2023 McFarland Award and Lecture
3:05 to 4:20 p.m. on Thursday, April 13 in 111 Wartik Lab
““Reflections on a Career in the Polymer Industry””
David M. Simpson, Ph.D.
Polyethylene Products and Applications Development Manager, Exxon Mobil Chemical Company
Simpson will talk about his career experiences during his vast industrial career, highlighting lessons learned, and opportunities.
David M. Simpson, Ph.D. is the polyethylene products and applications development manager for ExxonMobil Chemicals, located in Baytown, Texas.
Simpson started his career in 1993 at Norton Performance Plastics Corporation in Wayne, New Jersey, as a process engineer in the fabrication of fluoropolymer films. In 1994, he moved to Union Carbide Corporation in Bound Brook, New Jersey, in polyethylene product development. He played a key role in understanding polymer composition - structure-property relationships in new polyethylene products. In 1997, he became part of Univation Technologies, a joint venture between Union Carbide and Exxon Chemicals. In that role, he was responsible for new product development and support for technology licensing efforts. In 1999, Simpson joined Quintec Films in Shelbyville, Tennessee, as technical director. At Quintec, Simpson developed novel seven-layer polyethylene film constructions for food packaging and pallet unitization. In 2000, Simpson joined ExxonMobil Chemicals in polyethylene product development. In 2001, he started in a series of commercial roles that included market development, supply chain, product management, and financial planning management. In 2010, he returned to a technical role as the market-facing manager for customer support for North and South America, and in 2013, became the global product development leader for new polyethylene products. In 2021, Simpson moved to product stewardship and regulatory affairs and was named senior polymer advocacy advisor where he works with governments, trade associations, and NGOs to ensure new regulations for polymers are fair, balanced, and science-based.
Simpson obtained his bachlor's of science degree (1989), master's of science degree (1991), and Ph.D. (1993) in polymer science from Penn State. His graduate work under Prof. Ian R. Harrison involved processing-structure-property relationships in polyethylene blown films supporting a NASA-funded program in high-altitude balloon films.
The McFarland Lecture is part of the Destinguished Lecture Series sponsored by MatSE each spring.