NJIT plastics expert who develops safer explosives for soldiers gets honor


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Costas G. Gogos, PhD, a research professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), received last week the highest honor –the international award--from the Society of Plastics Engineers. The honor recognizes a lifetime of accomplishment in polymer processing. The society represents more than 30,000 plastics engineers in more than 75 countries.

Gogos is the co-author of the definitive text in the field and well-recognized worldwide for advancing the practice of mixing, compounding and reactive processing. (Editors: To interview Gogos in his lab, call Sheryl Weinstein, 973-596-3436.)

Gogos currently leads a $2.5 million research program at NJIT funded by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to develop new manufacturing technologies for explosives, propellants and pyrotechnics. The new material Gogos is developing will be environmentally benign and more energy efficient than current similar materials used in different applications. Even better, these new materials will reduce waste and be inherently safer for anyone to handle.

One use of the new material will be as an explosive because it will be able to provide a 20 percent increase in energy content. "Literally there is more bang for the buck with it," said Gogos. "The material will also save weight carried by the soldier and reduce logistical support needed for troops on the move."

Another usage will be to produce more potent drug formulations.

Gogos, of Wyckoff, is past president and founder of the Polymer Processing Institute, a research center at NJIT. The institute serves the plastics industry through its research programs in partnership with industrial members and affiliates to help small companies in New Jersey solve engineering problems. Under Gogos' technical leadership, activities were expanded to include plastics process development, product design, recycling, polymer characterization, and generation of custom software for manufacturing and research and development.

Gogos' peers know him best for his 1979 textbook, a classic still in use, entitled Principles of Polymer Processing. Gogos also led the polymer mixing study, an important research project that contributed to understanding polymer blends and to the ability to predict and control the performance of extruders used in mixing operations.

Gogos has advised dozens of graduate students and authored more than 100 technical publications, He holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and a doctorate in aerospace and mechanical engineering from Princeton University. He is a professor emeritus of chemical engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology.

"I congratulate Costas on this highly deserved recognition," said Basil Baltzis, PhD, professor of chemical engineering and chairman of the department at NJIT.

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