6 Berkshire Boulevard, Suite 306, Bethel, CT 06801.

The Thermoplastics Materials and Foams Division's education program is supporting student activities in the SPE community which includes platinum sponsorship for the ANTEC® student receptions over the years and student scholarships. In addition, the division is organizing specialized webinar series in state of the art areas in the plastics field which are offered to both industry and academia such as sustainability, and bio and green thermoplastics and foams. Please find below a snap shot of the activity that is going on educationally within this division.

Salvatore J. Monte 2018 Scholarship Award

Forrest Baker

Forrest Baker currently attends Kettering University and is expected to graduate in June 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He is the president of the Kettering University SPE student Chapter. After aiding in the planning of a successful SPE PlastiVan® event in Flint, he hopes to develop an ongoing outreach program in the area. In addition to his involvement in SPE, he is a Resident Assistant, student President of Pi Tau Sigma, as well as a member of Tau Beta Pi and Society of Automotive Engineers. Although Forrest has a large involvement on Campus, he credits much of his success to his experiential learning at his Co-Op, Flex-N-Gate. He works as a CAE Engineer performing structural analysis primarily focusing on utilizing LS-DYNA. Having interest in structural composites, he worked as a research assistant under Dr. Susan Farhat and will present on biocomposites with a student poster at ACCE 2018. Being a previous SPE-Detroit scholarship recipient, this is great honor to receive this scholarship from the national foundation. The funds will lessen Forrest’s financial burden and allow for better focus on future goals.

Forrest Baker

2018 Reedy Scholarship Winners

Mahdi Hamidinejad

Mahdi Hamidinejad is a PhD candidate in Microcellular Plastics Manufacturing Laboratory (MPML) in the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering at University of Toronto. He is conducting research on multifunctional graphene-polymer nanocomposite foams with tailored thermal and electrical properties. For this research, he was granted the Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

For this project, Mahdi
(i) invented a facile method to efficiently exfoliate graphene layers in the polymer matrix;
(ii) developed thermally conductive polymer-graphene nanocomposite foams fabricated via supercritical fluid assisted in-situ exfoliation;
(iii) introduced a new class of ultralight microcellular polymer-graphene foams with enhanced dielectric performance; and
(iv) demonstrated that optimal microcellular foaming can substantially enhance both the electrical and electromagnetic shielding properties of graphene-based polymer nanocomposites.

Mahdi is taking a leadership role in advancing cutting edge scientific research. He initiated a new collaboration between his research group at the U of Toronto and an industrial partner. He also helped to write several key grant proposals to successfully fund his research and also to provide needed equipment for his university. Recognized by his advisor as “excellent leader,” Mahdi supervises several undergraduate and graduate student researchers.

Angelika Beinert

Angelika Beinert is a doctoral student working on polymeric nanofoams in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy in Cambridge. For her PhD research, she developed a novel PMMA foam and foaming process, which enable fundamental studies of nucleation and growth processes. She has demonstrated experimentally that desorption of blowing agent leads to hydrostatic stresses that enhance nucleation, and she has shown that cell size can be tuned by application of additional stresses.

Her research advisors describe her as a “deeply thoughtful research student who thinks out and plans experiments carefully, but then gets on with them and delivers.” Andelika has also earned a degree in Physics from the University of Freiburg, Germany degree, where she specialized in polymer physics. She conducted polymer research as an Intern at the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE) in Boston, MA and as a research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

2017 TPMF Scholarship Award

Haley Palys

I was born and raised in Northern Virginia, spending most of my life in Stafford, VA until I left for college. Now, I am a senior at Penn State Behrend in Erie, PA majoring in Plastics Engineering Technology. People often ask why I chose to move into frigid Erie, PA to attend Behrend, as well as why Plastics Engineering. To me, the decision to attend Behrend was easy. My mother's family is from Erie and my parents met while attending Behrend, so it already felt like home. Plastics Engineering was a harder decision because I knew the challenges that lay ahead of me. But once I realized that it would be combining my desire to go in depth into mechanical and chemical engineering, I knew it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Now my love for polymer materials is growing, and will continue to thanks to this scholarship.


2017 Ananda Chatterjee Travel Award Winners

We are pleased to announce that Pavani Cherukupally and Ali Anwer are the recipients of the first annual Ananda Chatterjee travel awards given by the Thermoplastic Materials and Foams (TPM&F) Division. Pavani and Ali will each receive $500 to offset travel expenses to the ANTEC Conference, where they will present papers and posters highlighting their research. We would also like to acknowledge Nihal Kanbargi and Alireza Tabatabaei with Honorable Mentions. All four of these outstanding students will be recognized at the TPM&F Business Meeting and Reception at ANTEC 2017.

Pavani Cherukupally was selected as a travel award winner because of her research contributions, academic achievements, and leadership experience. Pavani will be presenting two papers and a poster at ANTEC, highlighting her novel application of foams to remove pollutants from industrial waste water. She has achieved a GPA of 3.9 during her graduate studies. In addition, Pavani has shown consistent leadership, which includes initiating collaboration among experts from the University of Toronto, Cornell University and Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research and also training 5 graduate and 10 undergraduate research students. Pavani has also served as Chief Returning Officer of Graduate Student Union, Marketing Lead of Engineers without Borders, and Chair of Consortium of Microcellular Plastic and Manufacturing. Her volunteer work on campus has been recognized with a Contributing Member of Student Life award.


Ali Anwar was selected as a travel award winner because of his broad range of research contributions and awards, his academic excellence, and his industrial experience, which includes designing composite curb side gully covers to replace ineffective cast iron ones. Ali's university research includes the development of new elastomeric composite material for slip resistant footwear, composite manufacturing method development, and development of advance thermoplastic composites using 3D printing. Ali's research has been recognized with a series of honors and awards, including multiple NSERC scholarships and grants, an SPE travel award that enabled him to present an ANTEC 2016, and also a University of Toronto conference travel award. Ali has conducted his research in collaborations with peers, and he has supervised the research of 6 undergraduate and 3 MEng students.


In addition to these candidates' credentials and accomplishments, the judges were extremely impressed with the reasons that they expressed for attending the conference. All four of these students, Pavani, Ali, Nahil, and Alireza, conveyed genuine enthusiasm for sharing their research results with the scientific community. They specifically said that they hoped to make contributions to the field through their research findings, and they also said that they hoped to enrich their research projects based on dialogue with other experts.
We thank all of the applicants and their mentors. We wish all of these exceptionally talented students continued success, and we look forward to hearing their presentation and to discussing their research.


2016 TPMF Scholarship Award

The 2016 year winner of the Thermoplastic Materials and Foams Scholarship award is Ms. Josey Hrbek. Thirteen candidates applied for the scholarship this year, and in the four judges’ opinions, Ms. Hrbek emerged as the clear winner.
What attracted us to Ms. Hrbek’s credentials were: (i) the wide variety of organizations that she belongs to including SPE, Rho Lambda Panhellenic Honor Society, Gamma Sigma Alpha Honor Society, Tau Beta Pi Honor Society, and Society of Manufacturing Engineers (ii) her volunteer work in restoring Flint, tutoring other students, and participating in a Sigma Chi Annual Haunted House event which benefited the Huntsman Cancer Research Foundation (iii) her outstanding 3.83 GPA which has earned her a variety of Alpha Gamma Delta awards and Kettering University Dean’s lists.


Michael Reedy Scholarship Award 2015

Mr. Abhishek Gandhi was awarded a sum of $500.

Abhishek Gandhi is a Ph.D. research scholar at Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi working in the field of polymer foams for the last five years. Abhishek's research work is on development of microcellular porous foamed sheets.

Mr. Anindya Dutta was awarded a sum of $500.

Anindya is a New Delhi postgraduate Ph.D candidate for foams related topic and a foams conference attendee.



  • ANTEC- Our division contributed at the Platinum Sponsorship Level ($2500) to the ANTEC Student Activities Committee for ANTEC 2014. This sponsorship goes toward traveling grants for graduate and undergraduate students presenting at ANTEC and helps fund a poster session and luncheon during which best poster prizes are awarded. This promotes interactions between students and plastics professional which is a very strong element in making for society stronger for the future.
  • FOAMS- Our division organizes best poster award at the annual FOAMS conferences. A panel also selects two students to receive a $500 travel grant to the FOAMS conference (TPM&F division scholarship and the "Michael Reedy" scholarship). Students are selected on their academic credentials and their research contribution to foam technology. The recipients for FOAMS® 2013 were Huimin Guo (U. Washington) and Amy Tsui (Stanford).

Additional Sponsorship Activities for 2014

The division is planning on having sponsored visits and talks given by plastics professionals in schools. Sponsorship for prizes in science fairs and more. Anyone with suggestions of activities related to Thermoplastic Materials and Foams is invited to submit their leads to the Education committee chair: Stephane Costeux(sccosteux@dow.com).

Webinars 2014

SPE e-Live® Webinar
January 14, 10 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time

Polyolefins-Developing and Delivering Products to Address Sustainability Needs

Polyolefins represent one of the largest chemical industry products and have an important role to play in addressing sustainability needs. Today we will discuss, through the use of life cycle thinking (LCT), several ways that polyolefins contribute to sustainability. First, products should be manufactured in an environmentally responsible manner. This requires improved energy efficiency and integration in petrochemical facilities, and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of production.

Second, we will discuss product innovation. As an example, ExxonMobil's polyethylene resin innovations have enabled thinner packaging films by up to 50% over the last two decades, while also improving packaging strength and product integrity. These performance improvements benefit the entire value chain. Development of these sustainability opportunities requires a deep technical understanding and the adoption of LCT. Through the analysis of the impacts over the entire life cycle we will demonstrate the many sustainability attributes of polyolefins.


Abdelhadi Sahnoune
Exxon Mobil

January 28, 10 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time

INFUSE™ Olefin Block Copolymers: Structure, Properties, and Applications

Dow Elastomers is celebrating six years since the launch of their breakthrough polymers, INFUSE™ Olefin Block Copolymers (OBCs). Launched at K 2007, INFUSE™ OBCs have been adopted by innovative companies worldwide into a variety of applications. INFUSE™ Olefin Block Copolymers (OBCs) are produced via a patent-pending shuttling process that represents a new-to-the-world innovation in catalyst technology, delivering breakthrough performance by bringing new combinations of properties. The unique block architecture enables our customers to expand into a wide range of innovative market applications currently served by high performance thermoplastic elastomers, thereby adding value to fabricators and end-users alike. OBCs have highly differentiated material properties that break the traditional relationship of flexibility and heat resistance while providing significantly improved compression set and elastic recovery properties versus other polyolefin plastomers and elastomers. Importantly, OBCs also maintain the ease of formulation and processing that is expected from a polyolefin. INFUSE OBCs also represent sustainable chemistry benefits including: Atom Efficiency, Reduced Toxicity/Risk, Minimized Auxiliary Substances, Reduced Energy Requirements, Cradle to Cradle, and Broad Impact. This revolutionary material was created using INSITE™ Technology - another example of how Dow continues to invest in innovative solutions and next-generation possibilities that deliver value to customers. In this webinar we will discuss how the structure and properties of these innovative materials have led to customer success.


Lisa Madenjian
Dow Elastomers

In the past, the division has organized the following WEBINARS:

Polyolefins Webinar Series 2011
January 18, January 25, February 1, February 8, and February 15 at 11:00am U.S. Eastern Time
  • Part 1:Introduction to the Diverse World of Polyethylenes
  • Part 2:Ethylene-Based Plastomers and Elastomers
  • Part 3:Introduction to Polypropylene
  • Part 4:Propylene-based Elastomers
  • Part 5:EPDM-Past, Present, and Future

Three Part SPE e-Live Webinar 2010-Co-Producted by the Thermoplastic Materials & Foams Division
August 5, August 26, and September 16 at 11:00am U.S. Eastern Time
  • Part 1:Thermoplastic Foam Industry Overview-Past, Present, and Future
  • Part 2:Foams: Fundamentals on Materials and Processing
  • Part 3:Bio and Sustainable Foams