Dr. Thomas E. Brady, interim dean of UT’s Judith Herb College of Education and founder of Plastic Technologies Inc., recently received the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Plastic Engineers’ Blow Molding Division.
The award is presented annually to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional contributions to blow molding technology.
Brady is well-known in the plastics and packaging industries as a technology innovator and founder of seven related companies. The flagship company, Plastic Technologies Inc., opened its doors in 1985. Today, the companies employ 200 people worldwide and operate from corporate locations in Holland and Bowling Green, Ohio, as well as Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland.
“I thank the Society of Plastic Engineers for this prestigious honor,” Brady said. “I also would like to thank all of the employees at Plastic Technologies Inc. who have made the company the plastics packaging thought leader it is today. My family also has played an important contribution. Their continued support throughout my career encouraged me to forge new paths.”
Prior to founding Plastic Technologies Inc., Brady was vice president of plastics technology for Owen-Illinois Inc. There, he led the development of the first polyethylene terephthalate (PET) soft drink containers and directed the technical activities of the plastic product lines.
As a researcher at Owen-Illinois, Brady was part of the team that studied molecular orientation in PET and the stretch blow molding process. The culmination of this pioneering work was the introduction of the first continuous rotary reheat stretch blow molding machine in the United States. This led to the commercialization of PET as a preferred option for many rigid packaging applications.
Brady’s initial vision for Plastic Technologies Inc. was to provide technical development services for those wishing to enter the PET arena. The resulting projects continued to fuel commercialization for PET containers and bottles.
He also pushed for the development of recycling technology. Phoenix Technologies was formed in 1992 and is now one of the largest global recyclers of PET for bottle and blow molding applications.
During his career, Brady has been active in the Society of Plastics Engineers, the International Plastics Processing Society, the American Chemical Society and the Ohio Polymer Strategies Council.
He earned his PhD in plastic materials engineering from the University of Michigan and his master’s and bachelor’s engineering science degrees from Dartmouth College.