Roy W. Tess Award
The Roy W. Tess Award recognizes outstanding individual achievements and noteworthy contributions to coatings science, technology, and engineering
2023 Award Winner
Dr. Peter Zarras
Department of Navy, United States Armed Forces
Dr. Peter Zarras received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from Adelphi University (1984) (Garden City, N.Y.), M.S. degree in Chemistry from the Polytechnic University (1989) (Brooklyn, N.Y., now referred to as New York University Tandon School of Engineering), and Ph.D. degree in Polymer Chemistry (1996) from the Polytechnic University. For his Ph.D. degree, Dr. Zarras investigated ionene-based polymers as bile-acid sequestering agents under the direction of Professor Otto Vogl. Upon completion of his Ph.D., Dr. Zarras received an ASEE post-doctoral fellowship at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD), China Lake, CA. There he investigated conductive polymers for corrosion-inhibiting properties on aluminum alloys and light-emitting diodes under the mentorship of Dr. John D. Stenger-Smith.
Upon completion of his post-doctoral research at the NAWCWD, Dr. Zarras was hired as a full-time Department of Navy research chemist. His research interests cover the broad spectrum of materials development and coating sciences focusing on synthetic/organic polymer chemistry. Through innovative design methods, Dr. Zarras has synthesized new polymers and coatings. These materials have been investigated for applications such as corrosion-inhibition, ice-release, fire-suppression, corrosion sensing-responding, rain-erosion resistance, bonding agents for energetics (surface coatings), passivating, tribological coatings for wear resistance, films for light-emitting diodes, and optical (Mach-Zehnder Interferometer) devices.
Dr. Peter Zarras is an internationally recognized expert in the field of synthetic/organic polymer chemistry with a focus on coatings for military applications. He has led and coordinated NAWCWD research programs to develop novel coatings with partners from the Department of Defense (Navy/Marines, Army, and Air Force), Department of Energy, NASA, industry, and academia. Through his leadership and scientific skills, he has transitioned polymer coatings from the laboratory to field-testing in military environments.
Provided below are examples of Dr. Peter Zarras’ polymer coating research.
- Pioneered the development of innovative conductive polymers that can replace hexavalent chromium pretreatments in military coating applications. This work has demonstrated that conductive polymers can survive military corrosive environments. These coatings demonstrated corrosion protection meeting military specifications for alternatives to hexavalent chromium pretreatments.
- Developed green processing methods for polymer coating systems that reduce or eliminate volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) during the deposition process.
- Developed alternatives to cadmium-based coatings using conductive polymer coatings in wear resistant applications.
- Collaborated with industry on military applications for polymer coatings. He recently led a joint program between industry and government to transition an environmentally benign sol-gel polymer coating from laboratory testing to field-testing on military vehicles. This coating developed by NAWCWD’s industrial partner, successfully met the TT-C-490 mil spec requirements.
Dr. Zarras has published over 110 scientific papers and has been awarded 12 patents. He has been on the editorial review board for the Journal of Coating Technology and Research since 2015. Dr. Zarras was a co-editor of three books on the topics of polymer coatings and environmentally green coatings.
- Eds. P. Zarras, M.D. Soucek, A. Tiwari, “Handbook of Waterborne Coatings,” 2020 Elsevier Publishers
- Eds. P. Zarras, T. Wood, B. Richey, B.C. Benicewicz, “New Developments in Coatings Technology,” 2007 ACS Symposium Series 962
- Eds. P. Zarras, J.D. Stenger-Smith, Y. Wei, “Electroactive Polymers for Corrosion Control,” 2003 ACS Symposium Series 843
Dr. Peter Zarras has received several honors/awards for his contributions to the NAWCWD warfighter and recognition from the American Chemical Society (ACS) for his service.
- NAWCWD 2021 Associate Fellow
- NAWCWD 2020 Innovation Challenge Award
- NAWCWD 2017 Michelson Laboratory Award
- Recognition from the ACS for service as a Program Chair of the 35th Western Regional Meeting, October 6-8, 1999; 2016 – 20 year service as a member of the Council of the ACS; 2012 Certificate of Appreciation for service on MAC Committee; and the 2004 ACS Council Service Recognition on CEPA Committee
Dr. Zarras has been very involved in national and international scientific conferences as both an organizer and speaker. He has given over 50 invited/contributed presentations at scientific conferences. In addition, Dr. Zarras has organized or co-organized numerous coatings symposia for the ACS at the national and regional level. He was a co-organizer of the Smart Coatings Conference for ten years (2011-2020). He has also co-organized symposia on polymers for marine applications at the Pacific Polymer Federation Conferences in Hawaii.
PMSE congratulates Dr. Zarras on his award and contributions to polymer science. Dr. Zarras will receive the Tess Award at the 2023 ACS Fall National Meeting, August 13-17, 2023 in San Francisco, California.
The award recognizes outstanding individual achievements and note-worthy contributions to coatings science, technology, and engineering
The award was originally established in 1986 and is funded by a grant to the Division from Dr. and Mrs. Roy W. Tess.
Nomination packages should follow package submission guidelines detailed below.
Nominations will be reviewed by members of the Roy W. Tess Award Committee, PMSE Past Chair and additional reviewers selected by the committee.
Nominations and Award Process
The Roy W. Tess Award was inaugurated to recognize outstanding individual achievements and note-worthy contributions to coatings science, technology, and engineering. The PMSE Division history started in paints and coatings, and the Division continues long-standing and continuing support and dedication to excellence in the science, technology, and engineering of coatings.
Rules of Eligibility
The nominee(s) for this award must have a documented record of impactful individual achievements and contributions to coatings science, technology, and engineering. Nominees are strongly encouraged to be members of the PMSE Division.
Nominations are welcome from all sectors of industry, government and academia by September 1 of each year.
The Tess Award Criteria and nomination procedure is available as a [PDF], listing the preferred contents and format for a nomination. Nominations should be submitted to the Chair of the Roy W. Tess Award Committee. Nominations will be reviewed by members of the Roy W. Tess Award Committee, PMSE Past Chair and additional reviewers selected by the committee. Each nomination will be considered viable during four award years following its receipt but must be renewed beyond that time.
The deadline for applications to be considered for the 2024 – 2027 Roy W. Tess Award in Coatings will be September 1, 2023, to Jamil Baghdachi [E-mail].
Awardees will be selected based on accomplishments, the importance of these accomplishments to the nominee’s profession, and the overall impact on the field of polymer science and engineering.
Nominations will be reviewed by members of the Roy W. Tess Award Committee, PMSE Past Chair and additional reviewers selected by the committee. Each nomination will be considered viable during four award years following its receipt but must be renewed beyond that time.
Award Announcement and Nature
Awardees will be notified early in the calendar year of the award, prior to the ACS National Meeting.
The awardee will receive a $3000 prize, plaque, and a $1500 maximum travel allowance to attend the Fall ACS National Meeting. At the National Meeting, an invited symposium is held in the awardee’s honor on topics related to the research field and collaborators that contributed to the award selection. An evening reception in honor of the Tess award recipient and other PMSE and POLY award winners will also be held.
Full List of Award Winners
2019 – 2010
- 2019 Ray Fernando
- 2018 Christopher N. Bowman
- 2017 Stuart Croll
- 2016 Mark Soucek
- 2015 Jamil Baghdachi
- 2014 James V. Crivello
- 2013 Gordon P. Bierwagen
- 2012 Benny D. Freeman
- 2011 Dean C. Webster
- 2010 Charles R. Hegedus
2009 – 2000
- 2009 Christian Decker
- 2008 Clifford K. Schoff
- 2007 L. E. (Skip) Scriven
- 2006 Jonathan W. Martin
- 2005 J. Edward Glass
- 2004 Omkaram Nalamasu
- 2003 Rose Ryntz
- 2002 Mohamed El-Aasser
- 2001 Frank N. Jones
- 2000 David R. Bauer
1999 – 1990
- 1999 Mitchell A. Winnik
- 1998 Loren W. Hill
- 1997 Werner J. Blank
- 1996 John K. Gillham
- 1995 John L. Gardon
- 1994 Werner Funke
- 1993 Larry F. Thompson
- 1992 Ray A. Dickie
- 1991 Kenneth L. Hoy
- 1990 Walter K. Asbeck
1989 – 1986
- 1989 Theodore Provder
- 1988 Zeno W. Wicks, Jr.
- 1987 Marco Wismer
- 1986 Williams D. Emmons