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Judit E. Puskas, P.Eng

Research and Development Category

Judit Puskas is an internationally recognized chemical engineer with 20 years of research experience in the elastomer field, including seven years at Bayer Inc.'s Sarnia site. Born in Hungary, Engineer Puskas holds degrees in polymer engineering and chemistry. In 1989, she took a position with Bayer Rubber Inc. as an associate research scientist, and shortly after was promoted to group leader responsible for Regular Butyl R&D. Recently, Engineer Puskas was appointed as one of several Industrial Chairs in a unique collaboration between academe and industry. In her new capacity, she is dedicated solely to the research and development of elastomers (rubbers). Bayer Inc. and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) have contributed $1.5 million over five years to the University of Western Ontario to create the first academic centre focused on elastomer research and technology. Although Bayer is the world's largest manufacturer of rubber, producing more that 220,000 tonnes a year, it believes that more basic research and basic researchers are needed. The new elastomer research and training centre is housed at UWO's Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, and employs undergraduates and graduate students, as well as post-doctoral fellows. The centre works in the field of polymerization, the process that creates synthetic rubber, as well as in a wide range of plastics and synthetic fabrics. It is hoped that research in this field will lead to the improvement of various substances, from bubble gum to tires to other industrial uses. This research could result in improved tire traction on wet surfaces, stain resistant fabric, or be used in such medical applications as artificial arteries. Judit Puskas’ proactive support of this partnership between industry and academe is ensuring advanced research in the growing area of polymers, and expanded engineering possibilities for future generations.