About SCI America
SCI America is a collaborative organization, working with an array of leading U.S. and global entities that share complementary missions to advance the success of the chemical industry. We support the industry by offering scholarships and internships to underserved and Historically Black Colleges and Universities chemistry and chemical engineering students; by providing an annual forum, Innovation Day, for R&D scientists of member companies to exchange research ideas and connect with others in their fields; and by recognizing technical and industry achievement through our awards
Dow's Kaoru Aou wins 2023 SCI Gordon E. Moore Medal
Research and Development Fellow at Dow is recognized for his significant advances in polyurethane materials in several application areas
To be honored on September 12, 2023 in Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA | April 25, 2023 – The Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) America announced today that Kaoru Aou, Ph.D. is this year’s recipient of the 20th annual Gordon E. Moore medal. SCI established the Gordon E. Moore medal to recognize early-career success in innovation, as reflected both in market impact and improvement to quality of life. Aou, Research and Development (R&D) Fellow at Dow, will be presented the award at Innovation Day, hosted jointly by SCI and the Science History Institute, on September 12, 2023 at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“Kaoru Aou’s research at Dow has led to breakthroughs in the fundamental science of polyurethanes,” said Frank Bozich, President and CEO of Trinseo and Chair of SCI America. “This extraordinary work was followed by another breakthrough in applied chemistry—certainly one in a century for polyurethanes and likely for chemistry—which led to a new thermoset PU resin market. These are incredible accomplishments.”
Aou’s breakthroughs required multi-disciplinary expertise in chemical synthesis, material science, analytical chemistry, and engineering. His innovations bridged the research continuum from ideation to product production at a commercial scale. Collectively, Aou’s discoveries and related developments have led to three areas of application with more than $300M in new product sales since launch. The market impact goes beyond Dow and has enabled customers to accelerate emerging products such as bed-in-a-box, more sustainable products like single material mattress solutions that are easier to recycle by eliminating moisture or heat management layers, and more sustainable processes such as shale gas.
“This notable award presented to Kaoru recognizes the exemplary contributions he has made to the science and development of polyurethanes that have had a significant commercial impact,” said Sarah Eckersley, Vice President of Polyurethanes R&D at Dow. “His ardent curiosity and collaborative spirit have led to accomplishments that Dow and the Global R&D organization is proud of.”
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About Kaoru Aou
Kaoru Aou is an R&D Fellow in Dow’s Polyurethanes Product R&D business. His work centers around the development of new products and applications using polyurethanes.
Aou has led the development and commercialization of several polyurethanes technologies in markets that include the consumer comfort space and oil and gas. He has recently been focused on the automotive industry; particularly around innovative thermosets needed for the rapidly growing electric vehicle segment.
He is a Dow-certified Six Sigma Black Belt, has been granted 21 U.S. patents, given 20 external publications/presentations, including peer-reviewed academic publications, and produced more than 150 internal company reports. He has been recognized with several individual and team awards such as the 2014 Dow Gulf Coast Scientists Excellence in Science Award, the 2014 CPI Innovation Award for the TERAFORCE™ Polyurethane resin-coating technology for silica sand proppants in hydraulic fracturing, the 2016 Best Presentation award from the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) for the VORA Zzz™ High Air Flow Viscoelastic Foam technology the 2018 ACS Brazosport Local Section Volunteer of the Year award, the 2019 Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers Professional Achievement award, the R&D 100 award in 2014, 2017, and 2018 from R&D Magazine.
In 2018 Aou was invited by the National Academy of Engineering as one of 30 early-career US-based researchers, to the Japan/America Frontier of Engineering (JAFOE) Symposium. In 2022, he was one of 45 scientists in chemistry inducted as a 2022 American Chemical Society Fellow.
Aou received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in polymer science and engineering at UMass Amherst. He joined Dow in 2007 and started his career in the Polyurethanes Product R&D organization. Prior to Dow, he worked at G.E. Plastics Japan (now part of SABIC) in 1999 as a summer intern and at 3M Germany for a 6-month Praktikant program in 2000. He served as Treasurer of the Brazosport Local Section of the ACS from 2009 to 2018. He continues to serve as a journal peer reviewer (referee) since 2008, for the journals Polymer (Elsevier) and Macromolecules (ACS).
About the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI)
SCI America, launched in 1894, is part of the Society of Chemical Industry’s international organization. It provides a unique networking forum for chemical industry leaders, industrial scientists, and technologists to exchange new business ideas and best practices. It celebrates achievement to promote public awareness of the contributions of industrial chemistry and inspires students to enter technical careers. SCI America also offers its members the opportunity to become part of its growing network by participating in its annual Innovation Day, where young industry leaders come together to celebrate innovation in the chemical industry and to seek solutions for tomorrow’s challenges.
By highlighting extraordinary individuals and their work, SCI America aims to promote public understanding of research and development in modern chemical industries, enhance the interest of students in applied chemistry by providing role models, and emphasize the role of creative research in the global economy. For more information, visit https://sci-america.org/ SCI America events are managed by the Science History Institute.
About the Science History Institute
The Science History Institute collects and shares the stories of innovators and of discoveries that shape our lives, with a special focus on the history of chemistry, chemical engineering, and the life sciences. The Institute houses an archive and a library for historians and researchers; a fellowship program for visiting scholars from around the globe; a community of researchers who examine historical and contemporary issues; an award-winning digital content platform that includes articles, podcasts, and videos; an acclaimed museum that is free and open to the public; and a state-of-the-art conference center. For more information, visit sciencehistory.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
SCI Social Media
Resa Thomason, SCI America
SCI America Names Nobel Laureate Frances Arnold 2023 Perkin Medal Winner
The Caltech professor will receive the highest honor in industrial chemistry on September 12 in Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA | March 21, 2023 – The Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) America announced today that Frances Arnold, the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner and the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology, will receive the 2023 Perkin Medal at an award ceremony being held in her honor at the Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia on September 12, 2023.
“Dr. Arnold has spent nearly 30 years refining directed evolution methods specifically to be useful to humankind—and these methods are today used in numerous industrial applications to develop new enzyme catalysts,” said Frank Bozich, president and CEO of Trinseo and chair of SCI America. “She is one of the most honored chemists in the world, and we are thrilled to celebrate her accomplishments this fall.”
The SCI Perkin Medal is recognized as one of the highest honors given for outstanding work in applied chemistry in the United States. It commemorates the discovery of the first synthetic dye—Perkin mauve—by Sir William Henry Perkin in 1856.
The Perkin Medal Selection Committee, which includes the chairs or presidents of the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Science History Institute, and the Society of Chemical Industry, noted Arnold’s pioneering work on directed evolution technology, which resulted in breakthroughs in biocatalysis. The ability of enzymes to add value to the chemical industry is a direct result of her research. The committee also noted that in addition to these applications across a spectrum of industries, Dr. Arnold has also founded several successful companies.
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About Frances Arnold
Frances Arnold is the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2018 for pioneering directed enzyme evolution and has used directed protein evolution for applications in alternative energy, chemicals, and medicine. In 2021 Arnold was appointed cochair of President Biden’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Other awards include the Charles Stark Draper Prize of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (2011), the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2011), and the Millennium Technology Prize (2016). She has been elected to the U.S. National Academies of Science, Medicine, and Engineering, and was appointed to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 2019. Arnold cofounded three companies in sustainable chemistry and renewable energy (Gevo, Provivi, Aralez Bio) and serves on the boards of several public and private companies. She earned a BS in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University and a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
About the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) Perkin Medal
This annual award is recognized as the highest honor given for outstanding work in applied chemistry in the United States. It commemorates the discovery of the first synthetic dye (the so-called Perkin mauve) by Sir William Henry Perkin in 1856. This discovery was a significant step forward in organic chemistry that led to the birth of a major segment of the chemical industry. The SCI Perkin Medal was first awarded to Sir William at a banquet held by the SCI in New York in 1906. Since then, more than 100 such awards have been given to notable scientists.
About the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI)
Established in 1894, SCI America is part of the Society of Chemical Industry’s international organization. It provides a unique networking forum for chemical industry leaders, industrial scientists, and technologists to exchange new business ideas and best practices. It celebrates achievement to promote public awareness of the contributions of industrial chemistry and inspires students to enter technical careers. SCI America events are managed by the Science History Institute. The Perkin Medal award dinner will be the final event of Innovation Day, a full day of research collaboration in the molecular sciences held at the Institute in Philadelphia on September 12, 2023.
About the Science History Institute
The Science History Institute illuminates the science and technology that is “hidden in plain sight” by exploring lesser-known and often overlooked stories. We dive deep into the history of scientific successes and failures, uncovering the strange surprises and mishaps that have led to discovery and innovation. We tell the stories behind the science. Visit the Institute’s museum and library, listen to our podcasts, read our magazine and blog, attend our programs, and browse our digital collections. It’s all free so you can be free to discover the science in your life. For more information, visit sciencehistory.org or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
SCI Social Media
Resa Thomason, SCI America
Bhavesh (Bob) V. Patel to be awarded prestigious SCI Chemical Industry Medal at celebratory event March 7, 2023 in New York
Philadelphia, PA | November 20, 2022– The Society of Chemical Industry, America Section (SCI America), announced today that the 2023 SCI Chemical Industry Medal will be awarded to Bhavesh (Bob) V. Patel, Chief Executive Officer of W. R. Grace & Co., a Standard Industries company. Patel will receive the award on March 7, 2023, during a celebratory event at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.
The SCI Chemical Industry Medal honors an individual whose leadership, commitment and contributions have been responsible for initiating substantial progress in and driving high performance in the chemical industry. In addition to being a guiding force in the leadership of their organization, recipients are recognized for their service to the industry as a whole.
“Bob has earned a well-deserved reputation for being a transformative leader in our industry. For well over a decade, he has been at the leading edge of the most pivotal issues facing our industry, particularly the effort to eliminate plastic waste from the environment,” said John Paro, Chair of SCI America.
“As a co-founder of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, he collaborated with other leaders to bring organizations from across the value chain together to identify meaningful solutions. We are pleased to honor him with this year’s medal.”
“I share this recognition with my current and former colleagues, whose contributions to the industry over the years have changed it for the better,” said Bob Patel. “Chemistry touches all of our lives, every day, in every community around the world, and I’m extraordinarily grateful for the opportunity to play a role in the advancement of our industry and its important work.”
Patel is the CEO of Grace, a position he has held since January 2022. Grace, a Standard Industries company, is a global leader in specialty chemicals with two industry-leading business segments—Catalyst Technologies and Materials Technologies—providing innovative products, technologies and services that enhance the products and processes of customers around the world.
Prior to joining Grace, Patel served as CEO of LyondellBasell, one of the largest chemicals, plastics and refining companies in the world. He joined LyondellBasell in 2010, serving as Senior Vice President and then Executive Vice President of the Olefins and Polyolefins (O&P) Americas, Europe, Asia and International (EAI), and technology business segments. He was subsequently named CEO in January 2015.
During this tenure as CEO, LyondellBasell embarked on a period of growth. Under his leadership, the company built new world-scale production facilities, expanded its market presence in Asia and made a number of strategic acquisitions, including A. Schulman, Inc., making LyondellBasell the largest manufacturer of compounded materials in the world.
For more than 20 years prior to LyondellBasell, Patel held positions of increasing responsibility at Chevron Corporation and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company. Over the course of his career, he has held leadership positions based in the Netherlands, Singapore and the United States.
Patel earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from The Ohio State University and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Temple University. He serves on several boards, including the Houston Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Halliburton Company, and is a member of the Business Council. He is also on the external advisory council of the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University and the Board of Visitors of the Fox School of Business at Temple University.###
About the Chemical Industry Medal
The Chemical Industry Medal has been awarded by SCI America for more than 85 years. Presentation is made annually to a recipient selected by the Executive Committee of the America Section of the SCI. The Chemical Industry Medal is a testimonial to men and women whose leadership, foresight, and contributions to applied chemistry have been, to a considerable degree, responsible for the growth of that industry. The medal has attained distinction by reason of the outstanding achievements and caliber of those who have been honored. Past recipients include Mark Vergnano, Christopher Pappas, Craig Rogerson, Steve Pryor, Sunil Kumar, and Andrew N. Liveris. For a complete list of winners, see SCI CIM winners.
About the Society of Chemical Industry
SCI America was founded in 1894 in New York City. It provides a unique networking forum for chemical industry leaders, industrial scientists, and technologists to exchange new business ideas and best practices. It celebrates achievements in industrial chemistry through three medal awards: The Perkin Medal, the Chemical Industry Medal, and the Gordon E. Moore Medal. The organization works to inspire students to enter technical careers by offering its members an opportunity to participate in an annual scholars program. SCI America also offers its members the opportunity to become part of its growing network by participating in its annual Innovation Day, where young industry leaders come together to celebrate innovation in the chemical industry and to seek solutions for tomorrow’s challenges.
By highlighting extraordinary individuals and their work, SCI America aims to promote public understanding of research and development in modern chemical industries, enhance the interest of students in applied chemistry by providing role models, and emphasize the role of creative research in the global economy. For more information, visit SCI America’s website: www.sci-america.org.
SCI America events are managed by the Science History Institute: sciencehistory.org.
SCI America Joins FOSSI Program
The Future of STEM Scholars Initiative provides $40,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors pursuing preferred STEM degrees at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Philadelphia, PA | April 25, 2022– The Society of Chemical Industry America (SCI America) today announced its engagement in the Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI), the chemical industry’s collaborative equity, diversity, and inclusion initiative aimed at creating pathways for more underrepresented groups to enter and succeed in science, technology, education, and math (STEM) careers in the chemical industry.
FOSSI is a national scholarship program which provides incoming college freshman $40,000 scholarships and connects them to leadership development, mentoring, and internship opportunities at sponsoring companies. FOSSI creates lasting and meaningful relationships between students and sponsors, helping to create a diverse pipeline of future workforce talent. FOSSI has an ambitious goal of supporting 1,000 scholars through 2025, at an investment of nearly $50 million.
SCI America will sponsor two scholars over the next four years, joining a growing list of organizations who together have raised more than $16 million.
“SCI America is proud to expand our annual scholars program to include two FOSSI scholarships through 2026. Our membership is strongly committed to increasing access for all students to the STEM field and FOSSI’s program is indeed the standard for promoting inclusion of Black students in the chemical sector,” said SCI America’s Chair John Paro, Chairman and CEO of Hallstar.
“FOSSI brings together the industry’s collective might to make a significant impact on the future of the chemical industry. As a former SCI America Executive Committee member, I am thrilled that they will be supporting FOSSI scholars,” says FOSSI Chairman Mark Vergnano. “We are grateful to SCI America for their support in this important initiative and look forward to working with their team to create opportunities and pathways for success for these deserving scholars.”
About the Future of STEM Scholars Initiative
The Future of STEM Scholars Initiative was founded in 2020 by the American Chemistry Council, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, The Chemours Company, and the HBCU Week Foundation. FOSSI is a national chemical industry-wide program which provides scholarships to students pursuing degrees in relevant science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), helping to eliminate financial barriers for historically under-represented groups. Sponsored by chemical manufacturers and related industry stakeholders, FOSSI provides scholarship recipients $10,000 per year for four years and connects these students to leadership development, mentoring, and internship opportunities at participating companies. Learn more at FutureofSTEMscholars.org.
SCI America supports the chemical enterprise with three signature events each year: the Chemical Industry Medal ceremony and dinner, the Perkin Medal ceremony and dinner, and Innovation Day and the honoring of the Gordon E. Moore Medal.
SEPTEMBER 12, 2023
PERKIN MEDAL AWARD DINNER AT THE RITZ-CARLTON
September 12, 2023
PERKIN MEDAL AWARD DINNER AT THE RITZ-CARLTON IN PHILADELPHIA
Join us as we celebrate the 2023 Perkin Medal Award winner.
September 12, 2023
INNOVATION DAY AT THE SCIENCE HISTORY INSTITUTE IN PHILADELPHIA
An in-person and virtual conference open to member companies.
March 5, 2024
Chemical Industry Medal Dinner at the Plaza Hotel in New York
Join us as we celebrate a chemical industry leader at this black-tie affair.