Dorgan named Lamp Endowed Chair in Chemical Engineering at MSU
An expert in polymeric materials and composites from the Colorado School of Mines has been appointed as the inaugural David L. and Denise M. Lamp Endowed Chair in Chemical Engineering at Michigan State University.
John R. Dorgan is the first recipient of the endowed faculty position that was created in 2014 by the Lamp family of Dallas.
Dorgan began his academic career at the Colorado School of Mines in 1993 and received the National Science Foundation’s prestigious CAREER Award in 1995. He has developed new computer simulation algorithms and theory to explain and understand the phenomena of molecular weight based migration in flowing polymers.
“My interest is fairly traditional – to understand flow migration in manufacturing polyethylene pipe and film,” Dorgan said.
He led the technical effort in developing composite materials for wind turbines as part of the federal Institute for Advanced Composite Manufacturing Inovation. Here in Michigan, MSU is a key partner in the institute with an emphasis on vehicle lightweighting to improve performance and reduce costs.
“In my project, we are trying to drive down costs by reducing the time it takes to mold a turbine blade and at the same time we are developing new resin systems that make the wind turbines easier to recycle,” Dorgan said.
He has received more than $10 million in research funding from NSF, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Dorgan is a past president of the Bioenvironmental Polymer Society. He led a successful effort to organize C2B2, an industry-sponsored research center involving faculty and staff members from the Colorado School of Mines, the University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado State University and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
“One of my ongoing projects is the optimization of biodegradable polymer fibers for use in hydraulic fracturing operations,” he said.
Dorgan received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering summa cum laude from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1986 and his doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1991. While studying at Berkeley, he was awarded a Hertz Fellowship based in part on a technical interview with professor Edward Teller. Additionally, Dorgan completed postdoctoral studies at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany.