July 29, 2009 12:00AM
Pittsburg State University has hired a new director to oversee its Kansas Polymer Research Center and Business and Technology Institute. Dr. Andrew Myers, a scientist and project manager with TDA Research, Inc., a Colorado-based chemistry and engineering research company, will begin his new appointment Aug. 12.
Myers will oversee the award-winning KPRC and its research staff, scientists who perform groundbreaking research converting bio-based materials into plastics and foams. He will also lead the staff at BTI, who focuses on small business support and economic development in the region.
Currently working as a primary investigator for TDA Research, Myers has developed a polymer and coatings nanocomposite research program by securing more than $2.6 million in federal funding from organizations including the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and NASA. During his 10 years with TDA, he has patented three inventions, published and presented numerous findings in nanotechnology, and has been recognized as one of the EPA's Small Business Innovation Research "Success Stories."
A native of Indianapolis, Myers earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Purdue. He received his master's and doctoral degrees in chemistry from the University of Rochester. He worked as a post-doctoral research associate for the University of Washington in Seattle, and served as a post-doctoral chemist for Union Carbide Corporation in Houston, Texas, where he devised and researched new catalysts for polypropylene.
"Dr. Myers brought together a unique skill set that includes an appreciation for participation in scientific research as well as the ability to communicate the results of that research to a broad audience," said Dr. Brad Hodson, vice president for university advancement at PSU. "To be able to communicate with potential commercial partners, elected officials and the broader community is an important asset when raising the KPRC's profile among those key constituent groups."
Myers serves as the current alternate councilor and past councilor for the Colorado Section of the American Chemical Society. He is also a member of the BioEnvironmental Polymer Society. He and his wife, Mary, have five children.
"Transferring technology from the university to the commercial world isn't an easy or simple process, and I think PSU has a very innovative blend of business focus through the BTI, as well as good science," Myers said. "I am excited about building on the great foundation that Steve Robb, Zoran Petrovic and the BTI/KPRC staff have established. PSU can play a larger role in research in the state of Kansas, and I think that will happen through continued presence at the state level and involvement in organizations like the Kansas Bioscience Authority. It's exciting to be a part of that."