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12-09-2009

Obituary: James Lindsay White

The well-known and pivotal figure in the area of polymer engineering, Prof. James L. White, passed away suddenly on November 26, 2009 at the age of 71 while on a trip in Germany.

Prof. White’s early career started in industry working for the Uniroyal Company as a research engineer and then a group leader from 1963 to 1967. In 1967 he joined the University of Tennessee as an associate professor and quickly rose through the academic ranks to become a professor, ultimately becoming the originator and professor in charge of the Polymer Science and Engineering M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs. While at the University of Tennessee, he founded the Journal of Polymer Engineering of which he was Editor-in-Chief until 1984.

In 1983, Prof. White moved to the University of Akron where he founded the Institute and Department of Polymer Engineering, serving as both Center Director and Department Chair. His activities there culminated with the first commercially successful Akro-Twin software to simulate flow in twin-screw extruders. In 1985 Prof. White originated the Polymer Processing Society and shortly afterwards founded the new journal International Polymer Processing of which he was Editor-in-Chief from 1986 until 2004.

Prof. White published over 500 papers in international journals and eight books on subjects ranging form rheology, twin-screw extrusion, rubber, polyolefins and polymer compounds as well as thermoplastic elastomers. As a pioneer in establishing polymer engineering as an academic discipline, various polymer societies, institutions and industries around the globe have recognized his many research contributions in both rubber and plastics with numerous awards.

Most recently, Prof. White served The University of Akron as the Harold A. Morton Professor of Polymer Engineering.

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