PPG Bestows Company's Highest R&D Honor on Three Individuals.
Mehran Arbab, associate director of flat glass new product development; Kurt Olson, director of automotive spray products; and William J. Uhl, corporate counsel for PPG's coatings segment, have been elected into the collegium by current members during that organization's biennial election.
The PPG Collegium recognizes individuals who have demonstrated sustained contributions to the technical advancement of the company for 10 or more years. Active members work with important research, development and engineering groups within the company in its continuing quest for technology breakthroughs. Founded in 1983, the collegium has inducted 30 members. Membership is for life.
Arbab, 47, based at PPG's glass technology center in Harmarville, Pa., led the development of Solarban 60 and Sungate 100T solar-control low-emissivity coated glass, the latter being a temperable product. He was a key technical contributor to the shippable version of energy-efficient Sungate automotive windshield and was one of the individuals recognized for work on the Sungate windshield, winning the company's President's Award for Technical Achievement in 2000. Arbab was also part of the team that developed the PPG high-redox glass process for high-performance glass products, which won a President's Award in 2002. Named in 12 U.S. patents, Arbab earned a bachelor's degree in nuclear engineering and master's and doctorate degrees in materials engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. After a postdoctoral assignment in physics at Case Western Reserve University, he joined PPG in 1989 as a research project engineer.
Olson, 50, who works in PPG's coatings research facility in Allison Park, Pa., led development of CeramiClear automotive clear coat, the world leader in scratch and mar resistance and the first automotive clear coat to use nanoparticle technology. PPG received a 2003 PACE Award for automotive supplier excellence for the breakthrough clear coat, which is the final coating applied to a vehicle, protecting the color coat while providing a durable, glossy appearance. Olson also led a team of researchers in developing the world's first automotive powder clear coat, which received an R&D100 Award in 1998 as one of the 100 most significant technology breakthroughs in new products and processes worldwide that year. Olson also led PPG's development of waterborne basecoats for the automotive OEM industry, especially light metallic finishes that enjoy the broadest application window in the industry. Named in 43 U.S. patents, Olson earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Ursinus College and a doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of Florida. He joined PPG in 1981 as a senior research chemist.
Uhl, 62, is the company's principal architect of patent-protection strategies for key coatings technologies, including carbamate clear coats, cationic electrocoat and elastomeric top coats, the last two revolutionizing the automotive coatings field. He has obtained more than 350 U.S. patents for PPG, some which were the result of his coatings knowledge and intellectual property expertise, strengthening the company's intellectual property position beyond the scope of initial technology discoveries. In addition, Uhl served as chief negotiator for coatings technology transfer in the many acquisitions and joint ventures PPG has entered into the past 15 years, and he is responsible for protecting PPG's primary trademarks, particularly the PPG logo. A past president of the Pittsburgh Intellectual Property Law Association and a member of its board of managers, Uhl earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from LaSalle College and a master's degree in chemistry from Duquesne University. At Duquesne, he earned his law degree while attending the school's evening division. Uhl joined the company in 1971.
PPG is a global supplier of coatings, glass, fiber glass and chemicals, with 108 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates in 23 countries. Sales in 2003 were US$8.8 billion.
Editor's note: CeramiClear, Solarban and Sungate are trademarks of PPG Industries.