Edwin L. Aguirre
Prof. Robert Malloy is one of 10 individuals from academia and industry inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame during the National Plastics Exposition (NPE) banquet on April 1 in Orlando, Fla. Check out a video from the event
Malloy, who has chaired the Plastics Engineering Department since 2002, joins two other UMass Lowell plastics faculty who had been honored this way: the late Profs. Russell Ehlers and Rudolph Deanin.
Ehlers, together with the late Profs. Henry Thomas and Raymond Normandin, founded the plastics engineering program in 1954 at the then-Lowell Technological Institute and served as department chair for many years. Deanin established the Plastics Engineering Graduate Program and served as its coordinator throughout his career.
“I am very proud to have been selected as one of this year’s Plastics Hall of Fame honorees,” says Malloy. “I feel like I am in pretty good company as I look at the list of recipients. I am pleased that our plastics engineering program continues to be a nationally recognized leader in the areas of plastics education and research, and this award will help in that respect.”
Malloy started his career as a plastics technology instructor and lab director at the Algerian Petroleum Institute in Annaba, Algeria. He earned a bachelor’s degree in plastics engineering in 1979 and a doctorate in polymer science in 1987, both from the University of Lowell. He joined the faculty in 1988.
He has taught more than a hundred undergraduate, graduate and corporate education courses and received the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Educator of the Year award for 2009. He holds 20 U.S. and European patents. He has been the principal or co-principal investigator for more than 70 funded research projects or grants, has authored or co-authored more than 75 technical papers and has served as thesis advisor for more than 90 graduate students. He was also founding editor of SPE’s Journal of Injection Molding Technology and is the author of the book “Plastics Part Design.”
“While I do enjoy teaching and research, I spend much of my time doing advancement-related work related to scholarships and lab facility improvements,” he says.
A New Permanent Home
The Plastics Hall of Fame, which has been homeless since the National Plastics Center moved from Leominster to Syracuse University in 2008, will be housed at UMass Lowell.
“UMass Lowell is where the Plastics Hall of Fame belongs as so many of our graduates have helped shape this industry,” comments Malloy.
A dedicated plastics historian, Malloy has worked closely with the Plastics Academy and the Society of the Plastics Industry to design and oversee fabrication of displays of the most recent class of living and posthumous inductees that will be exhibited for the first time during the NPE show in Orlando.
UMass Lowell’s Plastics Engineering Department already has a collection of historical plastics-related artifacts, including a celluloid billiard-ball molding press, thought to be the oldest such press in the world. Malloy is currently creating a number of plastics history displays and has established an agreement with Syracuse University for the loan of additional items to build up the collection. The collection will help showcase to students and visitors to the department the evolution of plastics.