Experienced, dedicated PSTC Tape Training classes faculty members are active within the tape industry and daily experience the specific skills needed to excel. They share their love and knowledge of the PSA tape industry with students in a casual atmosphere that promotes information exchange between faculty and students.

For more information about all of PSTC’s Tape Training classes, click here.

Lars Kilian, Ph.D.

Group Leader of the Pressure Sensitive Adhesives R&D group at Ashland Specialty Ingredients in Dublin, OH.  Kilian leads Ashland’s product development efforts for high-performance permanent and removable acrylic PSAs for the tape and label industries.  Previously, he was a Research Scientist in Ashland’s Packaging and Converting R&D group, developing solvent-based and waterborne acrylic PSAs.  His technical efforts were primarily focused on solution and emulsion acrylic polymerization, coater-ready PSA formulation product development, and PSA test method development.  Lars received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his Ph. D. in Organic Polymer Chemistry at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA.


Gary A. Avalon
Chief Technology Officer for Chemsultants International. Avalon has 40 years of R&D/ Business experience and he has been with Chemsultants for more than 13 years. He spent the prior 20 years of his career working for Avery Dennison’s Specialty Tape Division and 7 years with Diamond Shamrock’s Plastic Division in various technical and business management positions. Chemsultants specializes in developing and testing pressure sensitive adhesives, specialty coatings and related materials and offers pilot coating, laminating, converting and slitting capabilities as part of its product development capabilities.

Jeff Fields
Jeff is responsible for sales of additives, optical brighteners, and release coatings to the Southeastern U.S. Customer base includes Tape & Label, Adhesive, Coating, and Plastic/Compounding manufacturers. Jeff has previously held R&D and Management roles at Georgia Pacific, Aristech Surfaces, ITW Franklynn Industries, and Franklin International. His technical expertise is in surface and interface characterization and modification. Jeff received his B.A. (Chemistry) and M.B.A in from Capital University in Columbus, OH. He has an M.S. and Ph.D. in Polymer Science from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT. He currently acts as the Regional Business Manager with Mayzo, based in Suwanee, GA.

Jeffrey S. Gagnon
After receiving his B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Southern Maine, Jeff started his career as a process chemist for ITW Foils where he focused on thin film coatings and holographic processing. During his 10 years at ITW Foils he moved into R&D management and earned three U.S. patents in holographic processing and packaging. From there he spent four years as Vice President and Technical Director for Len-Tex Corp, a privately held commercial wallcovering manufacturer. There he developed and helped commercialize a thermoplastic polyolefin wallcovering that met environmental and green building criteria. It was also the industry’s first non-PVC product of its kind. Jeff joined Worthen Industries in 2008 as the Director of Manufacturing managing all aspects of Worthen’s five facilities, equipment, and people. In 2016, he became the Business Unit Manager for Worthen’s Adhesive Coated Products business focusing on medical, industrial, and automotive pressure sensitive adhesive markets.

Victor X. Lu, Ph.D.
Senior Development Scientist in the PSA business group of Henkel Corporation, and co-authored more than 50 technical papers, including the 2006 Carl Dahlquist Award winner, New Developmental UV Curable Pressure Sensitive Adhesives. He holds more than 10 US patents on adhesive products and polymer adhesion technologies. Lu received a Ph.D. in Polymer Science from Sino Academy of Science in 1990 and worked at the University of Connecticut, International Paper, National Starch, USC Chemicals and Cytec Industries.

Dave McCann
Director of Research & Development, Chemsultants International. McCann obtained a B.S. in Chemical Engineering at University of Dayton, 1980. First position was in product development/commercialization for extrusion and injection molding ABS and PVC compounds in static dissipation, along with some work in electrolytic separation membranes. After that, McCann spent the last 24 years in pressure sensitive adhesives base materials – label and tape base stock and emulsion PSA’s and coatings – for labels, tapes and outdoor/digitally printed graphics. Early part of his career was spent mostly in process engineering (coating PSA’s and silicones) and quality assurance. Most of the last 20 years was spent in support of customers through technical service and new application development; helping them solve problems and helping them choose the right product for their application. For his current position at Chemsultants, he manages the laboratory responsible for contract research and development, problem solving, physical and analytical testing.

Gerry McLean
Technical Marketing Manager for the MACtac Specialty/Technical Products business based in Stow, Ohio. In his current role, Gerry focuses primarily on Technical Service, Product Development, Account/Application Development and Customer Education for double-sided, PSA tapes utilized in Automotive, Appliance, Construction & Medical Device applications. In 30 years at MACtac, he’s held a variety of positions in Quality Assurance, R&D, Purchasing and Technical Products’ Marketing/Sales. He earned A.A.S. and B.S. Degrees in Industrial Technology from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.

John T. Poulton, American Biltrite, Inc. and PSTC Educational Advisor
Received his B.S. in Chemistry from Rutgers University. After graduation, he worked for seven years at National Casein as a polymer chemist developing structural adhesives for the construction and paper packaging industries. For the past 28 years, John has been involved with the PSA tape industry primarily in new product development, tech service and quality assurance – servicing the automotive, HVAC, metal fabrication and graphic industries. He is currently the Vice President of Research and Development for American Biltrite and Ideal Tape.

Roopram Ramharack
Roopram is currently the President of Adhesive Applications, Inc. He previously worked in Research at 3M, Polaroid and Unilever. He was the Vice President of Operations and HR at Adchem Corp and the Vice President for R&D for tesa tape inc (Beiersdorf). Roopram has a Ph.D. in Polymer Chemistry from the Polytechnic Institute of NYU. He is a two time winner of the Carl Dahlquist Award and is in the Hall of Fame at PSTC. He holds eight patents and fifteen journal papers.

Steve Schroff
Business Development Manager for Mactac North America. For the past 15 years, he has been formulating and developing adhesives and laminates for medical devices used in the diagnostics, electrode, wound care, fenestration and packaging markets. He began his career at Adhesives Research in the medical R&D department before joining Mactac in 2003. While at Mactac, Steve has focused on expanding the medical product portfolio through R&D and sourcing initiatives as well as improving the manufacturing capabilities. In 2010, Steve began the work of transiting Mactac’s solvent adhesive systems used in medical and technical products over to 100% solids technology. He has been instrumental in establishing Mactac’s new capabilities through his capital project, R&D and engineering efforts. Steve earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Thiel College.

Michael L Tumey, Ph.D., PSTC Technical Advisor
Received his B.S. in Chemistry from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry from Iowa State University. He retired from 3M after 38 years in which he held various R&D positions, with extensive experience in PSA tape product development.