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

President’s Message

Dear SPE-STX Members, 


The Polyolefin Conference 2020 held February 23rd thru 26th was a great success and attended by many of our local members and others throughout the world. We had several attendees and exhibitors prohibited to travel to the USA due to the covid-19 virus pandemic and despite those not able to attend, we had attended at or near record levels. There many lots of positive feedback about the content and trade show, and our committee will make further improvements to the conference experience. If interested review details of the event on our web site at

With the uncertainly of people attending events due to the covid-19 pandemic, events such as our annual Astros baseball game come into question. We are investigating other events that our members could participate however remotely. We will keep you posted on any that develop.

I’d like to welcome those new members that have recently joined SPE-STX and look forward to having these new members be involved in the local section or with Polyolefins 2021. I also want to thank all our volunteers that coordinated and ran the conference. Without these volunteers SPE-STX would not be able to raise the funds we use for scholarships to our Texas Universities and Colleges.

The SPE-STX is looking to operate additional conferences to raise funds and will provide ample opportunity for members to become involved. For those interested in Plastics in Oil and Gas applications or for Agriculture watch for more details in the next couple of months.

Peter Lauzon, President

The International Polyolefins Conference 2020 Sunday Tutorials were well attended.

Tutorial Session Monitor Pal Arjunan, Eureka-Blobchem

3D Printing in Polyolefins - An Update, Roberto (Gobet) Avincula - Case Western University

PP Sustainability, John M. Layman – P&G

PO Sustainability Measures, Jill Martin – Dow Chemical


POC Student Dinner

The student dinner provided time for students to hear from each other in their studies of polyolefins-related fields and conversations with some of our section leaders.

Conference Chair, Fernando Cevallos Candau, W.R. Grace, starts off this year's conference

The Polyolefins Conference Plenary Monitors, Clifford Lee and Luyi Sun, annouced the distingished speakers of the day. Every guest speakers had an attentive audience and answered their questions after summation.


Conference Chair Fernando Cevallos Candau, W.R. Grace

Plenary Monitor Clifford Lee

Plenary Monitor Luyi Sun








Lobby contruction required an innovative solutions for exhibitors executed by Renée Colyer, J.M. Huber Corporation, and Exhibit Chair Kevin Alexander, KWA-Tech, Inc.

The traffic of attendees flowed flawlessly for the exhibitors.

Welcoming Reception Sponsored by PMC



Student Awards Luncheon

2020 International Polyolefins Conference Scholarship Winners:

Given by South Texas Section

Timothy Russell-Baylor University

Mahan Ghosh-University of North Texas


Given by Flexible Packaging Division

Anthony Keyes-University of Houston

Given by Polymers Modifiers & Additives Division

Chia Ying Tsai-Texas A&M

Damilola Rumsewe-Texas State University

Given by ThermoPlastic Materials & Foams Division

Qian Tian-Texas Tech University

2020 International Polyolefins Conference Poster Contest Winners:


1st Place-Chia-Ying Tsai
Scratch Behavior of Long-chain Branched Polypropylene

2nd Place-Minje Shen
Sustainable & Degradable Lignin-Based Epoxy Resins

3rd Place-Tonoy Chuwdury
Impedance & Non-Contact Based Multifunctional Polymer Textile Sensor


Tuesday ends with a Marching Band


High Density Polyethylene Blends for Additive Manufacturing

Craig F. Gorin, Daniel L. Dermody, Scott T. Matteucci, Joseph Harris, Paul R. Vlasak, The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI Jun Li, Sanjib Biswas, Nathan Wilmot, The Dow Chemical Company, Lake Jackson, TX


High density polyethylene is challenging to use in standard additive manufacturing methods today, but would provide desirable properties such as chemical resistance, lightweighting, and durability to enable applications beyond prototyping. In this work, we describe high density polyethylene blends with highly branched polyethylene or polyethylene copolymers that improve adhesion and reduce warpage, significantly improving printability in standard filament extrusion 3D-printing methods.


South Texas SPE 2019-2020 Board Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of the South Texas Board of the Society of Plastics Engineers – 3/09/2020

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


Peter Lauzon, President   Tom Walsh, Secretary
Steve King, Past President   John Wagner, Member at Large
Richard Keeler, Treasurer   Janell Helton
Iman Bahrani, President  Elect   Clifford Lee, Member at Large
Preston McDaniel   Robert Portnoy, Councilor





Peter Lauzon opened the Board meeting at 6:05 PM.

Approval of Minutes

Tom Walsh moved to accept the minutes of the February meeting as published. Steve King seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Polyolefins Conference 2020

Tom Walsh reported on the analysis conducted on the recent 2020 International Conference on Polyolefins. The report is attached. Based on the analysis provided, there was an extended discussion about the structure and value proposition of the Conference. Board members made the following comments:

Next Meeting

The second Monday in April (4/13/2020)


The meeting was adjourned at 6:58 PM.


Observations from the 2020 International Conference on Polyolefins

The demographics of the registrations from the 2020 Conference were the following:

    • Additive Companies 204 (31%)
    • Compounding Companies 33 (5%)
    • Distribution Companies 26 (4%)
    • Equipment Suppliers/Companies 50 (7%)
    • Film Converters 10 (1%)
    • Manufacturing/Converting Companies 11 (2%)
    • Packaging Companies 8 (1%)
    • Polymer-resin Manufacturers 138 (21%)
    • Service Companies 78 (12%)
    • Universities 91 (14%)
    • Press 4 (<1%)
    • Other 7 (1%)
    • Total 660

The breakdown of the exhibitors from the 2020 Conference was the following:

    • Additive Suppliers 30 (47%)
    • Compounding Companies 4 (6%)
    • Distribution Companies 4 (6%)
    • Equipment Suppliers 16 (25%)
    • Film Converters 0 (0%)
    • Manufacturing/Converting Companies 0 (0%)
    • Packaging Companies 0 (0%)
    • Polymer-resin Manufacturers 1 (2%)
    • Service Companies 7 (11%)
    • Universities 2 (3%)
    • Other 0 (0%)
    • Total 64

Analysis of All Registrations:

    • Committee Member Registrations 41 (6%)
    • Exhibitor Registrations 90 (14%)
    • Guest Registrations 18 (3%)
    • Press Registrations 8 (1%)
    • Speaker Registrations 94 (14%)
    • Sponsor Registrations 15 (2%)
    • Student Registrations 64 (10%)
    • Paid Registrations 293 (45%)
    • Exhibit Hall Only Registrations 29 (4%)
    • SPE Emeritus Member Registrations 7 (1%)

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

April New Technology & Social Meeting TBD  
May Astros   TBD
June Regional/Americas/Global Topics   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

Clifford Lee
Townsend Solution


Web Content/Section Coordinator

Janell Helton
Houston, TX 77084