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New Center Honors Coatings Leader

Monday, September 26, 2011

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The University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Polymers and High Performance Materials has paid tribute to a leader in the coatings industry with the opening of the Sidney Lauren Memorial Center.


Sidney Lauren served as director of the Coatings Research Group from 1972 to 1985.

Lauren, who died in 2010, was executive director of the Cleveland-based Coatings Research Group Inc., an international association of paint and coatings manufacturers, from 1972 to 1985. He also was a prominent supporter of Southern Miss’ polymer science program, begun in 1970, during its formative years.

The new center was underwritten by a $50,000 donation from the Coatings Industry Education Foundation (CIEF), which supports education and research in the protective coatings field. Lauren was a trustee of CIEF.

‘Important Legacy’

The center, christened in opening ceremonies Friday (Sept. 23), includes a physical library adjoining a first-floor coating lab in the Shelby F. Thames Polymer Science Research Center, as well as an online learning center that will go live Nov. 1. 

“Through its history, the university’s polymer science program has had a mutually beneficial relationship with the coatings industry and its scientific leaders,” USM reported on its website. “Among those was Lauren, who also held a principal role in the CIEF.”

Dr. Robert Lochhead, professor and director of the school, formally accepted the donation at Friday’s ceremony and acknowledged “Sidney Lauren’s important legacy to the polymer and coatings industry.”

The event also included announcement of the first annual “Sidney Lauren Memorial Lecture” to be held at the school-sponsored Annual Waterborne Symposium in February 2012.

Coatings Veteran

Lauren began his career in the industry with the C.J. Osborn Co. and then joined the Johns-Manville Corporation in 1954. He worked briefly with Reichhold Chemicals but returned to Johns-Manville for another decade, serving as chief of its Finishing section. After retiring from CRGI, he worked with the California Products Corporation.

An adjunct professor of chemical engineering at Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, NY, he devoted many years to the CIEF. His industry associations included longtime memberships with the Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology and the American Chemical Society. His industry honors included the NCPA Heckel Award, the FSCT PaVaC Award, and selection as a Mattiello Memorial Lecturer for FSCT.

Learning Center Facilities

The Sidney Lauren Memorial Learning Center will include:

  • The Sidney Lauren coatings lab;
  • An online learning center where students can access lectures, resources, patents and more;
  • A physical learning center in the coatings lab for student use; and
  • A library/archive of coatings related materials and information.

“In his wisdom, Sid Lauren sought to help elevate the coatings industry through the higher education of our future coatings scientists,” said Jackie Savoca, CIEF board member.


Tagged categories: Coatings education; Coatings manufacturers

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