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Winner of Roy W. Tess Award in Coatings Named, Nominations Sought for 2014

March 24, 2013

SOLON, OH - Dr. Gordon P. Bierwagen of North Dakota State University’s Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials will receive the Roy W. Tess Award in Coatings for 2013.

Bierwagen began his career in the coatings industry in 1969 working initially as a Research Chemist in the Electrochemical Engineering Department of Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, OH, labs. In 1969, he joined Sherwin-Williams Co. in Chicago as a Senior Chemist and later became Laboratory Director while gathering practical experience in industrial and architectural coatings. In 1987, he joined Avery Decorative Films Division as Director of R&D in Schererville, IL, where the focus was on industrial processes for continuously applying coatings and films on a variety of substrates. In 1989, he joined the Polymer and Coatings Department of North Dakota State University as a professor. He was Chair of the department for 10 years and is currently Director of the Center for Surface Protection

At North Dakota State University, Bierwagen carries out research on coatings formulation concepts and corrosion, including the effect of coatings on corrosion and the development of anti-corrosion coatings. Specific areas of focus include: electrochemical testing of coatings, the use of conducting polymers as corrosion inhibitors, the invention of magnesium-rich coatings as replacements for hexavalent chromium-containing primers, and the use of electrochemical sensors embedded in coatings.

Bierwagen’s invention of magnesium–rich primers protects aluminum alloys in the same way that zinc-rich primers provide sacrificial protection for ferrous substrates. When it was first proposed, the prevailing, external, scientific opinion was that the magnesium concept would not work, but Bierwagen and his co-workers have proven and developed a viable technology that has now been licensed by AkzoNobel. Laboratory and field testing indicate that this magnesium approach inhibits corrosion as well as the chromate inhibitor. The magnesium-rich system is in service trials on both military cargo and fighter aircraft, with no reports of problems after three years. This is a substantial accomplishment that has considerable benefits for the environment and human health while maintaining the necessary high level of performance.

Bierwagen has published over 160 peer-reviewed publications, edited the ACS Symposium Series volume 689 on Organic Coatings for Corrosion Control, and has a recent patent and four pending related to coatings corrosion control of metal substrates. He has been Editor-in-Chief of the PROGRESS IN ORGANIC COATINGS journal for 16 years.

Bierwagen has won two Roon Foundation awards for best paper in 1972 and 2003. He was the 2007 Mattiello Lecture Award winner for the American Coatings Association. He has been an invited and plenary lecturer and keynote speaker at a number of international coatings and corrosion conferences. He will receive the Tess Award from Dr. David Martin, Chair of the PMSE Division, on Monday, September 9, 2013, during the 246th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Indianapolis.

The American Chemical Society's Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering seeks nominations for the 2014 Roy W. Tess Award in Coatings. Nominations will be welcomed from all segments of industry, academia and government, and should be forwarded to Theodore Provder, Tess Award Chairman at: 5645A Emerald Ridge Parkway, Solon, OH 44139. Upon receipt of names of prospective nominees, the Tess Award Chairman will provide nomination criteria, requesting information on the nominee relevant to patents, publications, overall qualifications, etc.  All finalized nominations for the 2014 Tess Award should be submitted prior to September 1, 2013, although nominations received after that date will be considered for the succeeding year's award. A submitted nomination is viable for four years.

For more information, contact Theodore Provder at 440/914.0611 or at tprovder@att.net.

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