Innovation Day 2019

Conrad Erb

September 9–10, 2019

On Innovation Day emerging industry leaders come together to celebrate today’s innovations in the chemical industry and to seek solutions for tomorrow’s challenges. By taking early-career scientists out of the lab and giving them broader access to their colleagues and to the historical and social context of their research, Innovation Day supports a 21st-century chemical enterprise that addresses society’s most pressing needs.

Schedule   •   Awards   •   Sponsors   •   Steering Committee


Program Overview

Attendees spend the day hearing from leaders across the scientific enterprise who are actively engaged in building the foundation for the next generation. Sessions this year will follow three tracks: waste, renewal, and next-generation chemical production.

  • Waste
    Over the last half century growing populations and economies have been supplied by an expanding industrial base. But growth has increasing costs: global waste streams are unable to keep pace with the greater demands. A new blueprint for managing waste streams—from the electronics and plastics industries to the food and building sectors—is needed to support a sustainable planet and a flourishing society. These sessions will focus on the needs and opportunities for innovation from the chemical sector to meet these demands and to provide a platform for sustainable growth in the next century.
  • Renewal
    Chemistry and chemical engineering are, at their root, transformative practices. How can these practices be harnessed, further developed, and applied to new transformations—turning what was into what could be? Panels in these sessions will focus on the transformative possibilities and urgent needs for innovations that can transform waste, rebuild infrastructure, and rehabilitate the spaces we inhabit.
  • Production
    Chemicals production was developed and honed throughout the twentieth century. But new breakthroughs in additive manufacturing, engineered enzymes, and artificial intelligence and the internet of things are broadening the conversation and how, where, and when chemicals can be produced. What changes might be coming to chemical production, and what will they mean for manufacturing, geographical realignments, and operational safety? Sessions in this track will focus on the innovations poised to bring change and how the industry is adapting.

Warren G. Schlinger Symposium and Opening Plenary

Andrea Brown
Director, Impact–Circular Economy, Quadia

Andrea Brown

Andrea Brown

Andrea Brown.

Andrea Brown has more than 15 years of sustainability expertise. She currently works for Quadia, an impact finance company in Switzerland, where she helps accelerate the circular and regenerative economy by overseeing the impact strategy of more than $150 million in equity and debt investments.

She is the former director of circular economy at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, which brought together more than 40 leading companies with a combined revenue of over $1.3 trillion with the ambition to mainstream the circular economy in global Fortune 500 companies. Brown also steered a global coalition to deliver leadership to the plastics leakage issue, focused on driving investment forward in reprocessing technologies and waste management infrastructure. She has delivered and supported various publications, including the U.N. Environment Assembly’s Global Chemicals Outlook and several reports on the circular economy.


Monday, September 9

3:00 p.m.

Presession, led by the Science History Institute

Join us as we explore the stories and breakthroughs of innovation as told through our collections. We are offering unique, behind-the-scenes tours led by our researchers and curators, plus a hands-on experience with items from our collection. A special live edition of the Distillations podcast episode “Whatever Happened to the Ozone Hole?” will open the presession.

5:00 p.m.

Innovation Day Welcome Reception


Tuesday, September 10

7:30 a.m.

Registration Opens

8:00 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m.

Warren G. Schlinger Symposium and Opening Plenary

Keynote Speaker:

Andrea Brown
Director, Impact-Circular Economy, Quadia

9:30 a.m.

Breakout Panels

  • Track 1
    Waste: Recycling of Plastics

    Rob Harding, Senior Technology Advisor, W. R. Grace & Co.

    Govind Menon, Director, School of Science and Technology, Troy University
    Robert D. Allen Sr., Manager of Polymer Science and Technology, IBM Almaden Research Center


  • Track 2
    Renewal: Market Drivers

    Chris Killian, Vice President, Technology, Eastman Chemical Company

    Eunice Heath, Corporate Director, Sustainability, The Dow Chemical Company
    Holli Alexander, Strategic Initiatives Manager, Global Sustainability, Eastman Chemical Company


  • Track 3
    Next-Gen Production: Chemical Engineering Developments

    Adeana Bishop, Global Chemicals Research Manager, Chemicals Technology, ExxonMobil

    Phillip Westmoreland, Professor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, North Carolina State University
    William J. Grieco, CEO, RAPID Manufacturing Institute

11:00 a.m.

Poster Session

12:15 p.m.

SCI Gordon E. Moore Medal Ceremony and Luncheon

Honoring John C. Sworen, Technical Fellow, The Chemours Company

2:15 p.m.

Breakout Panels

  • Track 1
    Waste: Waste Minimization in Food and Electronics Supply Chains

    Albert Tam, Global Technology Leader, Biomaterials, DuPont

    Sara Behdad, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Buffalo
    Casper Vroemen, Global Technology Leader, Nutrition and Biosciences Division, DuPont

  • Track 2
    Renewal: Technology Options

    David Dean, R&D Director, Functional Polymers, The Dow Chemical Company

    Mukund Parthasarathy, R&D Vice President, Packaging and Specialty Plastics, The Dow Chemical Company
    Chris Killian, Vice President, Technology, Eastman Chemical Company

  • Track 3
    Next-Gen Production: New Market Developments

    Daniel White, Manager, R&D Acetyls, BDO, and Olefins Research, LyondellBasell

    Richard Elander, Biochemical Conversion Platform Manager, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
    Ali Khodayari, Research Scientist, Genomatica

3:45 p.m.

Closing Reception




John Sworen

John Sworen.

SCI Gordon E. Moore Medal

The Society of Chemical Industry, America Group (SCI America), established the SCI Gordon E. Moore Medal to recognize early-career success in innovation, as reflected both in market impact and improvement to quality of life. By highlighting extraordinary individuals and their work, SCI America aims to promote public understanding of research and development in modern chemical industries, enhance the interest of students in applied chemistry by providing role models, and emphasize the role of creative research in the global economy.

This year’s Moore Medal will be awarded to John Sworen.



SCI Perkin Medal

The Perkin Medal was established to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the discovery of mauvene. Today the medal is widely acknowledged as the highest honor in American industrial chemistry. William Henry Perkin was a founding member of SCI, and this medal was first presented in New York to Perkin himself.

This year’s Perkin Medal will be awarded to Chad A. Mirkin at a ceremony following the Innovation Day events. Learn more.





Premier Sponsor
The Warren and Katharine Schlinger Foundation

Presenting Sponsors
The Chemours Company
The Dow Chemical Company
Eastman Chemical Company
W. R. Grace & Co.

Major Sponsors
Air Liquide
Westlake Chemical

Contributing Sponsors
Milliken & Company

Steering Committee

Adeanna Bishop
Global Chemicals Research Manager, ExxonMobil

Steve Crawford
Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Eastman Chemical Company

Rob Harding
Senior Technology Advisor, W. R. Grace & Co.

Nilesh Shah
Research and Development Director, Dow Advanced Materials

Dave Sikora
Corporate Chemistry Advisor, LANXESS Solutions US Inc.

Albert Tam
Global Technology Leader, Biomaterials, DuPont

Dan White
Manager, R&D Acetyls, BDO, and Olefins Research, LyondellBasell