A Materials Science and Engineering professor and the head of a National Science Foundation funded Science and Technology Center for water purification research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since the beginning of his career, he was responsible for the discovery of at least eight unique materials including the first known liquid crystalline polyesters.
Some Materials that were Developed under his Direction
Neat Facts and Personal Characteristics
- Aluminum Diboride
- Phenolic Resin Coated Glass Fibers
- Advanced Thermosetting Polyesters
- Carbon Fiber / Boron Nitride Composites
- Specially Sintered Boron Carbide
- Second-generation Activated Carbon Fibers
- He is highly critical of large manufacturers that make all of their money from cash cow materials and do not do much fundamental scientific research.
- He taught a Synthesis of Materials course and a Plastics Engineering course before taking on his current position. He would give assignments that challenged his students' creativity. For example, he would ask them to think of areas of need for new advanced materials. He would also encourage them to memorize the key properties, benefits, and drawbacks of major engineering materials.
- He runs his research group like the research and development division of a large company.
- He hires a lot of undergraduate students to work in his lab and he gives them a lot of advice and encouragement.
- While working at IBM he worked with Paul Flory, the pioneer of polymer physics.
- While a student, he saw Karl Ziegler give a lecture on his catalysts before their value had been realized.