. Dr. Tobin J. Marks,the VladimirN. Ipatieff Professor of CatalyticChemistry and Professor of MaterialsScience and Engineering atNorthwestern University (Evanston,Illinois, USA), is the recipient of the2011 Dreyfus Prize in the ChemicalSciences. Dr. Marks was cited for thedevelopment of major new industrialcatalysts and the fundamental under-standing of their chemical structuresand mechanisms of action.The prize,given biennially by the Camille andHenry Dreyfus Foundation,recog-nizes exceptional and originalresearch in a selected area of chem-istry that has advanced the field inmajor ways. The prize consists of amonetary award of $250,000-oneof the largest awards dedicated to thechemical sciences in the U.S.-a cita-tion, and a medal.The Dreyfus Foundation notes,"Catalysts accelerate the creation ofmolecules or materials without beingconsumed. This process, called cataly-sis, . ranges in scope from theactions of enzymes in biology toenabling the synthesis of therapeuticdrugs to the production of coatings,fertilizers, and plastics on a hugescale. Catalysis underlies manyaspects of the energy industry andmakes the creation of new materialspractical."[Dr.] Marks has been a worldleader in the understanding anddevelopment of new catalysts thatenable the production of recyclable,environmentally friendly, and sustain-ably produced plastics and elastomer-ic materials. His research has resultedin a far deeper understanding of therequirements to make and break spe-cific chemical bonds, thus giving sci-entists the ability to design new cat-alytic processes. His work has directlyled to multibillion-dollar industrialprocesses. Marks has also demonstrat-ed how metals from unusual parts ofthe periodic table, such as the rareearth elements, can be used as effi-cient catalysts with minimal forma-tion of undesired by-products.Enormous savings in energy andscarce resources have been directlyattributed to the fundamental knowl-edge and processes that have resultedfrom Marks's catalysis research."Tobin Marks holds a BS in chem-istry from the University of Marylandand a PhD in inorganic chemistryfrom the Massachusetts Institute ofTechnology; he has been on theNorthwestern faculty since 1970. Heis a recipient of the U.S. NationalMedal of Science and has been elect-ed into the National Academy ofSciences. From the AmericanChemical Society he has received theArthur K. Doolittle Award inPolymeric Material Science andEngineering, the Award inOrganometallic Chemistry, theAward in Inorganic Chemistry, theAward in the Chemistry of Materials,and the Arthur Cope Senior ScholarAward in Organic Chemistry.. David Inglefield,a PhD candidatepursuing a dual degree in chemistryand biomedical engineering atVirginia Polytechnic Institute &State University(Blacksburg,Virginia, USA), is the 2011-2012winner of the SPEAutomotiveComposites Conference &Exhibition(ACCE) graduate-levelscholarship in transportation compos-ites research. Mr. Inglefield won the$2000 scholarship for a research pro-ject involving the synthesis of func-tionalized carbon nanotubes for opti-mized properties in polymer compos-ites, a project that could have broadapplication in automotive compos-ites. He will report the results of hisresearch during the twelfth annualSPE ACCE, Sept. 11-13, 2012.Mr. Inglefield explains that sincethe discovery of carbon nanotubes(CNTs) in 1991, their use hasexpanded into areas as diverse as elec-tronics and bionanotechnology. Oneof their most promising areas ofusage is to improve the properties ofpolymer composites by increasingmechanical strength (without increas-ing resin weight or density, as mostreinforcements do) and conferringelectrical and thermal conductivity tomaterials that normally provide nei-ther property. However, wider usagehas been limited by many factors,including high production costs andthe difficulty of effectively dispersingthe nanoparticles into polymer matri-ces. Developing a functionalizedCNT that effectively interacts withthe resin in which it is incorporatedremains a significant challenge inexpanding usage of this technology."My work involves functionaliza-tion of multiwall carbon nanotubesfor more efficient incorporation intoindustryNEWS and NOTES32| PLASTICS ENGINEERING | OCTOBER 2011 | www.4spe.org Dr. Tobin J. Marks
polymer composites by increasingdispersion and interactions with thepolymer matrix," says Inglefield. "Intheir native form, carbon nanotubesdon't interact well with organicgroups on most polymers. However,I've been able to introduce function-ality through the acid oxidation ofthe pristine nanotubes, increasing dis-persion in the polymer matrix. I'vealso worked on the functionalizingnanotubes with metal nanoparticles,which increase conductivity andimprove their function in specializedelectronic applications. Carbon nan-otubes can also be aligned in a mag-netic field for anisotropic conductivi-ty in polymer matrices via magneticnanoparticles. I'm investigating acombination of these techniques forenhanced conductivity at low load-ings for specialty electronics applica-tions to preserve polymer propertiesthat otherwise can be negativelyaffected by high reinforcement load-ings."David Inglefield holds a BS in bio-chemistry from Virginia Tech. Sincegraduating in 2009, he has worked asa graduate research assistant under hisundergraduate and graduate researchadvisor, Dr. Timothy E. Long,pro-fessor of chemistry and associate deanof Strategic Initiatives, Department ofChemistry, College of Science atVirginia Tech..DME Company,Madison Heights,Michigan, USA, a manufacturer ofmold technologies, has announcedthat three students enrolled in plas-tics-related studies have been selectedto receive $1000 scholarships: KevinBackoeferof Penn State Erie, TheBehrend College, majoring in plasticsengineering technology; DeanMarinchekof Shawnee StateUniversity, majoring in plastics engi-neering technology; and BrianRupnow of the University ofWisconsin-Stout, majoring in plasticsengineering, manufacturing engineer-ing "DME is committed to advancingtraining and education within theplastics industry," says DME presi-dent Dave Lawrence. "Our scholar-ship program is designed to enhanceeducation in plastics-related fields.We are excited to reward these excep-tional students with scholarships toenhance their education and thefuture plastics industry workforce."DME has awarded more than 20scholarships and grants totaling morethan $20,000 in the past three yearsas part of its Plastics University pro-gram. More information, includingdetails about future scholarships, isavailable at www.dme.net/education..The Materials Research Laboratory(MRL) at the University ofCalifornia-Santa Barbara(UCSB)has received nearly $20 million inrenewed support from the U.S.National Science Foundation(NSF)to carry out distinctive research andeducation programs over the next sixyears. The NSF's Materials ResearchScience and Engineering Centers(MRSEC) are a flagship program thatsupports a national network of cen-ters of excellence in materialsresearch. "We are delighted with therenewal, which recognizes ourachievements in research and educa-tion. This could not have come aboutwithout the dedicated participationof students, staff, and faculty," saysCraig Hawker, director of the MRL.The announcement coincides withthe 20th anniversary of MRL's launchat UCSB, which has been continu-ously supported by the NSF since1992. UCSB says, "The NSF supportwill advance MRL research in materi-als that could result in new paradigmsfor energy-efficient microelectronics,and for the creation of adhesives andcoatings inspired by marine bio-organisms. A third research focus ison magnetic and thermoelectricnanomaterials, or highly efficientheat-conducting materials that couldbe used in the next generation ofrenewable energy technology."Further, the MRL encourages K-12www.4spe.org | OCTOBER 2011 | PLASTICS ENGINEERING |33George W. Thorne1924-2011George W. Thorne, who served asSPE President in 1991-1992, diedon August 14, 2011, in Florida. Amember of SPE since 1964, Mr.Thorne served as South FloridaSection President in 1982-83 and asVice Chairperson of SPE's 1982NATEC (National TechnicalConference). He was Chairperson ofthe InternationalCommittee from1985 to 1989,and joined theSPE ExecutiveCommittee in1986; he wouldsubsequently holdthe positions ofSociety Treasurer(1987-88),Second Vice President (1988-89),First Vice President (1989-90), andPresident-elect (1990-91) prior tohis elevation to the Presidency.A gregarious and affable gentle-man, George Thorne was born inLondon, England, on March 2,1924. At the age of 14, he began hiscareer in plastics as an apprenticetoolmaker. During World War II in1942, he entered the British RoyalAir Force and served in the Bomberand Coastal Command.Mr. Thorne joined IndustrialPlastic Products in Miami Lakes,Florida, in 1973, and became thecompany's president. During hiscareer, he installed plastic-manufac-turing equipment and trained techni-cians throughout the world-inNorth America, South America, Asia,and Africa. He was also active inmanagement and consulting inEngland, Argentina, India, andMexico. Mr. Thorne sold IndustrialPlastic Products in 2006.In addition to his decades-longmembership in SPE, Mr. Thorne wasa member of the Plastics Pioneersand the Plastics Academy of America.George W. Thorne is survived byhis wife Veronika and his daughtersTatiana Grotendorst and ValerieHediger and their families.