An Australian materials scientists has been awarded the 2010 Victoria Prize and $50,000 for his development of a coating technology that uses solvent-less powder resins for powder coating, paints, and inks that adhere to plastics. The Victoria Prize recognizes exceptional achievement in science, engineering, or technology.
|Award winner Wojciech Gutowski|
The Governor of Victoria, David de Kretser, presented the award to Wojciech Gutowski at a gala function late last week. Gutowski's development already has been commercialised by Australian paint supplier Dulux. It could be another step towards plastics replacing heavier, metal body parts of cars and building components, which are painted with solvent-based paints.
According to a press release, the technology also is being adopted by Cooper Standard Automotive and packaging processor Oz-Plaztik, and has reached pre-production trial stage with other Australian and international companies including global furniture manufacturers.
Gutowski is the chief research scientist of the materials science and engineering division at CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation), Australia's noted research institute. He can add the Victoria Award to his mantle: in 2001 he was awarded the Plueddeman Prize by Dow Corning and Dow Chemical and in 2008 he received the Banksia Environmental Award, the Premier's Eco-Innovation Award and the Society of Plastic Engineers Process Innovation Award.
As part of the Victoria Prize, the materials science and engineering division of CSIRO as the lead organization in the research receives the Anne & Eric Smorgon Memorial Award of $100,000 from the Jack and Robert Smorgon Families Foundation.
Earlier technologies pioneered by Gutowski and his team, constituting the basis for his 'zero-waste' coating technology, have been in commercial use on plastic parts by General Motors since 1997 and also by Ford and Toyota.
The Victoria Prize is awarded annually to an individual whose scientific discovery or technological innovation has significantly advanced knowledge or has potential to lead a commercial outcome or other benefit to the community. —[email protected]