Contact: Chris Barry, cbarry@4spe.org, 203.740.5414

SPE Announces HSM and Fellow Award Recipients for 2020

DANBURY, CT—February 7, 2020: SPE recently announced the 2020 recipients for two of its prestigious awards: the Honored Service Members (HSM) Award and the Fellow of Society Award.

The following professionals received the SPE HSM Award:

Mr. Mark MacLean-Blevins, Independent Product Design Consultant
Nominated by the SPE Product Design & Development Division
In practice as an independent product design consultant since 1992, Mark has spent his career developing products manufactured from plastics. A Mechanical Engineering graduate of the Johns Hopkins University, Mark has been named as inventor or co-inventor on 49 US patents, many issued internationally. Mark’s book, Designing Successful Products with Plastics was published by Elsevier in 2017. He has received several design-based awards, including the SPE 2007 Glenn L. Beall Consumer Product Design Award, the SPE Baltimore/Washington Section 1991 Product Design of the Year Award, runner up in the 2009 Wine Enthusiast Decanter Design Competition, and a finalist in the International Design Competition at NPE 2012. Mark has served as a longtime volunteer member on the Board of Directors for the Product Design and Development Division of SPE in a variety of positions including Division Chair and Counselor. Mark and his wife Kim, parents of eight children, live and work in Westminster, Maryland.


Mr. Robert V. Petrach Jr., Injection Molding Operations, Safety Technology Institute
Nominated by the SPE Detroit Section
Bob has run the injection molding operation at Safety Technology International for that last 10 years. Prior to that, he was with GM/Delphi for 38.5 years with 12 years in the Delphi Injection Molding Center of Expertise. Bob is currently serving as the Secretary of the SPE Detroit Section, a role he has held since 2014. Bob has been an active member of the Detroit Section Executive Board since 2009 in a variety of positions, including President. He supports STEM education activities collaborating with SPE Divisions and other professional societies, SAE and SME, on technical events as well as Engineering Society of Detroit STEM activities, especially Future Cities. Prior to becoming active in SPE, Bob served as Chair of SME Oakland Macomb Chapter and Chair of SME Plastics, Composites, and Coatings Technical Community, 2009-2010. Bob received the SME Award of Merit, 2011.

The following four plastics professionals received SPE’s Fellow of Society Award:

Mr. Roger W. Avakian, Owner, Avakian PolyChem Consulting LLC
Nominated by the SPE Thermoplastic Materials and Foams Division
Roger has served the plastics and additives industries for 44 years. He retired from PolyOne in May 2019 as a PolyOne Fellow after 19 years. He had previously spent 20 years at GE Plastics in technical management roles. Roger helped develop the polymer blends Noryl GTX™ and Xenoy™ and the polymer additives Genox® EP and reFlex™. He has 84 issued U.S. Patents. Roger has led SPE’s New Technology Forum and the Non-Halogen Flame Retardant Technologies Special Interest Group. He received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego in 1973.


Dr. Santosh Bawiskar, Principal Research Scientist in the Packaging & Specialty Plastics R&D Group at Dow Inc.
Nominated by the SPE Extrusion Division
Santosh has worked for over 20 years in areas of thermoplastic/thermoset elastomers product development, polymer compounding, reactive extrusion and post-reactor modification technologies.  Prior to joining Dow in 2011, he worked for GLS/PolyOne Corporation in McHenry, IL where he held various positions in both R&D and Manufacturing.  He holds a B.S. in Polymer Engineering from Maharashtra Institute of Technology (Pune, India), M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Polymer Engineering from The University of Akron and an MBA from Clarion University. He has co-authored over 25 external publications and conference presentations, developed a simulation software for co-rotating twin screw extrusion and is a co-inventor of 21 patents/patent applications. He serves as a Board member for SPE’s Thermoplastic Elastomer Special Interest Group.


Dr. Kurt A. Koppi, Senior Research Scientist, Dow Chemical
Nominated by the SPE Applied Rheology Division
Kurt currently serves as the Applied Rheology and Die Design Technical Leader within Dow’s Core R&D organization.  He received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Minnesota where his research focused on block copolymer fundamentals.  His areas of expertise include polymer flow analysis, rheology, polymer processing, and product development including block copolymers, polyolefin based cushioning products, solar shingles, and microcapillary films.  He currently serves as a board member of the SPE Applied Rheology Division.


Dr. Donggang Yao, Professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology
Nominated by the SPE Applied Rheology Division
Donggang’s role at the Georgia Institute of Technology is teaching and directing research in the broad area of polymer engineering. His ongoing research deals with precision molding, computational rheology, and process modeling. His work in polymer processing has resulted in over 200 publications in journals and conference proceedings. Currently, he is a board member in the Applied Rheology Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers. Previously, he served as chair for several technical committees related to polymer and composites for the Manufacturing Division and Materials Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He has also served in editorial boards of several journals related to polymer engineering and manufacturing processes.


The SPE awards programs demonstrate an individual’s dedication to the Society as well as achievements that impact the plastics industry. The Fellow of the Society program was established in 1984 and 348 SPE members have been awarded with the Fellow title since its inception. The HSM program started in 1992 with 345 members named Honored Service Members since the program was launched.

The 2020 SPE Awards recipients will be honored at ANTEC® 2020, taking place March 29-April 2 at the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio, Texas. 

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