Richard Rees, who revolutionized golf with his discovery of an innovative plastic, is one of four scientists named to receive the prestigious Lavoisier Medals of Achievement for 2003.
Dr. Richard W. Rees discovered a unique family of tough, clear plastics sold by DuPont as DuPont™ Surlyn® ionomer resins. Ionomers are used around the world to protect food in high-strength packaging with airtight seals, and in a variety of other applications such as tough coverings for coated glass and decorative caps for perfume bottles. Today, most golf ball covers are made of Surlyn® resin.
For its 35th anniversary, Golf Digest magazine named Rees one of the top 35 contributors to the sport. In addition to his pioneering work with ionomers, Rees contributed to many developments in fluoropolymers, polyimides and polyethylene. He retired from DuPont in 1993 as a research fellow.
As the highest honour of science excellence awarded by DuPont, the Lavoisier Medal of Achievement is named in honour of Antoine Lavoisier—recognized as “the father of modern chemistry”—who served as a mentor to DuPont founder E.I. du Pont more than 200 years ago. Only 65 scientists have received the Lavoisier Medal.
“As a premier science company, DuPont has tremendous strengths in our science and technology capabilities,” said DuPont chief science and technology officer Thomas M. Connelly. “These four recipients exemplify the excellence of DuPont. Their works have impacted business growth. Their scientific achievements have enduring significance. They are outstanding science and innovation role models for those working to unleash the next wave of innovation.”
Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by solving problems and creating solutions that make people’s lives better, safer and easier. Operating in more than 70 countries, the company offers a wide range of products and services to markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.