PHILADELPHIA - William D. Emmons, retired director of Research for Rohm and Haas Company's Polymers, Resins and Monomers business and its Pioneering Research exploratory unit, died December 8, 2001, following a brief illness. He was 77.

Dr. Emmons is credited with several breakthrough innovations, and was the author of more than 150 patents and papers during his 38-year career at Rohm and Haas, the company said. He is described as a driving force in the research and development of new urethane rheology modifiers that contributed to significant advances in the performance of water-based acrylic paint. He also led early research on a variety of opaque polymers, including Rohm and Haas's Hollow Sphere Polymer technology. His work led to improvements in premium-quality paints and paper coatings, the company said.

Dr. Emmons held a number of leadership positions with Rohm and Haas's research organization. In 1986, he received the first Roy W. Tess Award for Coatings Science awarded by the Polymeric Materials, Science, and Engineering Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS). He retired from Rohm and Haas in 1989.