Covestro Science Award, scientific excellence, Covestro LLC

Covestro recognizes Carnegie Mellon University researcher for scientific excellence

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Science celebration at K 2019
Dr. Newell Washburn
Today, during the Covestro Science Celebration at Germany’s K-Fair, Covestro Chief Commercial Officer, Sucheta Govil (right), presented Dr. Newell Washburn (left) with the global Science Award in recognition of his innovative approach to polymer formulation, which leverages digital research, machine learning and data analytics.

Dr. Newell Washburn singled out for innovative approach to polymer formulation

Pittsburgh, October 17, 2019 — Today, Covestro announced Dr. Newell Washburn as the recipient of its global Science Award, in recognition of his role in pioneering a scientific innovation that speeds the development of customized polymer formulations. Dr. Washburn, an associate professor of chemistry and biomedical engineering with a courtesy appointment in the department of materials science and engineering at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), accepted the award during the Covestro Science Celebration at K 2019. Held every three years, K 2019 is the world’s leading trade show for the plastics and rubber industry. It takes place October 16-23 in Düsseldorf, Germany.

“Our collaboration with Dr. Washburn is the latest example of how Covestro is harnessing the promise of digitalization and innovation to address shorter product cycles and an increased demand for new products,” said Dr. Haakan Jonsson, president and managing director, Covestro LLC. “This ability puts us in position to better meet the needs of our customers and consumers.”

Dr. Washburn was singled out for a proprietary technology that solves a common industry challenge. Traditionally, formulating polyurethane elastomers, foams and coatings to a customer’s exact specifications is a time-consuming process, filled with trial and error in the lab. Dr. Washburn’s Hierarchical Machine Learning approach, developed in collaboration with Dr. Barnabás Póczos in CMU's Machine Learning Department, leverages data analytics and simulation to more quickly determine the formulation that meets customer requirements. Dr. Washburn, on sabbatical from CMU, is working closely with Covestro experts in the Coatings, Adhesives and Specialties, and Polyurethanes businesses to optimize this novel approach.

“The experience I’ve had with Covestro has been extremely valuable,” said Dr. Washburn. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with an organization that nurtures innovation and recognizes the value it brings to its business, and the business of its customers.”

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 2018 sales of EUR 14.6 billion. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. 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 30 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 16,800 people at the end of 2018.

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Covestro Contact:

Alice Sox, Phone: +1 412-413-5430

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