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Synthetic Rubber Chemist Consultant: Synthesis, Analysis,and Scale-Up of Catalysts and Polymers

Technical Consultant #2039


Expertise

  • Synthesis of organic intermediates for monomers, ligands and intermediates.
  • Synthesis of air and moisture sensitive organometallic catalysts.
  • Polymerization: Water-borne urethanes, solvent based homogeneous olefin copolymerization (metallocenes, Ziegler), and emulsion polymerization.
  • Vulcanization: Synthetic rubber - bulk and foams.
  • Polyurethane coatings: water-based, foamed over textiles and polyolefin non-woven composites.
  • Process optimization: DOE, ANOVA, response surface, use of Minitab, Design Expert and JMP.
  • Project management: Resource allocation, timelines, milestones and cross-functional conduit.
  • Intellectual property: Applications, trademarks, oppositions and infringement.
  • Analysis: chromatography (column, GCMS), spectroscopy (FTIR, UV), and spectrometry (NMR, MS).
  • Thermo-mechanical testing: DSC, DMA, TGA, and DMTA
  • Mechanisms of reaction: Kinetics, isotope effects, and synthesis of deuterium labeled materials.

Experience

Independent Consultant, 2013 - Present

  • Emulsion chemistry: Urethane, acrylic, silicone and hybrid. Curing processes and product performance.
  • Coatings and lamination: Fabric and foam substrates, industrial, protective and class I medical devices.
  • Formulation, process and product optimization. DOE, DMAIC, FMEA, VOC and HOQ/QFD.
  • Thermo-mechanical analysis of urethane foams for product specifications and process improvement.

Lion Copolymer, Baton Rouge, LA, Research and Development Director, 2009 - 2013

  • Directed and coordinated research and development efforts for new product developments and plant support.
  • Defined strategies, timelines and managed resources of multiple projects to achieve milestones and targets on timely basis.
  • Generated and implemented strategic road map for new product technology development.
  • Highly integrated with executive management and BOD for efficient project prioritization and direction.
  • Maintained a strong relationship with operations (solution and emulsion processes), for strongly focused implementations and resolutions of existing issues, and new product development.
  • Emulsion polymerization. Cold SBR. Specialty polar monomers for specialty polymers.
  • Silica silanization optimization in joint venture. 29Si solid state nmr analysis of materials.
  • Solution polymerization. Ziegler Natta catalysis and activators.
  • Emulsion blend project to synergize system for improved mechanical properties.
  • Polymer modification. Maleic anhydride and siloxane grafting.
  • GPC, ICP, GCMS, FTIR, RPA, elemental analysis (XRF).
  • Polymerization pilot plant design, construction and polymerization strategy.
  • Recruited personnel from Ph.D.s to technicians to double size of lab in one year.
  • Managed multiple teams composed of six Ph.D. professionals and ten lab technicians.
  • Managed IP: Provisional patents and final edition, trademark registrations and oppositions with 100% success rate.
  • Upgraded research and analytical lab facility (over $1 million in equipment and lab upgrades) for business platforms.
  • Managed two pilot plant constructions, and associated resources and projects during their operation.
  • Developed novel filler modification, catalyst technology and emulsion composition. Eleven pending patents.

Sealy Trinity, NC, Research and Development Director-Scientist, 2007 - 2009

  • Directed and developed research and development for mattress latex technology $700 million durable goods business.
  • Designed experiments to validate robustness of latex foaming process: Determined and validated process parameters for optimum foam stability and product performance.
  • Established and performed thermo-mechanical analysis (DSC, TGA, DMA) vulcanized latex foam. Interpreted results.
  • Modeled and optimized formulation and vulcanization process conditions.
  • Compiled standard operating procedures for the thermo-mechanical analysis equipment for reference use by personnel. Resulted in focused and optimized use of resources.
  • Discovered correlation between raw material source and its relationship to product performance issues.
  • Ideated and developed novel latex foam formulations and materials.
  • Interacted closely with material suppliers to establish specification-properties relationships to optimize the latex foam integrity and subsequent vulcanization process improvements.

Lord Cary, NC, Staff Scientist, 2005 - 2006

  • Defined short and long term project goals.
  • Managed key chemical process optimization projects. Established critical metrics for analysis of raw materials, intermediates and process products.
  • Established critical metrics for HPLC and GC analysis of raw materials, intermediates and process products.
  • Purified key process intermediates to generate 100% pure standard for improved analysis and process qualification. Verified purity by acid-base titration, NMR and TGA analyses.
  • Contributed directly on syntheses, processes and analysis methodology and improvements.
  • Supervised research and production work of personnel in lab and pilot plant projects.
  • Applied Design of Experiments methodology in lab and pilot plant for process optimization.
  • Used DOE methodology for process optimization.
  • Contributed directly on syntheses, processes and analysis methods.
  • Established a procedure to reduce stream recycle and acid waste reduction with savings of $100 thousand per year.
  • Supervised research and production work of personnel in lab and pilot plant projects.

Dow Chemical, Midland, MI, Research Leader, 1988 - 2004

  • Developed INSITE Technology for solution, slurry and gas olefin polymerizations.
  • Copolymerized ethylene with various monomers, including specialty, and macromonomers, for specialty polymers (such as modified triblock-type, comb-like).
  • Developed supported metallocene catalyst on silica for slurry and gas polymerizations.
  • Purchased and designed 5 reactors with different automated configurations as the main infrastructure for solution, slurry and gas olefin polymerizations. Safety was focus #1.
  • Designed process using sequential and different catalysts to make tailored polymer structures with performance similar to triblock polymers. Polyethylene or polystyrene macromer side chains, long chain branching.
  • Designed reactors for solution, slurry and gas olefin polymerizations.
  • Designed and operated the first lab scale polypropylene gas phase reactor at Dow.
  • Used Ziegler Natta heterogeneous catalysts to make EP elastomeric copolymers.
  • Reduced variability of high throughput process by 75%. Improved reproducibility.
  • Synthesized and tested multiple homogeneous coordination catalysts for the polymerization of polar monomers, such as vinyl chloride.
  • Extensive experience with NMR: Solution, low and high temperature; multinuclear: 1H, 13C, 19F, 31P, 2D NMR; GC (FID and TCD detectors); GCMS (electron impact and chemical ionization detection); FTIR; UV-Vis; EXAFS; neutron activation; GPC.
  • Chromatography: Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC); column chromatography (qualitative, preparative).
  • Fractional distillation; spinning band distillation.
  • Instron: Tensile, compression, lap shear; weatherometer (NaCl, UV); melt index; brabender mixing.
  • Formulated new water-borne polyurethane-urea ionomer (PUUI) materials for elastomers, coating and adhesive applications.
  • Made novel water-borne PUUIs containing silicone amorphous segments for water repellent coatings.
  • Extensive analysis of catalysts and polyolefin elastomers: 1H-, 13C-, 19F-, 31P-NMR (low and high temperature and use of special techniques: APT, homo/heteronuclear COSY); GPC, GCMS, FTIR, EXAFS, neutron activation (supported catalysts), Instron, weatherometer, melt index.
  • Particle size analysis of water-borne polyurethane-urea ionomers. Dual particle size system resulted in a U.S. patent.
  • Interacted with Dow European facilities to support ongoing projects.
  • Facilitated and managed multiple Six Sigma Black Belt projects.
  • Six Sigma Black Belt certification.

Maxdem, Pasadena, CA, Scientist, 1986 - 1988

  • Developed high performance material intermediates via thermal rearrangement in vacuo.
  • Polymerized intermediates by Grubbs' titanium carbene metathesis catalysts.
  • Prepared poly-p-phenylene (PPP) rigid rod intermediates to generate high strength PPP. This lead to the development of Parmax 1200 self-reinforcing polymer (SRP). Technology was sold to Solvay Polymers.
  • Analyzed intermediates by solid state NMR.
  • Proposal writing for DOD, DARPA and other corporate sponsors.

Productos Alen, Monterrey, Mexico, Chemist

  • Hydration of turpentine to generate pine oil. 10 ton (22,000 lb) reactors.
  • Fractional vacuum distillation: 3-10 ton (22,000 - 6,600 lb) stills; Raschig rings
  • Recovered specific fractions with scent and perfume value for value added to the process: Anethole.
  • Recovered waste materials and converted chemically to scent and perfume materials: Terpineol acetate.
  • Laboratory (one gallon reactors and stills) to plant scale up.
  • Gas chromatography, scent testing.

Professional Accomplishments

  • Collaborated cross-functionally to develop novel catalyst technology which generated revenue in excess of $1 billion per year in sales. Resulted in multiple patents.
  • Identified and drove technological innovation in waterborne polyurethane technology in response to growing market trends in coatings and adhesives, (patent issued).
  • Identified root cause of product performance problem in $700 million latex foam durable goods market.
  • Ideated, directed and developed new latex foam materials in $700 million durable goods market in company innovation breakthrough.
  • Interacted with business, operation and patent functions to define and decide project strategies for continuous improvements and new product development.
  • Involved in market analysis and new product costing. Toll process vs. in-house manufacturing.
  • Interacted deeply with customer to understand their needs and target resources for project success.
  • Directed projects resulting in improved materials and processes and reduced defects by 80% in elastomeric product. Patent granted on new technology.
  • Identified root cause of solid material process bottleneck. Modified raw material specs, reduced key process step from 6 minutes to 1 minute per batch. Improved throughput 25%: 6K to 8K pounds per day.
  • Increased plant productivity by 25 % in 20 million pounds per year pine oil production by developing an analytical method for raw material and recycled streams.
  • Exercise due diligence for project timelines compliance, alignment of resources, and safety and environmental regulations.
  • Managed IP and trademark activities: Research and development work, patent filing, and disclosure strategy.
  • Authored 45 patent and patent applications. Sixteen patents issued in the U.S.
  • Assessed and insure comprehensive safety checks for chemical research and development processes.
  • Managed safety coordinator responsibilities for chemical research and development site with 400 employees.

Honors & Publications


Credentials

  • Post-doc, Chemistry, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
  • Six Sigma Black Belt

Languages

  • Spanish; native
  • French and Italian: Reading (technical)

Academic and Professional Affiliations

  • American Chemical Society - ACS
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science - AAAS
  • Rubber Division - ACS
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers - IEEE

Awards

  • Received Dow Chemical "Inventor of the Year" Award

Publications and Patents

  • Author of a chapter - educational text book.
  • Over ten patents.

Education

  • Ph.D. Chemistry, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
  • B.S. Chemistry, Tecnologico Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico
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