Degrees with Fields, Institutions and Dates
- M.Sc. Organic Chemistry, Bombay University, 1969
- Ph.D. Organic Chemistry (Polymer Science & Eng.), Bombay University, 1975
- Postdoctoral Research, Bioorganic Polymers, Purdue University, 1979-1981
- Research Scientist, Renewable Resources Engineering, Purdue University, 1981-83
- Professor of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering; Michigan State University; 1990 --
- Director, BioMaterials Program, MBI International, 1989 to 1997
- MBI Distinguished Professor of Chemical & Biochemical Engineering 1990-1997
- Group Leader & Research Professor, Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering, Purdue University, 1983-1989
Achievements And Honors
- Have Eighty refereed publications
in leading journals, fourteen patents,
edited three books and one expert dossier in the area of bio-based polymeric materials. The research
area encompasses Engineering and Design of Sustainable, Biobased products, biodegradable plastics and polymers, reactive extrusion polymerization and processing, studies in polymer biodegradation and composting. A focus area is on developing LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) protocols for meeting a product's environmental stewardship. Another focus area is biofiber -reinforced composites using synthetic and natural polymer matrices. Sixteen students have obtained their Master's degree and
four students have obtained their Ph.D. degrees. Currently, four Ph.D and three Master's students are working in the program. Major research programs with industry and serves as consultant for several companies.
- Developed Poly(lactic acid) technology and conducted engineering scale-up studies on the PLA technology for Cargill Inc. The technology is currently being commercialized through a Cargill-Dow Chemical joint venture company.
- Founding President & CEO of a start-up company, BioPlastics Polymers & Composites LLC., which is manufacturing polyester-starch resins for compost and retail carry-out bags. The technology was developed at MSU and is covered by seven patents. MSU licensed the technology to BioPlastics Polymers.
- Developed biodegradable, modified starch thermoplastics technology with polystyrene properties. The technology is covered by three patents and forms the basis of a joint venture company in Michigan, EverCorn Inc., with a major Japanese corn wet miller, Japan Corn Starch. A $ 2MM R&D phase was completed in July of 1995. Currently, a pilot-scale operation is in place to sample customers in thousand pound quantities. Served as one of the Directors of EverCorn Inc., and directed the technology development and pilot plant operations.
- Co-founded Lions Adhesives Inc. in January 1996 (now EcoSynthetix Inc.; visit
web site) to develop a portfolio of environmentally responsive
biobased adhesives that are non interfering in paper recycling operations
and biodegradable in composting processes. The company has been financed through
investors to the tune of $ Four million. Currently has seven full-time and
several part-time employees. Served as Founding Director, and Vice-President
of Strategic Technology Development.
- Work with KTMIndustries (a Michigan company), to design and manufacture light-weight,
non-toxic, extrusion foamed starch products that have water wetable adhesive
properties to create a new family of arts and crafts materials and speciality
toys for children. The first product is a multi-colored foamed building block
that is marketed under the brand name "Magic Nuudles" (visit web
site of Magic
Nuudles ). Also developed starch foam sheets for cushion packaging and insulation material. The product is being marketed under the trade name GreenCell ( Visit web site of www.ktmindustries.com )
- Serve as Chairman of ASTM subcommittee D-20.96 on "Environmentally Degradable Plastics" which has developed and continues to develop Standards in the area of Degradable Plastics. U.S. Technical Expert and Representative to the Working Group on "Degradable Plastics" of International Standards Organization (ISO) Technical Committee on Plastics (TC-61). Serve as the ASTM Subcommittee Chairman on Terminology (D20.92), and the Convener of working Group 1 in ISO TC61 Subcommittee on Terminology. Also active on another International Standards Organization Technical Committee -- TC-207 on Environmental Management, and serve as the US Technical Expert on the Subcommittee on Environmental Labeling.
- Testified before two U.S. Senate committees on the subject of Environmentally Compatible Polymers. Served as Team Leader for several U.S.Grains Council's Biodegradable Material's missions to Japan and was the Keynote Speaker at the U.S. - Japan BioPlastics Symposium in 1992. Invited speaker at National and International Conferences on the subject of Environmentally Compatible Polymers and Materials.
- Invited Faculty on the UNIDO-ICS (United Nations International Development Organization - International Center for Science & HIgh Technology, Treiste, Italy) International Workshop on Environmentally Degradable Polymers, November, 1997-2000 (India, Turkey, Brazil, Qatar, Slovakia, UAE, Korea) & consultant to UNIDO-ICS
- Serve as the Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the International Biodegradable
Products Institute (BPI). – the Biodegradable Plastics industry trade organization.
Click here to visit BPI
- Received the 1991 Research and Commercialization Award sponsored by ICI Americas, Inc. & the National Corn Growers Association. The award recognizes any scientist or group of scientists that has made significant contribution to the research and commercialization of a new, corn-based product or researched or enhanced a technology that has or will result in the expansion of existing demand for corn or corn-derived products. It comes with a $ 10,000 R&D award.
- Received the "Outstanding Achievement award" in 1996 from ASTM committee D-20 on Plastics in recognition of leadership in developing D20.92 (Terminology) and D20.96 (Degradable Plastics) Standards.
- First receipent of the "William N Findley award" for significant contributions to the application of new technologieswithin the scope of ASTM Committee D20 on Plastics.
- Selected for the 1999/2000 Fulbright Distinguished Lectureship Chair in Science & Technology Management & Commercialization (Portugal).
- Recognition award from ASTM International Committee D20 on Plastics - in recognition of technical contributions and leadership in the ongoing standards work for degradable plastics and the pioneering of development standards in the field of biobased polymers. - November 2002.