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The Waterborne Symposium

Environmentally Friendly Coating Technologies

Mission Statement:

To administer the preeminent educational/technical forum in the United States directed to the science and technology of surface coatings and  to provide revenue to support and advance the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials at The University of Southern Mississippi.


2017 Plenary and Opening Session Speakers and Panel Discussion TOPIC

Wednesday Morning, February 22, 2017


Sarah T. Eckersley, Ph.D.
Global Director, R&D and TS&D
Coatings, Monomers & Plastic Additives
The Dow Chemical Company
400 Arcola Road
Collegeville, Pennsylvania 19426



Speaker Bio:

Sarah Eckersley is currently the global director of R&D and TS&D for Coatings, Monomers & Plastic Additives. Sarah is responsible for the development and delivery of sustainable and
competitive innovations aligned to the business strategy. She collaborates with marketing and commercial organizations to identify high-value initiatives for growth and profitability. Sarah is passionate about developing technology that is relevant to the marketplace. This means relentless external focus on customers and seamless collaboration with the other functions, most especially marketing.

Previously, Sarah was the senior R&D director for Pharma & Food Solutions where she led a team responsible for growth via technology advancements for those market segments as well as having responsibility for process R&D for the cellulosics envelope. Sarah also held positions as global program director for Advanced Materials, global R&D director for Performance Packaging in Performance Plastics, new technology R&D director for Dow Coatings and global product
development and commercialization leader for Dow Latex.

Sarah joined Dow on the Research Assignments program in 1993 and over the course of her career, she has had technical, new business development and leadership roles in various
businesses, many with a “solutions provider’ emphasis.
Sarah was born in Bolton Lancashire, United Kingdom and received her B.A.Sc. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Ottawa in 1986 and Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering fromThe University of Waterloo in 1992. Sarah’s academic research background is in the area of emulsion polymers and their performance in applications.

Abstract:  If We Build It, WILL They Come?
Edgar Degas is quoted as saying “Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do.” The coatings industry continues to make painting easier while at the same time increasing the performance of the paint. Better paint – paint that covers better, is safer to use, lasts longer and that protects better – is the result of continuing research and product development.
As technical professionals, we usually operate under the assumption that technological advantage drives technology adoption. We believe that if we build it, they WILL come (assuming that the cost is in line with the benefit). Many of us have been disappointed by lukewarm marketplace acceptance of our big ideas: we have learned the hard way that reality is more complicated.
Larger societal and market drivers influence technology adoption (and abandonment) more than we appreciate. For example, the viral consumer can drive change based on science or pseudo-science. And the evolving regulatory environment both constrains us and spurs creativity. In this presentation, we will look at technology adoption in the coatings industry through a historical lens and make connections with larger market drivers. Then, we will take out the crystal ball and speculate about what they WANT us to build.

David Bem.jpg

David Bem
CTO and Vice President PPG
PPG Corporation
4325 Rosanna Drive
Allison Park, PA 15101


Speaker Bio:
Mr. David S. Bem, Ph.D has been Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Science & Technology at PPG Industries, Inc. since March 3, 2016 and November 16, 2015 respectively. Mr. Bem has been Global Technology Director of Ticona Polymers, Inc. since 2005. He served as a Vice President of Research & Development (R&D), Consumer Solutions and Infrastructure Solutions at Dow Chemical. He served in various positions at Dow include Global R&D director, core R&D global R&D director of Dow Automotive Systems and R&D director of hydrocarbons energy, chemicals and alternative feedstock. He served as a R&D leadership roles at Celanese Corp. and UOP LLC (a Honeywell company formerly known as Universal Oil Products). Mr. Bem was Research and Development, UOP LLC Des Plaines, IL, USA in 1995; Technology Director, Torial Des Plaines, IL, USA in 2001 and Global R&D Leader Acetyls, Celanese Clear Lake TX, USA in 2003. Mr. Bem holds BA, Chemistry, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA in 1990 and Ph.D, Inorganic Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston MA, USA in 1995.

Abstract: Innovation in Coatings Applications:  A Product Life Cycle Approach to Sustainability

As sustainability becomes more important, there is a trend to move to an end-to-end life cycle approach to product management. This end-to-end approach to sustainability considers a wider range of activities compared to the conventional approach, and requires partnerships across the value chain for successful innovation in products, applications and know-how.
Starting in the 1950s, the paint and coatings industry has witnessed the transition from solvent-borne alkyd technology to water-based acrylic technology in the architecture coatings market. Today, as the application method becomes more complex and demanding, collaboration and innovation across the value chain are essential to assess and improve the life cycle sustainability of coatings products. PPG has long embraced this trend. To provide products with reduced environmental impact, we not only focus on our own manufacturing and logistics operations, but also partner with applicators, equipment vendors and suppliers to innovate.
This talk will highlight several such examples, including the commercialization of ENVIROBASE® that drove the conversion from solvent to water in the automotive refinish market, the commercialization of both B1:B2® Compact Process and ENVIRO-PRIME® EPIC that reduced energy and water consumption for automotive applications, the introduction of HOBA PURAIRTM coating for the packaging industry, the introduction of POWERCRON ADVANTEDGE™ for the industrial coatings market, and some ongoing innovation efforts to reduce the full life cycle environmental impact of our products.  


Yoan C. Simon
Assistant Professor of Polymer Science and Engineering
Simon Research Group Page

The University of Southern Mississippi

School of Polymers & High Performance Materials
Building: Polymer Science Building, Office 213
118 College Dr. Box 5050, Hattiesburg, MS 39406

The Sidney Lauren Memorial Lecture

Speaker Bio:  Dr. Simon holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Montpellier (France). He then moved to New England and started a Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst under the guidance of Prof. E. Bryan Coughlin working on hybrid organic/inorganic materials. In 2008, Yoan then moved back to Europe where he was awarded an ETH Fellowship to work on two-dimensional polymers under the supervision of Prof. A. Dieter Schlüter at the Swiss Polytechnic Institute of Technology in Zürich. After a year, he took on a position as junior Faculty (maître-assistant) at the then newly founded Adolphe Merkle Institute (headed by Prof. Christoph Weder) at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland where he stayed for six year developing new research avenues in the field of optically and mechanically active polymeric materials. Since January 2016, Yoan has joined the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials at the University of Southern Mississippi as an Assistant Professor.


Main research interests revolve around the design and synthesis of stimuli-responsive polymers, bio-inspired materials, and polymer nanocomposites.


Abstract: Adding a Bit of Color and Energy via Light Upconversion

Light upconversion (UC) by means of triplet-triplet annihilation (TTA) is an interesting photophysical process that is promising for a whole host of applications ranging from solar harvesting to imaging. While this phenomenon was discovered over 50 years ago in solution, its development in solids is more recent. TTA-UC is predicated on the use of chromophore pairs with finely tuned electronic levels. This contribution will give an overview of our latest achievements in the field for the development of polymeric materials facilitating efficient TTA-UC. A few systems will be discussed including rubbery and glassy polymer blends and copolymers with suitable chromophore pairs, upconverting (nano)particles, gels, and nanostructured materials. The data exposed will serve to depict the structure-property relationships of upconverting polymeric materials and outline global design principles.