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2014 Roy W. Tess Award in Coatings

Dr. James V. Crivello of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) School of Science, Department of Chemistry and Chemcal Biology will receive the Roy W. Tess Award in Coatings for 2014.  The announcement was made by the Officers and the Award Committee of the Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering (PMSE) of the American Chemical Society.

Dr. Crivello obtained his B.S. at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids MI and his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the University of Notre Dame, He joined General Electric (GE)   Corporate Research and Development in 1966 where he was a Project Manager. He left GE in 1988 to become Professor of Chemistry at RPI.

During his industrial career, Prof. Crivello has received numerous awards recognizing the importance of his work: e.g., two IR-100 awards (1972 and 1978) by Research & Development magazine. “The Oscars of Invention”- The Chicago Tribune. The winning of an R&D 100 Award provides a mark of excellence known to industry, government, and academia as proof that the product is one of the most innovative ideas of the year. His impact on the General Electric Co. was recognized by the awarding of a prestigious Coolidge Fellowship in 1980. He was also cited as Inventor of the Year by the New York Patent Law Association in that year.

His seminal work on iodonium salts and sulfonium salts has had a wide impact on Materials Science. His initial observations that certain iodonium salts on photolysis generate strong acids was extended to other onium salts, e.g. sulfonium salts, bromonium salts, chloronium salts and selenonium salts. The result was the development of photocurable resins which cure by a cationic polymerization mechanism and results in products that are used today for insulating coatings which cure extremely rapidly and release no solvents to the atmosphere, as well as specially designed materials containing silicones, which are used as release coatings for applications in the widely used label backings. He was the key individual not only in the development of syntheses for the onium salts, which required the synthesis of  photoinitiators tailored to specific wave lengths,but in the mechanistic studies of the polymerization reactions and the design of the specific polymer systems. These discoveries in onium salt chemistry were utilized by

Frechet and Willson and others at IBM for their very successful development of positive photoresist systems which are used commercially in the manufacture of integrated circuits. Because of his understanding of the photochemistry of onium salts, by the use of cocatalysts, he was able to postulate and develop thermally triggered systems and apply this knowledge to the development of one of the chemist’s long sought goals—epoxy resins which have indefinite shelf life at room temperature which cure rapidly when heated. He further expanded the scope of this area of thermoset polymer chemistry by developing new classes of polymers that can be cured with these cationic polymerization initiators, e.g. vinyl ethers, propenyl  ethers and silicone containing materials with reactive functional groups.

Dr. Crivello has published over 360 publications, 16 book chapters and edited 3 books. He is a prolific inventor and credited with 154 U.S. patents. He serves on numerous editorial boards for polymer science and technology journals. He has had many (over 290) invited lectureships nationally and internationally. In addition to the two IR-100 awards mentioned above, he is the recipient of other honors and awards including outstanding paper award radiation curing conference 1982, best paper award – RadTech 2000, H.F. Mark Senior Fellowship Award (Poly Division of ACS), PMSE Fellow -2006, ACS Fellow -2011, Dr. Crivello will receive the Tess Award from Dr. Jamil Baghdachi, Chair of the PMSE Division, on Sunday, August 10, 2014 during the 248th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco, CA.  An evening reception in honor of the Tess award recipient and other PMSE and POLY award winners will be held during the ACS meeting.

The Tess Award is presented annually by the Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering in recognition of outstanding contributions to coatings science, engineering and technology. It is funded by a grant to the Division from Dr. and Mrs. Roy W. Tess. The purpose of the award is to encourage interest and progress in coatings science technology and engineering and to recognize significant contributions to the field. The Award consists of a plaque and a $3000 cash prize.