helped develop the plastics industry’s image and issues management response capabilities and 4) forming collaborative alliances with the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the CPIA and Asociación Nacional de Industrias del Plástico, AC (Anipac), among others.”
- Robert DeLongof Blasformen Consulting, a major pioneer in blow molded dairy bottles whose contributions were masked by his employers’ reticence to patent or publish the details of his myriad technical innovations. DeLong was nominated by Don Peters, retired principal engineer at Phillips Petroleum for 1) “supervising the formulation of ‘best-in-class’ dairy blog molding resin (1963-70); 2) being the first to recognize the “superflow” melt fracture effect on bottle quality and develop solutions; 3) developing the first “one source turnkey” blow molding concept (1972-74) and 4) giving back to the plastics industry by sharing his knowledge via technical writings in bulletins, publications, seminars, training sessions and tutorials.”
- Eugen Hehl, co-founder of ARBURG GmbH & Co. KG who grew the company from its humble roots in Germany’s Black Forest into a major international force in injection molding machinery. Heh was nominated by Timothy Womer of TW Womer & Associates, LLC for 1) “starting, with his brother Karl in 1956, the production of ARBURG injection molding machines with 10 employees; 2) patenting the ‘ALLROUNDER principle’ for achieving up to 10 different working positions on a machine in 1960; 3) being responsible for the permanent technical development and growth of ARBURG and 4) expanding the ARBURG factory, which by the mid-1970s already had more than 500 employees, and making it the first manufacturer worldwide to be recognized for having a microprocessor control system for its machines.”
- Edward Hunerbergof Uniloy Milacron, a leading expert and mainstay in the field of structural foam molding. Hunerberg was nominated by Dave Skala, group vice president, Uniloy Milacron for 1) “his commitment to the structural foam industry; 2) his commitment to product development to meet customers’ needs; 3) his desire to continuously invent new technology and 4) his dedication to his customers to ensure they are satisfied with the product.”
- Manfred Lupke, president and CEO of Corma, Inc. and a leader in the field of creating equipment for manufacturing corrugated plastic pipe. Lupke was nominated by his son Stefan Lupke, executive vice president of Corma, Inc., for 1) “leading Corma to become an industry leader in the field of corrugated plastic pipe-making machinery; 2) registering 848 patents in select countries around the world; 3) remaining the driving force of Corma and still developing new technologies even after turning 75 this past July and 4) remaining active in his community throughout, being selected as the CPIA Leader of the Year in 2007 and receiving the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.”
- Donald Norwood, retired chemical engineer formerly of Phillips Petroleum and father of several industry-advancing technologies and products. Norwood was nominated jointly by Dr. Max McDaniel, catalysis scientist at Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, and Don Peters, retired principal engineer at Phillips Petroleum, for 1) “his groundbreaking invention in of the loop reactor, used for ethylene and polypropylene polymerization; 2) his continued pioneering efforts to develop and improve this technology over the course of his career; 3) his invention of the slurry (particle form) polymerization process using a loop reactor for production of linear polyethylenes, known as high-density PE (HDPE) and linear low-density PE (LLDPE) and 4) his extension of the above PE process to produce crystalline polypropylenes in the first ‘bulk’ polymerization process, which used a similar loop reactor.”
- Dr. Maureen Steinwall, president and owner of Steinwall, Inc., winner of the Plastics News Processor of the Year Award in 2012 and an outspoken advocate for and master of innovations in employee training and motivation. Steinwall was nominated jointly by Daniele Fresca, director of marketing, IQMS and fellow inductee Carteaux for 1) “being one of a very small handful of women who own plastics companies in the world; 2) growing the injection molding business into a very well respected and profitable portion of her company’s respective markets after buying the company from her father in 1987; 3) being very active in SPI since before buying her company, holding several different positions in the organization and currently serving on the SPI board of directors, Finance Administration, Membership Committee and Processor Council and 4) being responsible in the 1990s for helping SPI develop the ‘Orient Me’ program to help plastics companies get the most out of their employees.”
“We are thrilled to welcome this diverse group of industry innovators, from across the globe and across the global plastics supply chain, into the Plastics Hall of Fame,” says Don Loepp, a board member of the Plastics Academy and editor of Plastics News. “Each of them embodies the spirit of what the Plastics Hall of Fame was founded to recognize: leadership, creativity and above all commitment to the growth and development of the entire plastics industry.”