We Bring Innovative and Sustainable Solutions to the Market.
With decades of industry experience and over 400 patents granted worldwide, the Arkema team behind Forane® 1233zd has integrated innovation with a collaborative spirit to develop impactful projects. While some original team members moved on, others like Principal Scientist Ben Chen and Sr. Technical Service Engineer Joe Costa, together with R&D Director Lucy Clarkson, Senior Research Chemist Mary Sharp, R&D Technician Sophie Audurea and Staff Engineer Damien Rodowski continue to contribute each day.
Scroll below to learn about each of their contributions to the industry.
Lucy Clarkson, Ph.D., R&D Director
“We are constantly innovating.”
Director of R&D Lucy Clarkson is passionate about three things – Customers, Sustainability, and a Culture of Inclusive Innovation. “Improving the product,” she explains, “benefits not only the customer but also the environment. We are constantly innovating – to make it better, faster, and we can do that more effectively than most.”
Clarkson asserts it’s the diversity and inclusive culture of her team that drives the most effective solutions. From deep technical expertise to “can-do” attitudes and a variety of backgrounds, egos have no place in Fluorochemicals, as each person, like an atom in a molecule, is truly interconnected and yet unique. “It doesn’t matter if someone is out or timing is tight, if the customer needs our help we’re going to get it done.”
While Lucy values her time away from the office raising her sons and tending her garden, she still finds herself thinking through complex solutions. “I run, not to train for a marathon, but for me to be able to process what I’ve heard throughout the day, connect dots, weigh the implications and consider actions that need to be taken.” Lucy is the head of a team that truly never stops innovating.
Benjamin Chen, Ph.D., Principal Scientist
“This is a really selfless group.”
Inventor on 50 granted U.S. patents, one of the original Forane® 1233zd pioneers, and prospective horticulturalist, Ben Chen has been a key member of the Arkema team for 26 years. He, along with Costa, has seen the 1233zd project through from conception to commercialization across the globe. “I feel fulfilled,” says Chen who was the Vice Moderator at the Polyurethanes Technical Conference 2021. “We’re very keen on being a Responsible CareÒ company. The release of ZD into the market is a testament to that.”
When asked what has made him stay with Arkema for over a quarter century, he had some solid points already lined up. “It’s about three things for me,” says Chen, “People, Innovation, and Sustainability. This is a selfless group who cares about how our products affect our environment.” Chen, like so many people at Arkema, takes his commitment seriously to make the world a safer, more sustainable place through scientific exploration.
Mary Sharp, Senior Research Chemist
“Everything we do has an impact on the environment.”
With 26 years at Arkema and a background in analytical chemistry, Mary Sharp enjoys working in a new role/group with more of an applications focus. “I enjoy working with foam insulation, understanding the chemistry and investigating ways to improve the foam properties,” says Sharp. “I work with many talented colleagues that have a vast amount of knowledge in foam applications and blowing agents.”
Although the current change in blowing agents is regulatory driven, her latest tasks are taking further steps to improve performance of Arkema’s blowing agent. “Everything we do has an impact on the environment, especially since Forane®1233zd is so environmentally friendly. We’re focused now on continually improving the performance of our products for our customers.”
Joseph Costa, Senior Technical Service Engineer
“Our team is full of great people to work with.”
Foam has been Joe Costa’s life since 1984, when he completed his graduate degree in chemistry at the University of Scranton. He even has the “Foam is my life” tattoo to prove it! While he received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Miami, with a minor in Chemistry, he realized in graduate school how many possibilities there were in the science field. After more than 14 years at Arkema, and 37 years in the field, Costa still loves what he does. “Our team is full of great people to work with and my job is incredibly fulfilling,” he asserts. “It’s a little bit chemistry and a little bit of black art, learning the techniques to put everything together.”
But it’s not just about the company, Costa is also an active part of Arkema’s community outreach program called the “Science Teachers Program.” Every year, Arkema gives local science teachers the opportunity to receive a Science Teacher Kit and learn easy experiments to complete in the classroom like “Elephant’s Toothpaste” and “Nitrogen Ice Cream”.
Costa is well known in Arkema’s R&D community as well as in the foam world but he’s never let the “notoriety” go to his head. “If you stick around long enough people figure you must know what you are doing.”
Sophie Audureau, R&D Technician
“I think about what we do now and how it can have an impact for our children’s future.”
Sophie Audureau is an Arkema technician with 28 years of company experience and 14 years in Fluorochemicals. She has worked on everything from organic synthesis to LiSFI for batteries and foam. Her role has gradually become more customer facing. “It is a refreshing change of pace,” explains Audureau. “I enjoy meeting our customers and it’s nice to get out into the field after spending so much time in the lab.”
Working on the foam team has been a particular pleasure for Audureau. She works closely with her American colleagues while also impressing her family. “My family is proud of what we do. Sustainability is important for everyone,” she proclaims. “I think about what we do now and how it can have an impact on our children’s future. How we live, travel, eat and work.”
Outside of work, Sophie is passionate about martial arts. She is a red belt, 1 black bar in taekwondo and a former volunteer president of a high-level local taekwondo club. As the world begins again, she hopes pursue her black belt just like her son, a high-level athlete in important international competitions
Damien Rodowski, Staff Engineer
“What we do has a tangible impact on people’s lives.”
Although he is the newest member of the foam team, Damien Rodowski has a 15-year history in developing materials for building and construction. It has become a career passion. “What we do has a tangible impact on people’s lives,” asserts Rodowski. “We’re not making shiny baubles. These are fundamental necessities. I’ve always thought we are making the world a better place through creating better building materials.”
As he transitions into his role, he is getting comfortable being the “new guy” on the team. “They are incredibly collaborative. We have an opportunity to bring new ideas to the table and build on each other’s ideas.”
Rodowski looks forward to Spring – for both his career and the warmer months. He is an avid motorcycle enthusiast who will have his bike on the road from May to October alongside daring colleagues in the analytical lab.
Forane is a registered trademark of Arkema.
Responsible Care is a registered trademark of the American Chemistry Counsel, Inc.
Dr. Donghui Lin, Process Technology Director, Asia
Dr. Donghui Lin has had a successful 30-year history of working in Fluorochemicals for Arkema in France, US, and China. He has worked on a multitude of impactful projects including validating the process and product quality in cooperation with our 1233zd partner, AoFan, who will be manufacturing 1233zd for Arkema. His strong technical and multi-cultural background would enable Arkema to have the 1233zd toller in China ready within a short timeframe from early design to the mechanical completion. The commercial startup is expected late 2022. He is learning how to play golf in his free time and enjoys walking on the golf course.