PPG Backs Paint Chemist Master’s Degree


Global paints and coatings supplier PPG Industries has announced its partnership with a European educational institution in support of a new program for paint chemists.

PPG has partnered with ITECH Engineering School in Lyon, France, to help sponsor the first chemical engineering master’s degree program dedicated to paints and coatings in Europe, the company said in a statement Thursday (March 3).

The new program, designed to attract students to the coatings industry, includes extensive coursework and three internships at sponsoring organizations.

Additionally, PPG says, courses are taught in English to help prepare students for the global coatings marketplace.

The program’s first graduating class of nine students will earn their degrees in May 2017.

Developing Qualified Graduates

The company worked closely with the European Council for Paints, Printing Inks and Artists’ Colours Industry (CEPE) to help develop the ITECH European master’s degree.

According to CEPE officials, each year approximately 100 trained graduates enter a job market with an estimated 225 positions to fill.

“Our industry needs graduates,” said Olivier Tharreau, PPG director, organizational development, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and a CEPE member who helped design the master’s degree program.

“There is high demand for qualified graduates, but there are few candidates due to the lack of specialized education programs.”

Tuition, Internships, Experience

As a program sponsor, PPG provided $34,000 in 2014 and 2015 through its community engagement grantmaking program to cover tuition for four students. It will provide additional tuition support in 2016.

The company also hosts 10-month internships at its facilities throughout Europe for students in the program as part of its sponsorship.

“Our industry needs chemists who have a scientific and technical understanding of coatings, and who have the ability to develop strong management skills,” Tharreau said, explaining that the program helps students meet these requirements while giving them the resources they will need to succeed.

ITECH-Lyon trains engineers in plastics, textiles, composites and chemistry by examining paints, inks, adhesives, cosmetics, leather and their uses. With an associative status, ITECH-Lyon is a Grande Ecole created and backed by professional unions and companies.


Tagged categories: Coating chemistry; Coating Materials; Coatings education; Coatings Technology; Colleges and Universities; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); North America; PPG

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