Canadian Plastics

SPE names Dr. Lawrence Drzal as 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award winner

Canadian Plastics   

Plastics Processes Research & Development

A professor of chemical engineering and director of the Composite Materials and Structures Center at Michigan State University’s College of Engineering has been named the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award winner by the Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE).

Dr. Lawrence T. Drzal is the first academic winner of the award, and will be honoured for his role as a leading transportation composites innovator at the 46th annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala on November 9, 2016 in Livonia, Mich.

Dr. Lawrence T. Drzal

Dr. Lawrence T. Drzal. Photo Credit: Society of Plastics Engineers

Drzal is a composites expert who has specialized in surface and interfacial aspects of adhesively bonded joints plus the fibre/matrix interphase in composite materials and their processing; adhesion fundamentals; sustainable bio-based structural composite materials; and nanocomposite materials. According to the SPE, Drzal has given over 400 invited presentations at national and international conferences during his career, published over 375 research papers, and has been awarded 35 patents.

He is also a founding member of both the Adhesion Society and the American Society for Composites and has served as president (1998-1999) of the Adhesion Society. He has chaired the Gordon Conference on Adhesion and the Gordon Conference on Composites and has served in many other professional activities related to chemical engineering, composite materials, and adhesion. He served on the editorial board of journals in the adhesion and composite materials fields (Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing; Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy; Carbon Letters; and Nanocomposites) and was associate editor of the Journal of Adhesion.


First given in 2000, the SPE Automotive Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the technical achievements of individuals whose work – in research, design, and/or engineering – has led to significant integration of polymeric materials on passenger vehicles.


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