Dr. Tom Brady, former interim dean of the Judith Herb College of Education and former member of the UT Board of Trustees, has been inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame to honor his professional achievements in the field.Brady was one of 10 people inducted last month into the hall, which is administered by the Plastics Academy and the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.
Brady is the chair of Plastic Technologies Inc., a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging research and development firm in northwest Ohio. He worked at Owens-Illinois Inc., eventually rising to the position of vice president of plastics technology before he left to found Plastic Technologies Inc. in 1985. Brady was one of the first engineers to work with PET to create soda bottles.
“We went from being literally new engineers to experienced people in a matter of a few years because there was nobody else,” Brady said. “We went and did it. We invented the machines. We designed the bottles. We invented the processes.”
One of Brady’s major early achievements was the development of the plastic Coca-Cola bottle, one of Plastic Technologies Inc.’s first client projects. Brady was able to help the company retain elements of the classic Coke bottle and save millions of dollars in production costs with his design.
Other designs by Plastic Technologies have become landmark packaging in the plastics industry, many with Colgate-Palmolive Co.
Plastic Technologies employs about 200 people, with nearly half of those employees in the Toledo area.
“This is really the premiere provider of package technology and materials-development services for the industry, and we work for everybody,” Brady said.
A native of Maumee, Brady has strong ties to the area with a special interest in public service and education.
“My goal is to help anywhere I can to make education better,” he said. “If we don’t educate our kids in this country, we’re lost.”
Brady served as interim dean of the Judith Herb College of Education from 2009 to 2011. He was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the former Medical College of Ohio in 2005 and after the merger continued to serve on the UT Board of Trustees until his appointment as dean.
Brady was a founding board member of Toledo Technology Academy and currently serves on the boards of the Toledo School for the Arts and Toledo Early College High School.