SPE Insight


Plastics Engineering Wins Folio Awards

SPE’s Plastics Engineering (PE) magazine was recently awarded two EDDIEs from Folio magazine. The first was awarded for Robert Grace’s June 2021 feature, "Overcoming Gender Bias in Design." The article was recognized in the category “Single Article/Association, Non-profit, Professional, Membership Association.” The second EDDIE was an Honorable Mention in the category “Range of Work by a Single Author, Association, Non-profit.” The work submitted featured six articles by Grace that emphasized the importance of educating technically sophisticated engineers and others about the importance of design in product development, as well as in market trends and emerging material and process developments.


SPE Names Alformet Preferred Partner

SPE recently announced Alformet as a SPE Preferred Partner. Alformet specializes in an additive manufacturing process which uses laser radiation as a heat source for welding continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFR TP) pre-impregnated material, commonly known as UD-tapes.


SPE Foundation Announces 2022 Scholarship Recipients

The SPE Foundation is pleased to announce their scholarship recipients for 2022. Each recipient has demonstrated or expressed an interest in the plastics industry and all are majoring in or taking courses that would be beneficial to a career in plastics. Altogether, the SPE Foundation helped award 77 scholarships totaling $191,875 to 51 students for 2022.


Sue Milazzo Wojnicki Named SPE Chief Operating Officer

SPE recently announced Sue Milazzo Wojnicki's promotion to the position of Chief Operating Officer. In her role, Sue will oversee SPE’s operational processes to produce a superb member/stakeholder experience.  Sue will also manage SPE's day-to-day business operations, working closely with the CEO and with all SPE employees, ensuring that the company’s operations support and advance SPE's vision and strategy.


SPE Announces TA Instruments as Preferred Partner

SPE recently announced TA Instruments as a SPE Preferred Partner. TA Instruments is the world leader in manufacturing industry-leading systems for thermal analysis, rheology, microcalorimetry and mechanical analysis. Their reliable technology helps scientists in top laboratories test the physical properties of their materials. From medical devices to recycled plastics, material analysis and development across diverse industries is made possible by TA Instruments.


Maximize Your Leadership Potential

If you’re considering moving into a leadership role, either to manage people or projects, now is the perfect time. But are you prepared to make the move? SPE can help maximize your leadership potential through its newly launched Essentials of Management & Leadership in Plastics program. Essentials of Management & Leadership in Plastics is a six-month, cohort-based, virtual program, with the inaugural session running from October 2022 through March 2023. No other Leadership Certificate program exists that is specifically designed for those in the plastics industry. 


SPE Foundation Board Names Harthcock as New Chair

The SPE Foundation Board is pleased to announce Dr. Matthew Harthcock as its new chair. He is replacing the Foundation Board’s previous chair, Dr. David Kusuma. Dr. Harthcock assumed the chair position on July 1, 2022, with his term running until June 30, 2023. Dr. Harthcock has been a member of the SPE Foundation board since 2021.


Need to Know About Flame Retardants?

Taking place virtually the week of August 22-26, 2022, this event, hosted by the Non-Halogen Flame Retardant Materials TIG and Pinfa North America, will take an in-depth look at emerging technologies in flame retardants. The week is divided into flame retardant innovations including non-halogenated flame retardants, developments in smoke suppressants and enhancing non-halogenated retardants.


Additives & Color Middle East Virtual Event Taking Place September 1

Taking place virtually on September 1, SPE's Additives & Color Middle East Conference is focused on the latest innovations, technologies, and best practices used in the Middle East for improved performance, manufacturing productivity and quality.


ANTEC® Attendees Advised To Make Hiring More Supportive Of Women

One obvious source of labor in a tight job market is women. And with 12.7 million Americans now working in manufacturing, and 860,000 positions unfilled, employers should actively recruit and train women when they need capable job candidates. So said Allison Grealis, founder and president of Women in Manufacturing (WiM), a trade association based in Independence, Ohio. Grealis discussed the benefits of hiring women and making the workplace a supportive environment for them in a keynote session on June 14, at ANTEC®.


SPE Launches New Podcast at ANTEC®

Plastics and Beyond, a new monthly podcast hosted by Lilian Judy, is designed to provide in-depth conversations around inclusion in the plastics industry, while exploring the trials, tribulations and discrimination underrepresented groups have had to overcome and are still facing. The first episode includes two special guests: Patrick Farrey, CEO of SPE and Eve Vitale, Chief Executive of the SPE Foundation. They discuss why SPE is embarking on a DEI journey, share some firsthand experiences and explore some challenges they may face.


Dr. Brian Landes Honored with SPE’s President’s Cup Award

Brian Landes, SPE's President from 2019-2020, was recently named as the 2022 recipient of the Society’s President’s Cup Award. Dr. Jason Lyons, SPE President, presented the award to Dr. Landes during SPE's Honors & Awards Lunch Ceremony, which took place during ANTEC® 2022 in Charlotte, NC.


ANTEC® Report: Disabled Are a Productive Workforce

Keynote speakers on the first day of ANTEC® included several who discussed employment strategies to overcome a tight labor market. In a previous posting we highlighted Lloyd Martin of CKS Packaging, who detailed the company’s “second chance program” that recruits the homeless and nonviolent offenders for company jobs—workers who now account for over 10 percent of the 3,000-plus workforce in the firm’s 26 plants.


ANTEC® Report: The Homeless And Nonviolent Offenders Are A Talent Pool

The job market is tight. Recruiting, training and retaining workers is a challenge. No surprise then that employment strategies were among the topics discussed by keynote speakers on Day 1 of last week’s ANTEC conference, held June 14 to 16, in Charlotte, N.C.


ANTEC® 2022 Recap: Face-to-Face - First In-Person ANTEC® in 3 Years Kicks Off

When SPE’s ANTEC® conference got under way on June 14, in Charlotte, N.C., it had been 1,185 days since the last in-person event, said Dr. Jason Lyons, SPE president and global market manager at Arkema. Lyons welcomed attendees to the first event of ANTEC® 2022: Keynotes on topics ranging from the economy to circularity, training and new ways—for most companies—to recruit, hire and retain good workers in a tight labor market. 


SPE Foundation Partners with Texas School District to Pilot Middle School STEM Club

McKinney Independent School District in McKinney, TX, has partnered with SPE and Manner Polymers to pilot a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Club at Faubion Middle School that will be the first ever cohort of its kind in the state of Texas.


SPE Announces DOMO as Preferred Partner

SPE recently announced DOMO Engineered Materials US, part of DOMO Chemicals, as a SPE Preferred Partner. DOMO Engineered Materials plant in Buford, Georgia, operates as a custom compounder that produces a unique product portfolio. With a core business focused on PA6 and PA66 via DOMO’s complete vertical integration, the company also formulates and compounds via multiple base polymers, fillers, and additives for specialty applications.


METTLER TOLEDO Announced as SPE Preferred Partner

SPE recently announced METTLER TOLEDO as a SPE Preferred Partner. METTLER TOLEDO is a leading global manufacturer of precision instruments. The company is the world’s largest manufacturer and marketer of weighing instruments for use in laboratory, industrial and food retailing applications.


Plastics Engineering and PlastChicks™ Win Gold in Association Trends 2022 TRENDY Awards

SPE won top honors, taking home three 2022 "Gold” TRENDY Awards during the Association Trends Annual Awards Luncheon at the Capital Hilton in Washington DC. SPE was also awarded the “Pinnacle Award,” the highest honor across all TRENDY Awards categories.


Are Your Family Members SPE Members?

As part of SPE’s 80th Anniversary, one of the many activities planned throughout 2022 is a special commemorative issue of Plastics Engineering magazine, which will be published in July/August. Part of this special issue will focus on those SPE members who are members of the same family. Fathers, mothers, children, brothers, sisters. Aunts, uncles, cousins. So – let us know if your SPE membership has been a ‘family affair!’ Give us your SPE family info here.


Moldex3D Announced as SPE Preferred Partner

SPE recently announced CoreTech System Co., Ltd. (Moldex3D) as an SPE Preferred Partner in the end of 2021, which is their second-year partnership. Moldex3D is not only recognized the pioneering simulation solution provider for injection molding, but also dedicated in providing comprehensive technical services that can help industries achieve the “T-zero Production.”


SPE Names Honored Service Members for 2022

Three SPE members have been named recipients of the 2022 Honored Service Member (HSM) award. HSM candidates demonstrate long-term, outstanding service to, and support of, SPE and its objectives. 2022's honorees are David J. Anzini, Director of R&D, Celgard LLC ; Dr. Paul J. Gramann, President, The Madison Group; and Han P. Michel, General Manager, E-Three & Associates Pty. Ltd. 


2022 Fellow of the Society Recipients Named

Three SPE members have been honored as Fellow of the Society recipients for their outstanding contributions in the field of plastics engineering, science or technology, or in the management of such activities. 2022's Fellows of the Society honorees are Dr. Alper Kiziltas, Technical Expert, Ford; William Kramer, President, US Extruders; and Dr. Keisha B. Walters, Department Head and Professor, University of Arkansas. 


Do You Know a Future Plastics Professional?

The SPE Foundation offers numerous scholarships to students who have demonstrated or expressed an interest in the plastics industry. Students must be majoring in or taking courses that would be beneficial to a career in the plastics industry. This would include, but is not limited to, plastics engineering, polymer science, chemistry, physics, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, journalism, or communications. All applicants must be in good standing with their colleges. Scholarships range from $1,000-$5,000.


SPE’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Manufacturing Event to Take Place Virtually in January

Originally scheduled to take place in New York City in December, SPE’s upcoming Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Manufacturing event has been rescheduled to be held virtually January 27-28, 2022. Speakers will focus on raising awareness, how to recognize personal bias, ways to change your company’s culture, how to increase supplier diversity, explore the benefits of creating a more inclusive manufacturing environment, and more!


This Giving Tuesday, Change the Perception of Plastics

Join the SPE Foundation as it seeks support for After-School SPE STEM Clubs. Focused on sustainable materials science and positive plastics education, we need your help to bring this exciting new program to more students. It costs $5,000 per year to cover the cost of one club. Help us reach our goal of raising enough funds for FIVE After-School SPE STEM Clubs! Donate here for Giving Tuesday (11.30.21)!


Plastics Engineering to Commemorate SPE’s 80th Anniversary in 2022

As part of SPE’s 80th Anniversary, one of the many activities planned throughout 2022 is a special commemorative issue of Plastics Engineering (PE) magazine, which will be published in July/August. This keepsake issue will act as a major reference for plastics industry history and outlook. For those who want to be part of this special issue that will be read, referenced, and reviewed for years to come, please take a few minutes to provide your ideas by going to 4spe.org/Celebrate80.


After-School SPE Foundation STEM Clubs Need Your Support

The SPE Foundation is launching SPE After-School STEM Clubs this fall. This new program will serve 400-600 students with weekly lessons focused on sustainable materials science and positive plastics education. It costs $5,000 per year to cover each club. Make a gift today and help us show plastics the love it deserves!


ANTEC® 2022 Returns As In-Person Event

SPE has announced it is hosting ANTEC® 2022 in-person, co-located with PLASTEC® South, an Informa event, in Charlotte, NC, June 14-15. PLASTEC® South is a comprehensive annual plastic design and manufacturing event for plastics professionals, suppliers and buyers to discover innovation, engineer new technology, and to expand their networks. ANTEC® 2022 will also include an online component.


SPE Announces Series of DEI Events

Continuing to ensure Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) issues are brought to the forefront in the plastics industry as well as in manufacturing as a whole, SPE is announcing four roundtable educational and networking events, which will be delivered during Informa Markets – Engineering advanced manufacturing regional trade shows, starting with Advanced Manufacturing East, taking place in December 2021 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.


SPE to Host Second Annual Plastics in Aerospace Virtual Event

SPE is proud to host the second annual Plastics in Aerospace conference, taking place virtually Oct. 26-27. This year’s conference will focus specifically on aircraft interiors and emerging technologies including UAV/UAM. Learn which materials are emerging as prime candidates to revolutionize the aerospace industry from thought leaders in this space.


2021 SPE Foundation Scholarships Awarded

The SPE Foundation recently announced its 2021 Scholarship Recipients. The Foundation supports the development of plastics professionals by funding quality educational programs, grants and scholarships. Through its online application portal, the Foundation managed 77 scholarships awarded to 47 outstanding students totaling $190,350.


SPE Announces Formation of DEI Advisory Board

SPE has formed an Advisory Board to support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) within the Society and the plastics industry. Through the formation of this Advisory Board, SPE intends to bring these issues to the forefront, while at the same time developing educational, professional development, mentoring, and recruitment resources for SPE’s elected leaders, staff, and members and their companies.


Applications Now Available for 2022 SPE Honored Service Member and Fellow of the Society Awards

SPE Fellows are honored for their contributions in the fields of plastics engineering, science, or technology, or in the management of such activities and Honored Service Members are recognized for their long-term, outstanding service to, and support of, the Society and its objectives. Fellow of the Society and Honored Service Member applications are due October 1, 2021.


RACE 4 Asia Showcases Speakers and Panelists From Across the Globe

Industry leaders and decision makers joined forces on July 15th and 16th, 2021 to discuss recycling opportunities and overcoming challenges during the pandemic and complexities within the recycling industry. The two-day conference included networking, knowledge sharing and ideation across the plastics ecosystem.


SPE News Now Available

Our new bi-weekly e-newsletter, SPE News, covers breaking industry developments with special emphasis on the people, chapters, and activities within SPE. Our goal with SPE News is to provide content that is easy to digest, interesting and enjoyable to read. We will distribute the newsletter via email to SPE members and subscribers on two Fridays per month. Watch for it!


JSW America’s Paul Martin and Dow’s Pavan Valavala Named to SPE Executive Board

SPE President Jason Lyons appointed Paul Martin, Vice President, JSW America, as VP at Large and Pavan Valavala, Sr. R&D Leader for the Materials Engineering Center in the Engineering and Process Sciences Organization, Dow, Inc., was approved by the Executive Board to assume position of SPE’s VP Professional Development. Each of these positions started on July 1 and will run for one year.


SPE 2021 President's Cup Recipient Announced

Conor P. Carlin, SPE's VP Sustainabilty, was recently named as the 2021 recipient of the Society’s President’s Cup Award. Dr. Jaime Gomez, SPE’s Outgoing President, presented the award to Carlin during SPE's Honors & Awards Ceremony, which took place virtually on June 29th. The ceremony also presented the Passing of the Gavel and celebrated SPE's 2021 Fellow and HSM award winners. 


Meet SPE President Jason Lyons

Dr. Jason Lyons, Business Manager, Arkema, began his tenure as SPE's President on July 1. Dr. Lyons has been part of the SPE community for many years in many roles that have helped influence his journey to becoming the society's newest President. SPE News asked Dr. Lyons a handful of questions so we could get to know him a little better. Besides finding out he’s a die-hard Pearl Jam fan, we discovered Dr. Lyons has many passions. 


A Solution to Consider Forming-Induced Fiber Reorientation in RTM Analysis

The fiber orientation changes significantly during the forming stage. The fabric’s shear and fiber reorientation locally affect the magnitude and orientation of the fabric’s permeability property. The difference in the fiber orientation between the manufacturing process and the simulation leads to errors. The best solution to reduce these errors is to have a seamless workflow between the different simulation tools.


It’s much more than a “Plastics Race”… it’s SPE’s Plastics Summer Olympics!

SPE’s Plastics Summer Olympics, powered by QMe Tech, will be held for 4 days starting on Friday, August 6 and going through Monday, August 9. You can compete at your convenience! Watch the leader board and see if you’ll be taking your spot on the winner’s podium! SPE Members can participate for free.


ANTEC® Recap: Chemistries Target Thermal Control in EV Batteries

New Rogers Corp. materials control thermal runaway in electric vehicles

With e-mobility gaining traction, chemistries to prevent thermal runaway—i.e., temperature spikes in failing electric vehicle (EV) batteries that can grow into raging fires—is a key focus of Rogers Corp.


SPE Announces Recently Elected Executive Board Members

SPE is pleased to announce its recently elected Executive Board members, including the positions of President, President-Elect, VP Business & Finance, VP Chapters, and VP Publications.


ANTEC® Recap: Carbon Fiber Improves Fracture Toughness in Printing Trials

The use of carbon fiber to improve the fracture toughness of 3D-printed fused filament fabricated carbon fiber/ABS composites was effective in loadings up to 25 percent, according to research detailed in a May 10 ANTEC® presentation. Optimal results were achieved with 10 percent carbon fiber load.


ANTEC® Recap: Fiber Behavior Is a Focus of Composites Session

Researchers gauge impact of fibers in multiple applications

The May 12 composites session featured several talks characterizing fiber-breakage mechanisms and developing predictive models for discontinuous/short-fiber injection molding materials. It’s well established both that retained fiber length has a major impact on mechanical properties of composites and that, by its nature, injection molding provides many opportunities to break fibers.


ANTEC® Recap: Dow: Ethylene Polymers Foster Sustainability

Advances in chemistry improve film recyclability, precision of automotive parts and even asphalt

From flexible and rigid packaging to mobility and roads, the boundaries of ethylene polymers are poised to expand and create more sustainable options for everyday uses, according to Dow research presented at ANTEC® 2021 on May 6.


ANTEC® Recap: 3D-Printed Culvert Fix Is Planned

Large printed water drainage parts would speed repairs and cost less than conventional versions

Large-scale 3D printing is being evaluated to repair water-diverting highway culverts, according to Sunil Bhandari of the University of Maine, speaking in a virtual ANTEC® presentation on May 10. An experimental culvert diffuser will be installed in Maine in July and tested in October when the autumn rains arrive.


ANTEC® Recap: Moisture Levels Impede ‘Green’ Compounding

Biobased materials generate large volumes of steam that require costly new equipment to process

In addressing the commercialization realities of “green” materials, Adam Dreiblatt of CPM Extrusion Group highlighted the challenges compounders face in delivering performance on existing equipment at acceptable cost.


ANTEC® Recap: How Sweet It Is

Chocolatier and TC Transcontinental work to find sweet spot for sustainable packaging

Canadian chocolatier Chewters is partnering with TC Transcontinental Packaging to develop more sustainable flexible packaging for the former’s ChocoXO brand. Officials from both firms shared what they’ve learned in the effort at a virtual ANTEC® 2021 conference on May 6, moderated by Conor Carlin, SPE’s vice president of sustainability.


ANTEC® Recap: Taking Stock

Panel of journalists at ANTEC® give their take on where the plastics industry is going

It was a brilliant idea: Invite four of the plastics industry’s leading U.S. journalists to participate in a panel discussion on May 5, the opening day of ANTEC®. The result was a one-hour look at trends, influences, achievements and challenges the industry faces. The responses were insightful and enlightening and closed the first day of ANTEC® on a positive note.

  Welcome Page