Eastman Technology Fellow First Recipient of Perley S. Wilcox Award at Eastman Worldwide Innovation Conference
Eastman Chemical Company’s (NYSE:EMN) Worldwide Innovation Conference was the setting for the presentation of the first ever Perley S. Wilcox Award. Dr.Thomas Puckette, a technology fellow in Eastman’s chemical research and development lab in Longview, Texas, was the inaugural recipient of the award that recognizes long term innovation that has resulted in business success.
Dr. Puckette began working at Eastman in 1980 as a chemist. He holds a doctor of philosophy degree in organic chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Oklahoma State University.
He has worked on both improving a number of Eastman’s existing chemical processes, as well as developing new processes. His contributions include developing efficient methods for the production of various industrial chemicals that find their way into many consumer products such as plastics, paints, coatings and pharmaceuticals. He has also helped advance ways to manufacture those chemicals more efficiently, selectively and economically.
“Dr. Puckette developed a process for the manufacture of industrial intermediates that was the first of its kind, setting a new standard for efficiency,” said Greg W. Nelson, vice president of corporate technology for Eastman and chairman of the Perley S. Wilcox award selection committee. “He has worked on all aspects of the commercialization of that technology. His work has taken the technology from the laboratory to larger-scale trials and ultimately commercialization of large scale processes for Eastman at Asian and North American sites.”
The award is named for Perley S. Wilcox, the first general manager of Tennessee Eastman. Wilcox had vision for Eastman’s future and an understanding of the importance of being an industry leader. An early patent issued for Eastman was granted to Wilcox in 1924 and is an example of his contributions to both the business and technical success of Eastman.
More than 600 Eastman scientists, engineers and business leaders from around the world converged on the company’s headquarters site in Kingsport for the biennial Technical Conference. Their focus was to profitably connect science with the marketplace. The conference, which was closed to the public, allowed Eastman people to meet face-to-face to share ideas, results, and strategies. They also learned about current business needs and directions, and about new tools and capabilities within the company.
“The intent of the conference is to strengthen the links between business, marketing, technology, and Eastman’s customers,” said Ron Lindsay, senior vice president and chief technology officer for Eastman. “Our objective in gathering all this talent together is to help accelerate the pace of innovation in Eastman by exposing our people to great work and great ideas, as well as providing ample opportunity to meet peers and share learnings.”
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