If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.



Richard P. Wool

by Susan J. Ainsworth
June 1, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 22

Richard P. Wool, 67, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and director of the Affordable Composites from Renewable Sources (ACRES) laboratory at the University of Delaware, died on March 24.

Born in Cork, Ireland, Wool completed a B.Sc. in chemistry with honors at University College in Cork in 1970. He earned an M.S. in 1972 and a Ph.D. in 1974, both in materials science and engineering from the University of Utah.

After serving as an assistant professor of chemical engineering at City College of New York from 1975 until 1977, Wool moved to the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he was a professor of materials science and engineering until 1994.

He then moved to the University of Delaware to serve as director of the Center for Composite Materials and a professor of chemical engineering. Later, he launched the university’s ACRES program.

In his research, Wool and his colleagues used a broad range of sustainable feedstocks to make pressure-sensitive adhesives, composite resins, foams, and synthetic leather.

He published more than 200 papers and two books and is credited with six patents. He was chief executive officer and founder of Crey Bioresins and Eco-Leather Corp.

Wool served as a guest professor at Trinity College Dublin in 2002, École Polytechnique near Paris in 1991, and the Polytechnic University of Milan in Italy in 1984.

In 2013, he received the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Chemical Safety & Pollution Prevention in partnership with ACS and other groups. In 2011, Wool received the ACS Award for Affordable Green Chemistry.

He was a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Physical Society. He joined ACS in 1974.

His family remembers him for his generosity, kindness, humor, wisdom, and love of sailing and playing his guitar.

He is survived by his wife, Deborah, whom he married in 1969, and daughters, Sorcha Rocklein, Meghan, and Breeda.

Obituary notices of no more than 300 words may be sent to Susan J. Ainsworth at and should include an educational and professional history.



This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.