Edwards Coating Research Center Opens


Tomorrow’s coating technology is now in the pipeline at the new $2.5 million California Polytechnic State University research center honoring the late Kenneth N. Edwards.

The privately funded Kenneth N. Edwards Western Coatings Technology Center (WCTC) opened to students in September and was dedicated this month. The center is part of Cal Poly's Polymers and Coatings Program.

Edwards, a lifelong polymer chemist and longtime CEO of Dunn-Edwards Paints, died in February at the age of 80.

Commitment to Education

The new center honors Edwards' longtime commitment to making coatings technology education more available on the West Coast.

Edwards was deeply involved with Cal Poly’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and its coatings and polymers program for more than 25 years.

He provided the lead gift to establish the Arthur C. Edwards Endowed Chair for Coatings Technology and Ecology, named for his father, a co-founder of the Dunn-Edwards Corp. The department offers an undergraduate degree program with a concentration in coatings science and polymers, as well as an industry-focused master’s degree in the same area.

Facilities and Labs

Funded by private donations from the polymers and coatings industry, the center includes:

  • Dunn-Edwards Coatings Formulation Facilities
  • Behr Process Polymer Synthesis Laboratory
  • Instrumental Analysis Laboratory
Ken Edwards Ken Edwards Center - WCTC
DignityMemorial (left)

Dedicated this month, the WCTC is located at California Polytechnic State University, where Ken Edwards (left), a polymer chemist, was a longtime benefactor. The university offers the only polymers and coatings program in the West.

The modern laboratories in the WCTC will greatly expand efforts in the education of future polymers and coatings professionals, and in industry-sponsored research, officials said.

Cal Poly offers the only polymers and coatings program in the West and is one of the nation's most selective public universities. The new center will provide a place for creative students "to learn and do important, real-world research with their faculty and industry mentors," a center statement said.

'A Tremendous Gift'

"It's a very exciting time to be a part of the polymers and coatings program at Cal Poly," said Ray Fernando, Arthur C. Edwards Endowed Chair in Polymers and Coatings.

"Ken and his industry partners have given a tremendous gift to our students, the university, and the coatings industry at large. These expanded facilities will allow us to capitalize on so many more opportunities for enhanced education and research."

For more information, visit the WCTC site.


Tagged categories: Architectural coatings; Coating chemistry; Coatings education; Coatings Technology; Dunn-Edwards; Polymers; Protective Coatings

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