March 7, 2022

Covestro, The Pittsburgh Penguins and Carnegie Mellon University get an assist from PPG and Athletica Sports Systems in year five of “Rethink the Rink”

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This year’s Make-a-thon explores the intersection of dasher board and glass systems

Covestro, a world-leading supplier of high-tech polymer materials, today announced its fifth annual “Rethink the Rink” Make-a-thon in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Carnegie Mellon University College of Engineering (CMU), PPG and Athletica Sport Systems to advance hockey safety. This signature event will span from March 7 to 11, 2022, at CMU’s TechSpark, a leading workspace for innovation and collaboration.

To learn more about the “Rethink the Rink” innovation partnership and the annual Make-a-thon, check out this video:

The “Rethink the Rink” partnership began in 2018 when Covestro, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and CMU joined forces to bolster player safety and foster a sustained pipeline of hockey rink innovation. As the collaboration continues to grow—this year with the additions of PPG and Athletica Sport Systems—its objective to advance safety innovation without compromising the integrity of the sport remains the same. The week-long “Make-a-thon” offers CMU students an opportunity to lend their brainpower and creativity to innovating new technology enhancements for ice hockey rinks.

“This marks the fifth ‘Rethink the Rink’ Make-a-thon event,” said Haakan Jonsson, chairman and president of Covestro LLC. “Each year, we have tackled a new safety challenge in the sport of hockey, and each year we’ve walked away with tangible solutions from the students at CMU. This year, we are pleased to welcome PPG and Athletica Sport Systems to the ‘Rethink the Rink’ initiative. I’m excited to see the unique expertise each brings to the program, and the ingenious ideas the students design.”

This year’s Make-a-thon will focus on the interfaces between the glass and dasher boards centered around improving player safety when coming in contact with the glass and dasher board intersections. CMU students will collaborate in teams to tackle this challenge and develop innovative material and design solutions. In addition, Covestro, The Pittsburgh Penguins, PPG and Athletica will provide coaching to the students throughout the innovation process. The Make-a-thon will culminate with the presentation of awards for best-in-class prototypes.

“It’s incredibly rewarding to see our students journey through the innovation process under the counsel and mentorship of the ‘Rethink the Rink’ collaborators,” said Bill Sanders, dean of the College of Engineering at CMU. “I look forward to seeing the resulting prototypes and witnessing new material and design ideas that will heighten hockey player safety.”

The Make-a-thon is a springboard for safety improvements to the game of ice hockey. For example, one of these signature events resulted in the creation of a state-of-the-art dasher board design that improves energy absorption upon contact with body mass by up to 65 percent. This commercially available technology is the first product developed through the “Rethink the Rink” initiative

“’Rethink the Rink’ continues to reimagine ice hockey technology and generate impactful research to enhance the sport’s safety,” said David Morehouse, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Penguins. “I look forward to seeing the innovation that this year’s Make-a-thon will generate, building on the momentum of the first product generated through this partnership, a high-tech dasher board design.”

About Covestro LLC:

Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business, which is among the world’s largest polymer companies with 2020 sales of EUR 10.7 billion. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative, sustainable solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. In doing so, Covestro is fully committed to the circular economy. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, electrical and electronics and healthcare industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 50 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 18,000 people as of June of 2021.

The company is committed to becoming fully circular and aims to become climate neutral by 2035 (scope 1 and 2). Covestro generated sales of around EUR 15.9 billion in fiscal 2021. At the end of 2021, the company had 50 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 17,900 people (calculated as full-time equivalents). Find more information at

About Carnegie Mellon University:

Carnegie Mellon,, is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 14,000 students in the university's seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation.

About PPG:


At PPG (NYSE:PPG), we work every day to develop and deliver the paints, coatings and materials that our customers have trusted for nearly 140 years. Through dedication and creativity, we solve our customers’ biggest challenges, collaborating closely to find the right path forward. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, we operate and innovate in more than 75 countries and reported net sales of $16.8 billion in 2021. We serve customers in construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets and aftermarkets. To learn more, visit

About Athletica Sport Systems:

Athletica Sport Systems Inc., a leader in arena services is a designer, manufacturer, and installer of dasher board systems for hockey arenas and multi-sport athletic facilities, serving the professional, semi-pro and community end-markets. Headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, the company also has offices in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Vancouver, British Columbia. Athletica is the Preferred Rink Equipment Supplier to the National Hockey League (NHL), American Hockey League (AHL) and USA Hockey. Athletica Sport Systems Inc. is a Fulcrum Capital Partners portfolio company. For more information at

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Media Contacts:

Covestro: Bob Walker, 412-413-2369,
Pittsburgh Penguins: Jen Bullano, 412-255-1777,
Carnegie Mellon Engineering: Lisa Kulick, 412-268-5444,
Athletica Sport Systems: Andrew McRae, 519-747-1856 x 235,
PPG: Mark Silvey, 412-434-3046,

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments

Editor’s Note: Follow news from Covestro on Twitter: @CovestroUS