Lightweight Composites. Lightweight Surfboard. Heavyweight Mind.

Dave Bank

R&D Fellow, Dow Automotive Systems

Follow Your Passion & Your Dreams

Whether he's developing lightweight composites for the auto industry at work or building a lightweight stand-up surfboard in his barn workshop, Dave Bank is passionate about everything.

“It sounds trite, but it’s true,” said Dave. “From passion comes the drive to dig deep into the science behind the trends and data. And from this comes true understanding and new solutions.”

Dave was talking about his career, but he could have just as easily been talking about his personal life, which includes his wife (“my rock when it comes to making clear decisions”), his two sons (“who fascinate me and are a continuing source of pride and enjoyment”) and his parents (“who always supported curiosity”).

In fact, it was his father, a scientist at Dow Corning, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow, who first inspired his passion for scientific discovery. Later, several other mentors continued to fuel his curiosity – Bob Howell, a chemistry professor at Central Michigan University; Jim Rieke, an R&D Fellow at Dow who supervised his college internship; and Chris Christenson, corporate R&D fellow, who gave Dave his first shot as a chemist at Dow Freeport.

Chemistry for Car Parts

“I have a passion for turning chemistry into car parts” said Dave, who has been recognized across the industry for developing lightweight materials for automotive applications.

“I’ve been working in, or close to, Dow Automotive for my entire career, converting traditional materials like metal and glass to novel plastics and composites. More recently our team has taken on lightweight composite development for Ford based on Dow epoxy resin and DowAksa carbon fiber. The appetite for improved emissions and efficiency in the auto sector is fueling the need to think differently.”

Dave recently had an opportunity to mentor his younger son, who was assigned to Dave’s team last year as a college intern. “That was pretty cool for me as a dad,” he said. “Another great experience in what has been 28 years of innovation and great fun!”

Dow Chemical Development Scientists Cramer Award, SPE Most Innovative Plastic Material, SPI Structural Plastics Conference, Society of Plastics Engineers, ANTECH '96 American Chemical Society: Six Sigma

US8590598: “Devices for Storing and Discharging Heat and Methods Thereof”

US8530579: “Metathesis Products by High Melting Polymer Segment Interchange”

US8201615: “Heat Storage Devices”

US8361422: “Devices for Heating Urea-containing Materials Emission Control System”

US8048961: “Metathesis Products by Amorphous Polymer Segment Interchange”

US8091613: “Thermal Energy Storage Materials”

US7329703: “Polymerized Macrocyclic Oligomer Nanocomposite Compositions”

US6063872: “Molding Composition Containing Syndiotactic Vinylaromatic Polymer”

US6239217: “Molding Composition Containing Syndiotactic Vinylaromatic Polymer”

US5990244: “Toughened Polymer Blends”

US5798162: “Composites of Crystalline Polystyrene”

US4905504: “Foam Pulse Rheometer”

James, Bank, Cate, “What’s the Difference: Thermoset vs. Thermoplastic Carbon Fiber Composites?”, SPE Automotive Composites Conference, NOVI, MI, 2013.

Soukhojak, Bank, “Thermal Energy Storage for Transportation Applications,” Invited talk, US DOE ARPA-e HEATS conference, Arlington, VA, 2012.

Obi, Walia, Bank, “Evaluation of Property-Performance Relationships of Polyurethane Foams Used in Auto Seating Applications”, Society of Plastics Engineers ANTEC, 2011.

D. Bank, S. Burr, P. Cate, M. Shoemaker "A Novel High Performance Thermoplastic Composite Material for Auto Applications", SPI Structural Plastics Conference, 2005

Over 45 outside presentations and greater than 40 outside publications in total.