Patrick B. Smith, MSU St. Andrews faculty, served the Dow Chemical Company for 32 years, rising to the rank of Fellow before his retirement in 2007. His areas of research included the synthesis, structure/property relationships and applications of bio-based materials, polymer characterization and NMR spectroscopy. He also worked with Cargill Dow Polymers, which launched the IngeoTM PLA line of products. At Cargill Dow, he defined the processing conditions for PLA films and developed structure/property relationships for oriented films and a PLA service life model.
After his retirement from Dow, he consulted with Archer Daniels Midland acting as ADM’s R&D leader for their Telles joint venture with Metabolix that commercialized PHA. He also supported ADM’s bio-based propylene glycol product launch.
Smith’s research at MSU is focused on renewable materials synthesis, characterization, and commercial applications. These materials include a series of bio-based hyperbranched polymers targeted to controlled-release delivery applications. He is also developing new bio-based pathways to existing petrochemical products related to his nearly six-year consulting role with Micromidas, a startup company in Sacramento, Calif. Micromidas is commercializing a bio-based process to convert carbohydrate feedstocks to aromatic chemicals, such as terephthalic acid.
He is an adjunct professor of chemistry at Central Michigan University and a member of the American Chemical Society (2005 Midland Section Chair). He received the Midland Chapter Sigma Xi Award for the Outstanding Research Publication in 1987 and the Midland Section ACS Award for Outstanding Achievement and Promotion of the Chemical Sciences. He was named an ACS Fellow in 2013 and received the ACS Ann Nalley Award in 2014.
He received the Dow Analytical Science’s V. A. Stenger Award in 1984 and the Dow Michigan R&D Scientists’ Award in 1994. He has co-authored nearly 500 Dow technical reports, 85 publications and holds 2 patents.
He received his doctorate in physical chemistry from Michigan State University.