MATTHEW IRWIN, Principal Investigator, Electronics & Industrial, DuPont

Education: BE Chemical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, 2011; PhD Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, 2016

Professional Positions: Scientist, Axalta Coating Systems, Philadelphia, PA (2016 – 2019); Team Manager, Axalta Coating Systems, Philadelphia, PA (2019 – 2021); DuPont, Principal Investigator, Wilmington, DE (2021 – Present)

Honors and Professional Societies: Tau Beta Pi; American Chemical Society (ACS); NSF GRFP Fellow (2011 – 2016)

ACS Membership: 2020; Philadelphia Local Section (2020 – Present)

Local Section Participation: Program Planning Committee (2020 – present), worked to organize a Mini-Leadership Development Institute (originally targeted for in-person in fall of 2021) and the 2021 Edgar Fahs Smith lecture (rescheduled to fall 2022)

Statement: I am pleased to run for the position of Chair-Elect of the Philadelphia Local Section. Through my involvement with the Program Planning Committee, I’ve come to appreciate the important role the Philadelphia chapter of the ACS plays in supporting the community and developing talent. I’ve been proud to help plan the Edgar Fahs Smith lecture and a Mini-Leadership Development Institute, and though the pandemic has postponed these in-person events, I’m confident that the groundwork we completed ensures that the events will be a success in the future.

As a candidate for Chair-Elect, my goal for the section is to identify and support outreach, professional development, and networking opportunities for both new and seasoned members in the Philadelphia area as we work toward living in this new normal. My experience with managing a team of 11 full-time scientists and technicians while at Axalta Coating Systems has provided me with hands-on experience that I would leverage both to support the committees and to serve as a key coordinator and representative for the section. Thank you for your consideration, and I hope that we can work together to continue to be a resource to members and the community in these dynamic times.


DAVID SALAS-de la CRUZ, Associate Professor and Director of Chemistry Graduate Program, Department of Chemistry, Rutgers University – Camden

Education: BS, Chemical Engineering, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez; MS, Chemical Engineering, Villanova University; PhD, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Pennsylvania

Professional Experiences:  More than 22 years of industrial and academic research experience. Worked at Kimberly-Clark, LifeScan (a Johnson and Johnson Company), Rohm and Haas (Dow Chemicals), and Holtec International. In addition, served as Consultant for Local Motors and Shell Oil Company and currently as consultant for the Leap Academy University Charter School. Currently, a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Rutgers-Camden

Board of Director Experiences: Chair President of Thermal Analysis Forum of the Delaware Valley (2019-2022), Vice President of Thermal Analysis Forum of the Delaware Valley (2018-2019); Leap Academy University Charter School Board Member (2013-2014); American Institute of Chemical Engineer Board of Director Members (2004-2009)

ACS Membership: 2013; Philadelphia Local Section (2014-present)

Local Participation: Served as ASC Project SEED Mentor (2015- 2017)

National Participation: Chair of ACS Philadelphia Student Excellence Award (2022), NATAS National Conference Pharma/Biomaterials Chair (2022), Cellulose Division Poster Judge (Orlando, FL 2019) and Cellulose Session Chair (Washington, 2017)

Honor Societies: Phi Kappa Phi and Omicron Dela Kappa

Statement: It is indeed a great pleasure to summit my name as a candidate for the position of Chair-Elect for the Philadelphia Local Section of the ACS. I am excited about this opportunity to represent my colleagues and my local scientific community and to be the spokesmen to the general public community. If elected, my goals for this section are:

  • Encourage the participation of more chemical professionals by supporting career growth and networking. With more than 20 colleges and universities in the region we can easily provide an avenue to connect them with career training, continued education and networking.
  • Encourage research collaboration across our college and universities with the various industries in the regions.
  • Encourage research collaboration between R1, R2 and R3 academic institutions in the region. This will provide an environment for our students perform research across our region. Students will be able to learn the difference between R1, R2 and R3 systems in term of research and teaching.
  • Encourage research grant writing reviews by providing funds to selected proposal to be reviewed by our local ACS members.
  • Keep providing support for our regional students to present their research to our community.
  • Provide an avenue for faculty members to market their research papers across the region.
  • Encourage the participation of more local K-12 Chemistry teachers. Teachers are the first voice of our field. The more excited they are, the more students will apply to our programs. I will try to help increase their participation in our organization, with grant and events. We will close the loop by providing a continue path from cradle to professional life.
  • Represent our local organization at the ACS National Conferences
  • Provide an avenue for faculty members and professionals to present their research/work to our local community. Our community at large is, at time, unaware of the various discoveries and invention in the region.

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