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Thirteen-year-old Rudolph Deanin was mesmerized from the start: The DuPont exhibit at the 1934 Chicago World’s Fair flaunting brightly colored, bubbling liquids in glass tubes was like nothing he’d ever seen. And the beauty and potential of science determined his future, then and there.
“I knew then that I wanted to be a scientist of some sort,” says Deanin, a UML Plastics Engineering Professor since 1967. Far from a scientist of “some sort,” Deanin has been a leader in the plastics engineering field since its inception, witnessing its enormous growth ߝ writing 13 books, 313 papers and earning 36 patents along the way.
When asked about some of the most significant developments in his field, Deanin cites the demand for plastics products made from non-petroleum-based sources like corn. His expertise in polymer structures, composition, practical properties, polyblends, stabilizers, processing aids, and renewable raw materials, among others, puts him in high demand from industry. In fact, he has consulted with 450 companies throughout his career.
Deanin, a 2000 inductee into the Plastics Institute of America’s Hall of Fame, has two daughters with his wife, Joan.
On his lengthy run at UML, Deanin says simply, “If you’re too old to play, you might as well work.