Jim Griffing, president of the Society of Plastics Engineers, will be the keynote speaker at West Virginia University’s first-ever Plastics Day, scheduled for Friday, March 22. Griffing’s talk, “Polymer Composites for Aerospace Applications: Past, Present and Future,” will be given at 9:30 a.m. in room 101 A/B, of the National Research Center for Coal and Energy, on WVU’s s Evansdale campus.

Griffing has worked at Boeing for 25 years and currently serves as technical fellow, specializing in polymer and composite materials and processes for aircraft. His talk will focus on Boeing’s usage of composite materials for primary structure on a large commercial scale. The presentation will explore some of the issues involved with transitioning new composites technology into current and future aerospace products.

Before joining the team at Boeing, Griffing worked as a process engineer at Chemical Fabrics Corporation in Vermont. He holds three patents for overhead stowage design and manufacturing techniques. He serves on the board of directors for both the Composites Division and the Pacific Northwest Section of SPE.

In addition to the keynote, Plastics Day will feature technical talks, lab tours and opportunities for students to interact with representatives from all facets of the industry. Companies scheduled to attend include Bayer MaterialScience, The Dow Chemical Company, DuPont, Pickering Associates and SABIC Innovative Plastics. It will also feature a poster competition for students, on such research topics as polymers and materials, energy, biomedical engineering and catalysis. Representative from the attending companies will act as judges and prizes will be awarded to the top three posters in both the undergraduate and graduate categories.

“Plastics are a very significant part of the chemical industry in the state and the region,” said Rakesh Gupta, George B. and Carolyn A. Berry Professor and chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering. “It is not surprising that a large number of chemical engineers are employed in plastics’ manufacturing. Plastics Day at WVU is meant to provide an awareness of this fact to our students.”

Plastics Day is sponsored by WVU’s Department of Chemical Engineering, the West Virginia and Southeastern Ohio Section of SPE, Bayer MaterialScience and the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium.



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CONTACT: Mary C. Dillon
304-293-4086; mary.dillon@mail.wvu.edu