PITTSBURGH - PPG Industries Inc. announced that Coatings Scientist Kurt Olson and two other significant contributors to business and technology achievements have been elected to the PPG Collegium, the company's highest research and development honor. Elected were Kurt Olson, director of Automotive Spray Products; William J. Uhl, Corporate counsel for the company's Coatings segment; and Mehran Arbab, associate director of Flat Glass New Product Development. They were inducted by existing Collegium members in the group's biennial election.

The Collegium, founded in 1983, recognizes individuals who have demonstrated sustained contributions to the technical advancement of the company for 10 or more years. Olson, who works in PPG's coatings research facility in Allison Park, Pa., led the development of the company's CeramiClear automotive clearcoat, designed to provide a high level of scratch and mar resistance and billed as the first automotive clearcoat to employ nanoparticle technology. The product was recognized with a 2003 PACE Award for automotive-supplier innovation.

PPG said Olson also led a team of researchers in developing the industry's first automotive powder clearcoat, which received an "R&D 100" Award in 1998. He also led PPG's development of waterborne basecoats for the automotive OEM industry, particularly light metallic finishes.

Uhl is described as the company's principal architect of patent-protection strategies for key coatings technologies, including carbamate clearcoats, cationic electrocoat and elastomeric topcoats, with the last two technologies credited by the company with "revolutionizing" the automotive-coatings field. He has obtained more than 350 U.S. patents for PPG, some of which were the result of his coatings knowledge and intellectual property expertise. Uhl also served as chief negotiator for coatings-technology transfer in the many acquisitions and joint ventures PPG has entered into during the past 15 years, and he is responsible for protecting PPG's primary trademarks, particularly the PPG logo.

Arbab led the development of Solarban 60 and Sungate 100T solar-control low-emissivity coated glass, among other notable contributions to the company's glass business.