January 2020
A publication for the members of the SPE – South Texas Section
of Plastics Professionals

President’s Message

Dear SPE-STX Members, 


Welcome to 2020. I wish all of our SPE-STX members a prosperous, healthy, and safe New Year.

Polyolefins Conference is next month, and you may have noticed SPE International announcements in your e-mail box. I hope you or your business leverages this great local event which can provide contacts with customers, employees, and the global professionals communities that attend the meeting. So please check your inbox (email) or SPAM folder for information about registration. For our 304 local members, if not already registered and attending The Polyolefins Conference 2020 is scheduled for February 23rd – 26th, and I invite you to stop by the conference for the afternoon cocktails and hors d'oeuvres held Monday and Tuesday after sessions end. Just stop by registration and request a badge to gain access; mention you are a SPE-STX member. We’ll have a current list printed from SPE-Int to allow access so please make sure you SPE-Int membership is current, and that STX is selected as your section. We look forward to seeing your there.

For January we also are holding a technical talk on laser printing of plastics. This technology has broad applications from using the printing to manage inventory and traceability. Further this technology is widely deployed to apply the required applicable codes and standards to wire, pipe, medical, and transportation vehicles. The meeting is being held on January 30th at Houston Technology Center/Exponential Center. Watch your inbox or visit www.spe-stx.org for more details.

Finally, we are investigating general interest in holding a golf outing in April as requested by several members. A survey will be sent by SPE-STX to determine general interest and possible sponsors willing to host and run the event.

Kind regards,
Peter A Lauzon

The SPE South Texas Section is dedicated to supporting education

SPE South Texas SectionThere are 9 universities in Texas who have polymer programs and a SPE Student Chapter that benefit from SPE South Texas. Over 50% of the South Texas earnings from the SPE International Polyolefins Conference are used to support the education program which runs $50,000 to $95,000 per year.

The following educational programs are supported:

  1. Each University SPE Student Chapter receives $1,100 to $1,400 to support their activities which involve meetings with guest speakers and field trips. There are 9 SPE Student chapters (University of Houston, Texas A&M, University of Texas, Lamar University, Baylor University, North Texas University, Texas State University, Texas Tech University, Texas State Technical College Harlingen).
  2. Depending upon funds available, each of the 9 Universities with SPE student chapters receives $2,000- $3,000/year for student scholarships which is administered by the University.
  3. We have a dedicated group of people who judge at the Houston Science Fair and award prizes to students that range from $100 to $500 when the Science Fair does not conflict with the Polyolefins Conference. In May the Science Fair winner attend a South Texas monthly meeting with their parents and/or teacher to receive their awards. Edgard Chow is responsible for the science fair activities.
  4. Active South Texas Section members can apply for scholarships for their children or grandchildren who live in Texas. Scholarships are up to $2,500 depending upon the number of qualified applicants.
  5. We have created ten $25,000-$50,000 endowed scholarships over the last 40 years that the schools administer.
    • Texas State – Bounita Favorite Endowment
    • Tech Tech – Mark Demark Endowment
    • Lamar University – Bill Kuhlke Endowment
    • Texas A&M – Dale Walker Endowment , Henry Kahn Endowment
    • University of Texas – Marion Johnson Endowment, Larry Holmes Endowment
    • University of Houston – Frank Padula Endowment
    • Baylor University – Walter Bradley Endowment
  6. When sufficient funds are available we have provided money for equipment at the Universities based on requests and sufficient justification.

In addition the South Texas SPE Section organizes the SPE International Polyolefins Conference in Houston every year. As part of the conference we:

  1. Give free registration and room and board to 5 students from each SPE student chapter to attend the Polyolefins Conference every year
  2. Have a free student dinner to talk about careers in plastics
  3. Have a poster competition for University Students with prizes ranging from $100-$500
  4. Award six $1,000 scholarships.

The South Texas Educational Liaisons serves an important role in providing an important communication link between the Universities and the South Texas Chapter. The following members presently served as liaisons:

Jeff Applegate – Baylor University (top 3 national SPE chapters 2015- 2019)
David Hansen – Texas A&M (top 3 national SPE student chapters 2014-2019)
Pete Lauzon – Texas Tech University
David Hansen – University of Houston
Aliene Elkins – University of North Texas
Glen Rasberry – Texas State University
Oscar Garcia – Texas State Technical College Harlingen

We need liaisons for the following schools:

University of Texas – new chapter as of last year
Lamar University – Fred Morita has covered this chapter for years and would like to retire

Please contact David Hansen if you are interested in serving as an educational liaision.

The faculty advisers for each school are important for the success of the student chapters. Our faculty advisers are:

David Jack – Baylor University
Hung-Jue Sue – Texas A&M
Greg Mckenna – Texas Tech University
Megan Robertson – University of Houston
Nankika D’Suouza – University of North Texas
Christopher Rhodes – Texas State University
Ricardo Limas – Texas State Technical College Harlingen
Nathaniel Lynd – University of Texas
Paul Bernazzani – Lamar University

The South Texas SPE section is proud to be supporting University student in polymer programs in Texas and students of our active Section members.





Polyolefins Conference 2020

The SPE International Polyolefins Conference is the largest Polymer Conference in the world dedicated to Polyolefins. The Conference is a great place to meet your customers, your suppliers, and your associates as well as hearing about the latest Developments and Technology. There are typically over 700 people attending the conference which will have 84 technical papers, 5 Keynote Plenary talks, a Sunday afternoon Polyolefins Tutorial, 64 exhibitor booths, two evening networking socials, and a student poster competition.

Register Today

The SPE South Texas Section, the SPE Polymer Modifiers and Additives Division, the Thermoplastic Materials and Foams Division, Engineering Properties and Structural Division, and the Flexible Packaging Division are organizing technical sessions for the 2020 SPE International Conference (Feb 23-26 in Houston, TX) in the following areas:

Prelimary POC Programs

Take a look at this year's programs

POC2020: Technology Enabling Sustainable Growth

Find out more...


Find out about "The Art of Laser Marking"

Join us for our Section Social January 30. The evening will feature an informative talk given by Brock Young of Videojet entitled: The Art of Laser Marking.

Due to increased complexity in regulation requirements as well as corporate environmental green initiatives, more and more manufacturers find themselves exploring Laser as a coding alternative, but don’t know where to start. Laser coding has the ability to provide a non-contact application of permanent high-resolution mark that is more resilient than traditional coding for better brand protection and code recovery.

We will look at different laser technologies and their marking characteristics on various substrates and discuss how they have resolved specific application issues. We will decipher the “Art” of laser marking by exploring optimization strategies in laser settings and substrate composition, including the use of additives, in an effort to maximize code quality.




January 30 Section Social

Date: Thursday, January 30 at 6 p.m.
Where: Houston Technology Center, 410 Pierce St., Houston, TX 77002
Member: $15 Non-member: $25
A meal will be served.


Dell Doyle (940) 636-1509

Sign up today

Click to sign up






Deadline closing soon to have your company's ad published in the POC Conference Notebook for 2020

We are pleased to inform our sponsors that we have updated our sponsorship options to include complimentary full passes to the conference.




Requirements for Medical Plastics – Launch of new Guideline

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Roth, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Seul, Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences, Schmalkalden, Germany

Safety for patient and user is an essential requirement for medical products. Subsequently, plastics grades used in medical have to fulfil particular requirements, i.e. constant properties, formulation lock or biocompatibility. Surprisingly, no standard has existed to define the requirements for medical grades so far. This gap has been filled recently by the new guideline VDI 2017 developed and launched by a work group of the German Engineer’s Society (VDI). This article addresses the development of the new guideline and presents the essential requirements to be covered by a medical grade.


South Texas SPE 2019-2020 Board Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of the South Texas Board of the Society of Plastics Engineers – 1/13/2020

The SPE-STX BOD meeting was held by phone conference.


Peter Lauzon, President   Dell Doyle, Technical Program Chair
Steve King, Past President   Tom Walsh, Secretary
Richard Keeler, Treasurer   John Wagner, Member at Large
Iman Bahrani, President  Elect   Janell Helton
David Hansen, Education Chair   Teresa Karjala, Visitor





Peter Lauzon opened the Board meeting at 6:30 PM.

Approval of Minutes

There were no minutes published for the December 2019 meeting.

Councilor Report:

There was no Councilor report

Treasurer Report

Richard Keeler and Janell Helton reported the following:


Dell Doyle reported the following Monthly Meeting Schedule

Month   Program   Location

January   Lazer Printing Presentation   TBD
February   2020 Int’l Polyolefins Conference   Hilton Houston North
March   Open   TBD
April   Golf Outing    TBD
May   Awards and Recognitions   TBD




Tom Walsh reported that our membership is steady at 302. Tom emailed Janell a copy of the current membership.


David Hansen reported that the Houston Science Fair is not scheduled in conflict with the Polyolefins Conference. He is considering participating.

Nominations for Board Vacancies

Peter Lauzon reported that we have two vacant Board positions. Teresa Karjala of DOW Chemical participated in this Board of Directors meeting and is interested in participating in the activities of the South Texas Section of SPE.

Policy Manual Updating

It has been proposed to update the South Texas SPE By-Laws and Policy Manual but there has been no progress reported to date.

New Business

No items were brought up

Next Meeting

The second Monday in February (2/12/2020)


The meeting was adjourned at 7:20 PM.

Membership has increased slightly 303 to 305 as of December 7

Professional memberships     211   (unchanged)
Young Professional Memberships    7   (-1)
Student Memberships   50   (+3)
Emeritus Memberships    20   (unchanged) 
Distinguished Memberships    3   (unchanged) 
New Young Professional Members   14   (unchanged) 
Total   305   (+2)



Plastics Information: Check It Out


Houston Public LibraryThe Houston Public Library on McKinney has resources on plastics and polymers. Check out their catalog. If you are not near the McKinney location, you can arrange to pick up your books at your local branch.

The Fondren Library at Rice University has the most complete collection of books on plastics and polymers. This is also a prime resource for patent and trademark information, as well as other US Government documents. You cannot check out books there unless you join Fondren Library [$50], but you can arrange for books to be sent to your library by inter-library loan. Use their catalog.

The next best place to browse is at the MD Anderson Library at the University of Houston central campus. South Texas Section has donated many plastics books to this library. If you plan ahead, you can get a TexShare library card from a library where you are a member, which will allow you to check out books from any U of H library. Their catalog is here.


Calendar of Events

January 30 The Art of Laser Marking Houston Technology Center 6 p.m.
February 23-26 Polyolefins Conference Hilton Houston North All Day
April Golf Outing TBD  


Board of Directors

Need to contact one of us?

Section Officers

Peter Lauzon
Plastic Pipeline Integrity

President Elect
Iman Bahrani
Omya, Inc

Past President 
Steve King

Vice President 
Dell Doyle
Dow Chemical

Tom Walsh
Walsh Consulting

Richard Keeler
Kisuma Americas

Robert Portnoy
Portnoy Technical Services

Committee Chairpersons

Awards Committee Chair –
Kevin Alexander
KWATech, Inc.

Education Committee Chair –
David Hansen
SBC Consulting

Renee Colyer
J. M. Huber Corporation

Membership Committee Co-Chairs

Chuck Crosby
Braskem Americas

Tom Walsh
Walsh Consulting Services

Newsletter –
Iman Bahrani
Omya, Inc.

Technical Program
Dell Doyle
Dow Chemical

Young Professional Chair
Robert Portnoy
Portnoy Technical Services

Polyolefins 2020 Chair
Fernando Cevallos Candau
W.R. Grace

Sporting Clays
Peter Lauzon
Plastic Pipeline Integrity

Board Members

David Hansen
SBC Polymers consulting

Robert Portnoy
Portnoy Technical Services

Monica Rodriguez
Kisuma Americas

John Wagner

Preston McDaniel
Dow Chemical

Matt Zwick


Web Content/Section Coordinator

Janell Helton
Houston, TX 77084