The American Coatings Association has announced that Willie Lau, scientist for Dow Construction Chemicals in Spring House, PA, will present the 2010 Joseph J. Mattiello Memorial Lecture at the American Coatings Conference. The conference will be held April 12–14 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, NC, and Dr. Lau’s presentation will take place on the morning of April 13. His presentation is titled, “Frontiers in Emulsion Polymerization for Coatings.”
The Joseph J. Mattiello Memorial Lecture commemorates the contributions of Dr. Mattiello, former president of the Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology (now part of the the ACA, formed after merging with the National Paint and Coatings Association). He was instrumental in expanding the application of the sciences in the decorative and protective coatings fields. He was vice president and technical director of Hilo Varnish Corporation in Brooklyn, NY, until he died in 1948.
Lau was born in Hong Kong and received a doctorate in physical organic chemistry from Indiana University (Bloomington, IN). He joined the Rohm and Haas Company in 1984 and began his career in the polymer synthesis area, focusing on emulsion polymerization for coatings applications. In 1997, Lau was named research fellow with the company and in 2001, a senior research fellow. He was named to his current position when Rohm and Haas merged with The Dow Chemical Company in 2009.
Lau’s main research interests have been in novel polymers and materials design through synthetic methods and fundamental understanding of polymer systems, including controlled radical polymerization, emulsion polymerization, controlled structure polymers applications, structure property relationship, and latex film formation. He is currently exploring the use of recycled materials in polymer/rubber composites by combining acrylic polymer with ground tire rubber to create a useful thermoplastic material.
Lau has been selected for several awards and honors, including the Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology’s Roon Foundation Award in 2007 and the American Chemical Society Middle Atlantic Regional Industrial Innovation Award in 2005. He is a two-time recipient of the Otto Haas Award, a scientific achievement award honoring Rohm and Haas scientists. Lau has been active in the American Chemical Society for 38 years. He is the author of 40 papers and publications, holds over 40 patents in many areas of coatings technology, and has held seminars at more than 20 universities around the world.