Plastics Day

Second Annual Plastics Day

September 23, 2014

Join us in a day-long event to discover the countless facets of plastics and their implementation in our daily life. Through a combination of plenary talk, STEM engagement activities for high school students, and a presentation for graduate and undergraduate students, we hope to showcase the benefits and concerns surrounding the use of plastics as well as look for future opportunities to address the potential damaging effects of plastics on the environment and society.

Museum Education Center (Former Alumni Center)

Organizing Committee:
Rakesh Gupta, Barry Professor and chairperson, co-chair
Cerasela Zoica Dinu, assistant professor, co-chair
Reem Eldawud, Ph.D. candidate, co-chair

Department of Chemical Engineering
Pickering Associates
The Dow Chemical Company
West Virginia NASA Space Grant Consortium
Society of Plastics Engineers

For more information, contact:
Department of Chemical Engineering
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
West Virginia University
P.O. Box 6102
Morgantown, WV 26506-6070

Technical Program

9:15-10.05 a.m.

A Portrait of Donald V. "Don" Rosato

Donald V. "Don" Rosato

PlastiSource, Inc. Title: The 21st Century Plastics Age: Emerging Plastics Technologies to Watch

Can you imagine a world without plastics? Worldwide, the plastics industry is an innovative industrial sector that has crossed into virtually every end use market sector. Now spawning a second golden age in the early 21st century, "The 21st Century Plastics Age: Emerging Plastics Technologies to Watch" will focus on current key technical market trends, material advances, processing technologies, and road-ahead applications. It will take a technical marketing look at plastics development areas outside the normal day-to-day focus to expand attendees' interest and knowledge base and enter the plastics world of the 21st century, which includes automotive weight saving, barrier packaging, green building, electrical/electronic devices, medical plastics, bioplastics, alternative energy, conductive polymers, high heat plastics, advanced composites, specialty additives, nanopolymers, and more.

Biography Donald V. "Don" Rosato of PlastiSource, Inc., has been actively involved with plastics, moving from aerospace development to leading resin suppliers from the late '60s to early '90s, before starting his own prototype manufacturing, product development, and technical market advisory firm. He was involved with a number of firsts including developing the Apollo 11/12/13 composite moonship legs, America's Cup and Olympic luge bobsled parts, PET and recycled PVC bottle manufacturing, barrier packaging, super-tough nylons, engineered plastic blends/alloys, high performance LCPs and related ultra-resins, DARPA/ARPA aerospace/defense/alternative energy electronics, biocomposites/green resins, greenbuilding/LEED end uses, electrically/thermally conductive polymers, specialty additive compounds, TPEs/synthetic rubbers, advanced molding technologies, and clean thermoset resins. He continues into his sixth decade to author and/or present multiple global webinars, papers and books, analytical reports, and online plastic columns.

Rosato has wide-ranging technical and marketing plastic industry experience from product development, through production, to marketing, having worked for Northrop Grumman, Owens-Illinois/Graham, DuPont/Conoco, Celanese/Ticona, and Borg Warner/G.E. Plastics. He has developed numerous polymer related patents, participates in many trade groups, and is involved in these areas with PlastiSource, Inc. He earned his bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Boston College; his MBA from Northeastern University; his master's in plastics engineering from the University of Massachusetts Lowell; and his Ph.D. in business administration at the University of California, Berkeley.


11 a.m.-1 p.m.

PlastiVan is a program initiated by the Society of Plastics Engineers that is meant to excite young generations about science and the vast opportunities the plastics industry has to offer. PlastiVans will travel to West Virginia University to educate participants about plastic's chemistry, history, processing, manufacturing, sustainability, and applications and spark scientific curiosity in participants while increasing their knowledge of the contribution plastics make to modern life.
Polymers Alliance Zone of West Virginia

Presentation Contest
2-4 p.m.

Undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to participate in a presentation contest centered on the specific topic of "Paper vs. Plastic" and the environmental concerns associated with distribution and implementation of each one of those. The overarching goals of the presentation are to build and enhance students:

  1. Understanding of the material characteristics, product development, and implementation, and how these are related to product properties;
  2. Understanding the causes and effects of contemporary environmental concerns associated with disposal of the starting materials or the products;
  3. Understanding the concerns related to human rights and responsibilities for product usage and disposal;
  4. Ability to analyze local, national, and international implementation, distribution, and disposal of the products as well as related environmental practices;
  5. Ability to develop critical thinking and perspective on the global issues of implementation and disposal and individual responsibilities for a safer and cleaner environment; and
  6. Ability to "think globally and act locally" by identifying and targeting way to mitigate the specific challenges related to the product implementation and disposal in our state.

Individual presentations, 10-15 minutes in length, could include visual materials at the discretion of the presenter. Prizes will be awarded by a jury committee that will evaluate the originality, content, and mode of delivery of the presentation in the context of the elements identified above.

Proposals are to be submitted to by Monday, September 15.

3D Printing Demonstration
4-5 p.m.

A demonstration of the capabilities of user-controlled design and manufacturing of 3D architectures is included to stimulate creating thinking of the participants. The demonstration will be provided by Kostas Sierros, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at WVU.