Tape Academy Faculty

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.

Lars Kilian, Ph.D.

Sr. Group Leader of the Pressure Sensitive Adhesives R&D group at Bostik, Inc. in Dublin, OH.  Kilian leads 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.

Manufacturing and TestingAdhesives and Advanced Technologies

Steve Schroff

Business Development Chemist for Mactac North America.  For over 20 years, Steve has been formulating adhesives and developing PSA 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 UV adhesive technology.  He has also been instrumental in establishing Mactac’s new capabilities through his capital & process engineering efforts.  Steve earned a B.S. in Chemistry & Mathematics from Thiel College.

Classes: Manufacturing and TestingAdhesives and Advanced Technologies

Roopram Ramharack, Ph.D.

Roopram 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.

Classes: Fundamentals of PSA TapeManufacturing and TestingAdhesives and Advanced Technologies

Roland H. Horst, Ph.D.

Roland H. Horst, Ph. D., studied chemistry and polymer science at the University of Mainz, Germany, and received his doctorate in 1992. He worked at Mainz University as a research associate and lecturer. He was awarded a German Science Foundation Fellowship for his postdoctoral research the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1998. He stayed there as a research associate and lecturer until he joined Berry Global in 2004 as a rheologist. He then took on responsibilities for all analytical testing and is now the Product Development Manager in their Franklin KY facility. He was on the Technical Committee from 2014 to 2018, and serves on the Test Methods Committee since 2019 and the Education Committee since 2022.

Classes: Manufacturing and TestingAdhesives and Advanced Technologies

Vance Thompson, Ph.D.

Vance Thompson is a Ph.D. chemist and is currently the laboratory manager of ‎technology development for tesa tape North America (ttNA). Vance joined tesa tape in May of ‎‎2020 as a product developer for the automotive division before transitioning to technology ‎development as the new department was established. Technology development at ttNA has two ‎focus areas for disruptive innovations: waterborne adhesive development and new technologies. ‎Vance has expertise in analytical techniques for both small molecules and polymers, waterborne ‎emulsion technologies, and polymer and adhesive rheology. He strives for helping drive ‎innovation for ttNA according to its mission and strategy and continue to maintain tesa as a ‎market leader into the future.‎

Classes: Manufacturing and TestingAdhesives and Advanced Technologies

Yayun Liu

‎25 years with Henkel/National starch & chemical, polymer science and chemical engineering ‎background。 Extensive industrial R&D experience in adhesive product development, composite ‎material, natural polymer for industrial, medical, pharmaceutical, semiconductor packaging, food ‎applications. Currently is responsible for developing sustainable PSA product portfolio at Henkel, ‎managing water base PSA North American portfolio, transdermal drug delivery adhesive development ‎and global customer support. ‎

Classes: Manufacturing and TestingAdhesives and Advanced Technologies

Tim Mitchell

Tim Mitchell is a Senior Research Scientist at Dow Chemical.  He main role is product development within the Pressure Sensitive Industries group of Dow Consumer Solutions.  Tim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Michigan – Flint.  He has been employed at Dow (Corning) for over twenty-eight years and in that time has worked on the development of silicone PSAs, silicone release coatings, silicone-acrylate hybrid PSAs, and acrylate PSA technologies.

Classes: Adhesives and Advanced Technologies

Ricardo Soto

Ricardo Soto is an Application Technical Engineer, he has been working for Avery Dennison Performance Tapes for more than 8 years and previous to that he worked for a PSA converter for 3 years, his specialty revolves around PSA testing, coating and converting.. He graduated from the Nuevo Leon University (UANL) in Monterrey, Mexico with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical & Electrical Engineering and as an MBA from the Valle de Mexico University (UVM). He has built his professional education around PSA Tapes; in 2021 he wrote an article about “PSA Tapes in HVAC Applications” for the Appliance & HVAC Report Magazine, he is the current coordinator of PSA Tape Academy in Avery Dennison Performance Tapes.

Classes: Manufacturing and Testing

Terri Carvagno, Ph.D.

Research Associate for the Adhesive Solutions business of Synthomer plc delivering applications research, technical service, and manufacturing support.  She has over 30 years of industrial experience in coatings and adhesives, holds over 20 US and international patents on the use of tackifiers and polyolefin polymers in adhesives, and received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Case Western Reserve University, Ohio.  Terri was on the PSTC Technical Committee from 2008-2012.

Classes: Adhesives and Advanced Technologies

Alan Cramer

Alan Cramer serves as the Director of Technology at Mayzo Specialty Chemicals, a company with a rich ‎history spanning over 35 years in the polymer performance additives sector, supporting the tape and label ‎industry. In this role he leads the customer technical support and spearheads new product development. ‎His area of expertise encompasses process development and synthetic chemistry, areas in which he has ‎accumulated a decade of experience within the custom chemical manufacturing field.‎ Prior to Mayzo, Dr. Cramer’s experience includes roles as the Director of R&D and Quality at FAR Chemical ‎and was a part of the polyolefin catalyst team at Albemarle Corporation as a chemist. He earned a ‎bachelor’s degree from Kennesaw State University and a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of ‎Tennessee, Knoxville.‎

Classes: Adhesives and Advanced Technologies

Diana Proffit, Ph.D.

Diana Proffit is a Technical Service & Development Scientist supporting Pressure Sensitive Industries business at Dow. She supports both innovation and maintenance of current business in silicone release coatings and silicone pressure sensitive adhesives. Prior to the TS&D role, she held positions in research and product development. Diana joined Dow (Corning) in 2011. Diana holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering from Northwestern University and a B.S. in Materials Science & Engineering from North Carolina State University. She is based in Midland, MI.

Classes: Adhesives and Advanced Technologies

Andreas Meier

Andreas Meier is the Director of Research and Development at tesa for North America. He started his career at a tesa 21 years ago in one of the manufacturing plants in Germany in the process development department, where he optimized design and manufacturing processes of pressure sensitive adhesives on solvent and hotmelt coating lines. Before moving to the US Andreas worked for 10 years in various positions at tesa HQ in Hamburg, Germany. He gained 3 years of experience as an international Application Solution Engineer for the BU Automotive and managed the Research and Development department of the BU Automotive for 5 years. Andreas received his PhD in Physical Chemistry at the University of Hamburg, Germany and worked for 3 years as a Postdoc at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado on photo electrochemical conversion systems.

Classes: Fundamentals of PSA Tape Applications in Industry Verticals

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