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by Susan J. Ainsworth
May 23, 2011 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 89, Issue 21


Christopher Gorman has been selected to serve as chair of the department of chemistry at North Carolina State University, effective July 1. Gorman succeeds Morteza Khaledi, who will remain on the chemistry faculty after serving two full terms as chairman. Gorman joined the North Carolina State faculty in 1994 as an assistant professor. In 2003, he achieved the rank of full professor.

Eric W. Overström has been appointed provost at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, effective late last month. He had served as provost ad interim over the past academic year. Overström will be responsible for all of the university’s academic and research programs. He joined the institute in 2004 as a professor of biology and head of the department of biology and biotechnology after more than 20 years of academic service at Tufts University in the Schools of Veterinary Medicine, Medicine, and Dental Medicine.


Sean B. Seymore has received a secondary appointment as associate professor of chemistry in Vanderbilt University’s chemistry department. He has been an associate professor of law at the university since fall 2010. With expertise in inorganic chemistry, Seymore has focused his research on how patent law should evolve in response to scientific advances. Prior to joining Vanderbilt’s law faculty, Seymore practiced patent law with Foley Hoag in Boston and served on the law faculties at Northwestern University and Washington & Lee University. Seymore has also been appointed to the Program in Science, Technology & Society at Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professor for spring 2012.

Matthew Tirrell, a pioneering researcher in the fields of biomolecular engineering and nanotechnology, has been appointed founding Pritzker Director of the University of Chicago’s new Institute for Molecular Engineering, effective July 1. The institute, created in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory, will explore innovative technologies that address fundamental societal problems through advances in nanoscale manipulation and the ability to design at a molecular scale. Tirrell has served since 2009 at the University of California, Berkeley, as the Arnold & Barbara Silverman Professor and chair of the department of bioengineering and as professor of materials science, engineering, and chemical engineering, as well as at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as a faculty scientist.


Dimitri Dounis was elected to serve a one-year term as president of the Polyurethane Foam Association, the trade association of U.S. flexible polyurethane foam manufacturers and suppliers based in Loudon, Tenn. Dounis is corporate director of marketing and foam research at Hickory Springs Manufacturing, in Hickory, N.C.

Diane Scott-Lichter has been appointed North American editor for the journal Learned Publishing. Scott-Lichter is currently publisher and head of the Publishing & Product Development Division at the American Association for Cancer Research. She succeeds Janet Fisher, senior publishing consultant at Publishers Communication Group, who served as North American editor for Learned Publishing for almost three years. The journal is published quarterly by the Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers in West Sussex, England, in collaboration with the Society for Scholarly Publishing.


David Anton has been promoted to the new position of chief technology officer and senior vice president for process development and manufacturing at Codexis. He had been senior vice president of R&D at the company since 2009 and vice president of R&D for Codexis Bioindustrials from 2008 to 2009. A clean-technology company, Codexis develops optimized biocatalysts for industrial processes.

Günter Bachlechner has been appointed head of research at Bayer Technology Services. Currently head of research technologies at Bayer CropScience, he is transferring to his new position on June 1. He will succeed Helmut Mothes, who will retire on July 1. With headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany, Bayer Technology Services helps companies manage chemical and pharmaceutical plants from development through engineering and construction to process optimization.

Chris Bezaire has been promoted to the new role of senior vice president for polyethylene at Nova Chemicals. In addition, John Hotz has been appointed vice president of corporate strategy, and John Siegrist has been named vice president of sales at the company. Nova Chemicals develops and manufactures chemicals, plastic resins, and end products.

Yunxia (Vivian) Bi has been appointed technical director of ISP Pharmaceuticals’ Drug Solubility Initiative. Prior to joining ISP, Bi was an associate principal scientist at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals.

Rainer Blair has been appointed president of AB Sciex, which provides life sciences analytical technologies including mass spectrometry equipment. He will be based at the company’s Framingham, Mass., facility. Most recently, Blair had been president for North America and Europe of Videojet Technologies, a Wood Dale, Ill.-based manufacturer of coding, printing, and laser-marking products, fluids, and accessories for the product identification industry.

Sylviane Boucharens has joined PharmaDiagnostics as director of assay development. She had been head of the global compound repository and in vitro screening at Merck Sharp & Dohme’s site in Newhouse, Scotland. Based in Zellik, Belgium, PharmaDiagnostics is developing and marketing a high-throughput, label-free screening technology for early pharmaceutical discovery.

Shawn P. Cavanagh has joined Cambrex as executive vice president and chief operating officer. He will assume leadership for Cambrex’ innovator pharmaceutical contract manufacturing operations, including the related sales, marketing, and R&D teams, as well as Cambrex’ biocatalysis business. He will also oversee Cambrex’ new-product development programs and help grow its generic active pharmaceutical ingredients business. Most recently, Cavanagh was president of Lonza Bioscience. He managed Cambrex Bioproducts prior to Lonza’s purchase of that business from Cambrex in 2007.

David Cepla has been named managing director of Envergent Technologies. In this role, Cepla will lead the company’s efforts to license its rapid thermal processing technology to customers for the conversion of biomass feedstocks into renewable heat, power, and transportation fuels. Most recently, Cepla was president and CEO of HyRadix, a provider of hydrogen generation solutions.

Scott Coleman has been named vice president of corporate marketing and sales at DuPont. Prior to joining DuPont, Coleman was executive vice president of marketing and corporate development for Dresser, which provides infrastructure products to the global energy industry.

Steve Donen has joined Rivertop Renewables as vice president of process development and engineering. Previously, he served as director of process development and engineering at Segetis, a company that develops biobased industrial materials. Rivertop Renewables is a Missoula, Mont.-based renewable chemicals 

Friedhelm Felten has become head of corporate procurement for Germany’s Merck Group, effective April 1. He succeeds Friedrich Schmitt, who has headed the function at Merck KGaA since 1997 and will be retiring at the end of July.

Jean-Marc Gilson has been named CEO of Avantor Performance Materials (formerly Mallinckrodt Baker). He is responsible for the strategic development and global direction for the performance chemistry and materials company. Gilson was previously executive vice president and general manager of Dow Corning’s specialty chemical business.

William L. Graham has joined Parchem Fine & Specialty Chemicals as vice president of sales and business development. He will focus on business development for the flavor, fragrance, and consumer products industries. Most recently, he was general manager of the flavors division at Frutarom.


James Grant has been appointed technical screening chemist in AkzoNobel Surface Chemistry’s global personal care business. Previously, he worked for two years as a raw materials scientist at Johnson & Johnson in Skillman, N.J. In addition, Shabnam Nejand has been named technical service engineer for the global personal care business. She, too, had been with Johnson & Johnson in Skillman, where she was responsible for qualifying consumer product formulations and working on the company’s new Aveeno formulations. Cassidy Callahan has been appointed sales specialist for the business. Her responsibilities include identifying novel applications for existing products in sales territories in Illinois and in the southern region of the U.S.

Janet Hammond has joined Roche as vice president of translational medicine for virology in the company’s Pharmaceutical Research & Early Development organization. Previously, Hammond had served as chief medical officer and senior vice president of global medical affairs at Valeant Pharmaceuticals International.


Anthony P. Hankins has been named CEO for Asia-Pacific at Huntsman Corp. Based in new regional headquarters in Hong Kong, he will provide leadership and coordination of Huntsman’s rapidly expanding presence in the region. Hankins will continue as president of the Huntsman polyurethanes division, which will relocate its headquarters from The Woodlands, Texas, to Hong Kong during the course of 2011. In addition, Stu Monteith has been appointed president of Huntsman’s performance products division. He replaces Daniele Ferrari who has resigned to pursue other business opportunities. Most recently, Monteith served as the division’s vice president for global markets and business development.

Gary E. Hendrickson will become CEO of paints and coatings producer Valspar, effective June 1. He has served as president and chief operating officer since 2008. Hendrickson will succeed William L. Mansfield, who has served as CEO since 2005 and will continue as chairman of the board. Cynthia A. Arnold has joined Valspar as senior vice president and chief technology officer. She succeeds Larry B. Brandenburger, vice president of R&D, who has retired from Valspar after 31 years of service to the company. Arnold had been chief technology officer at Sun Chemical.

Chuck Hobbs has been promoted to worldwide market manager for Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics’ ONESuit line of chemical and biological protective products. Peter A. Kirk has been promoted to the position of market manager of the ONESuit product development team.

Timothy Laube has been named general manager for Kroff Chemical. Previously, he was the owner of Entropy Group, which specialized in chemical formulation sales and distribution and water treatment consultation. Kroff Chemical is a division of Kroff, which provides custom-blended chemicals and processes for water and wastewater treatment.

Uwe Liebelt has become president of BASF’s paper chemicals division in Basel, effective April 1. He had been senior vice president of dispersions and pigments for North America in Charlotte, N.C. He succeeds Ehrenfried Baumgartner, who is retiring.

Sean Maggert has been appointed director of technical affairs at CAS-MI Laboratories, a division of Evans Analytical Group. He will be responsible for business development for both CAS-MI Laboratories and the CAS-MI Innovation Center. Ypsilanti, Mich.-based CAS-MI Laboratories provides independent product testing and chemical analysis for the paints, coatings, adhesives, plastics, and polymers industries.

Rolf Manser has joined Garlock Sealing Technologies as North American pharmaceutical and food industries marketing manager. He will be based in Boston. Previously, he had served in Waltham, Mass., as country manager for Bioengineering, a subsidiary of Switzerland’s Bioengineering A.G., which specializes in the design and production of microbiological plants, bioreactors, fermenters, and components for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

Janis Matisons has been appointed senior technical manager at Morrisville, Pa.-based Gelest, a manufacturer of organosilicon compounds, metal-organic compounds, and silicones. He is responsible for the development of innovative material and polymer technologies. Prior to joining Gelest, he was appointed chair of nanotechnology at Flinders University, in Adelaide, South Australia, where he formed and led the nanomaterials group for nine years. In addition, Jonathan Goff has been promoted to manager of silicones R&D at Gelest. Edward Kimble has been promoted to product manager for silicones, and Barbara Tsuie has been appointed product manager for silanes and metal organics. Tsuie joined Gelest from Equistar Chemicals (now LyondellBasell), in Cincinnati. Gianni Leonarduzzi has been named western region sales manager for Gelest. Leonarduzzi had been director of marketing at Matheson Tri-Gas in Newark, Calif.

John McKinley has joined American Peptide as a senior marketing manager at the company’s Sunnyvale, Calif., headquarters. The company manufactures peptides and peptide conjugates.

Louis Neltner has been appointed vice president for R&D at specialty chemical producer Rhodia. Since 2004, he had been a manager at the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Co., directing strategy-related projects and transformation programs for large companies in industry and high-tech sectors.

Anthony Nigro has joined River Edge, N.J.-based Halocarbon Products as an account manager. He will be responsible for Halocarbon’s inert lubricants business segment and developing its specialty coatings and electronics fluorochemicals businesses.

Martin Riswick has been appointed general manager of AkzoNobel’s worldwide chlor-alkali activities under the company’s industrial chemicals business. He succeeds Knut Schwalenberg, who became managing director of AkzoNobel Industrial Chemicals on Jan. 1.


Alexander R. Wessels has been named president and CEO of Parsippany, N.J.-based DSM Pharmaceutical Products, the pharmaceutical ingredients and contract manufacturing organization of Royal DSM. Previously, he had been president and CEO of DSM Food Specialties.


Michelle Radecki has been named a vice president of the American Cleaning Institute (formerly the Soap & Detergent Association). She will continue in her role as general counsel for the institute. She is also corporate secretary of the organization’s board of directors, a position she was reelected to in January.


Richard Pike resigned from his position as chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, effective Feb. 28. He joined the society in 2006. Lesley Yellowlees, a professor of inorganic electrochemistry at the University of Edinburgh, has been elected the first woman president of the society. She will begin her two-year term in the summer of 2012. Starting in July of this year, Yellowlees will serve as president-elect, working with President David Phillips of Imperial College London.


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