Creator of Cool, New Materials

Mehmet Demirors

Senior Fellow, The Dow Chemical Company

Inspired by Technology

From his humble beginnings in rural Turkey to his current status as a global innovator, Mehmet's inventions are pretty cool.

When Mehmet Demirors was in fourth grade at a primary school in southwestern Turkey, his teacher showed the class how a steam engine worked. “He put the water in the small steam engine of a locomotive,” Mehmet said. “A little while later, the thing started moving and making all kinds of sounds. I was blown away – and that was the beginning of my interest in technology.”

Mehmet’s love for technology grew quickly as he explored and read more about all things related to science. “I was always spending my pocket money on technical books,” he said. “I even set a record at my school for borrowing the most books from the school library in a single year.”

In his last year of high school, his chemistry teacher demonstrated the nylon rope trick – combining two chemicals in a way that causes polymerization and forms a nylon rope. “That experiment really piqued my interest in chemical reactions. So I went on to study chemistry after high school, eventually earning a Ph.D. in polymer science.”

Making an Impact

During his 30 years at Dow, Mehmet has worked on a wide variety of polymers that are used in very different applications, from packaging to TV housings to diapers. But one of his favorite projects was creating an improved material for the inside of refrigerators.

“I worked on a project to improve the white plastic that is used inside refrigerators and freezers,” Mehmet said. “It was challenging to create a new material that would improve the environmental profile and overall performance of these appliances, but we were successful. At one time we had more than one third of the refrigerators produced in the world made from this plastic. And it makes me smile a little, when I go to the refrigerator at home or look at the appliances in stores. I wonder if those particular models are made with the material I invented. It’s very gratifying to create materials that impact society in a big way.”

Following His Passion

Mehmet is still fascinated by chemistry and creating new materials. “As a research scientist, I feel I have the most ideal position,” he said. “I can’t wait to go to work in the morning, because I really enjoy developing new concepts and materials. It’s exciting to know that I’ve worked on projects that have been commercialized and are now worth billions of dollars.”

He’s also passionate about his work with the Education for Women in Turkey (EWT) Fund, a charitable organization founded by his wife that helps disadvantaged girls pursue an education.

“You must find something that you can’t wait to do every day – whatever that may be. Then the rest of what you want to achieve in life will surely come along with it.”

Awards

12 Tech Center Awards, 1993-2014

Polystyrene Life Time Achievement Award, 2003

ACS-Excellence in Science Award, 2001

Associations

Member of ACS-POLY and PMSE Division

Member of Industrial Advisory Board ACS-POLY

Member of Society of Plastics Engineers

Education for Women in Turkey Fund

Contributions

American Chrystallographic Society Book of Abstracts

Encyclopedia of Polymer Science and Technology

Ottmars Encyclopedia of Polymer Science

Applied Polymer Science 21st Century

US 4,895,907: Polymerization process using bisquinone peroxide catalyst

US 5,179,166: Monovinylidene aromatic polymers with improved properties and a process for their preparation

US 5,264,492: Monovinylidene aromatic polymers with improved properties

US 5,347,055: Oligomers of styrene as flegmatizers for organic peroxides

US 5,830,924: Non-linear styrenic polymer-based foams

US 5,959,033: Polymers containing highly grafted rubbers

US 6,093,781: Non-linear styrenic polymer compositions and articles prepared therefrom

US 6,323,282: Bimodal rubbers and rubber modified high impact monovinylidene aromatic polymers produced therefrom

US 6,441,090: High gloss high impact monovinylidene aromatic polymers

US 6,444,752: Monovinylidene aromatic polymers with improved toughness and rigidity and a process for their preparation

US 6,545,090: Monovinylidene aromatic polymers with improved properties and a process for their preparation

US 6,573,349: High molecular weight monovinylidene aromatic polymers with good processability

US 6,706,814: Monovinylidene aromatic polymers based on highly linear high molecular weight polybutadiene rubbers and a process for their preparation

US 7,863,379: Impact modification of thermoplastics with ethylene/alpha-olefin interpolymers

US 8,153,243: Interpolymers suitable for multilayer films

US 8,173,232: Stretch hood films

US 8,202,958: Long chain branched (LCB), block or interconnected copolymers of ethylene in combination with one other polymer

US 8,372,931: Ethylene-based polymer compositions

US 8,389,086: Composition for stretch hood, method of producing the same, and articles made therefrom

US 8,389,426: Bicomponent fiber

US 8,415,442: High pressure low density polyethylene resins with improved optical properties produced through use of highly active chain transfer agents

US 8,475,933: Interpolymers suitable for multilayer films

US 8,541,519: Long chain branched (LCB), block, or interconnected copolymers of ethylene in combination with one other polymer

US 8,580,388: Composition suitable for stretch hood, method of producing the same, and articles made therefrom

US 8,598,276: Polymers comprising units derived from ethylene and poly(alkoxide)

US 8,629,214: Ethylene-based polymer compositions for use as a blend component in shrinkage film applications

US 8,679,639: Extrusion coating composition

US 8,691,923: Interconnected copolymers of ethylene in combination with at least one polysiloxane

US 8,697,807: Long chain branched (LCB), block or interconnected copolymers of ethylene in combination with one other polymer

US 8,722,817: Process to make long chain branched (LCB), block, or interconnected copolymers of ethylene

US 8,729,186: Polymerization process to make low density polyethylene

US 8,729,200: Ethylene-based polymer compositions

US 8,784,996: Extrusion coating composition

US 8,816,006: Compositions of ethylene/α-olefin multi-block interpolymer suitable for films

US 8,829,115: Ethylene-based polymer composition

US 8,835,567: Sealant composition, method of producing the same

US 8,835,569: Fractional melt index polyethylene composition and films made therefrom

US 8,859,704: High pressure low density polyethylene resins with improved optical properties produced through use of highly active chain transfer agents

US 8,895,459: Bicomponent fiber

US 8,901,260: Heterogeneous ethylene alpha-olefin interpolymers

EPO 422837: Rubber-reinforced polymer composition incorporating grafting agent

US 8,907,030: An ethylene alpha-olefin inter polymer suitable for use in fiber applications and fibers made therefrom

US 8,921,500: An ethylene alpha olefin interpolymer suitable for use in shrinkage film applications, and articles made therefrom

US 8,987,382: High melt strength polyethylene compostions and methods for making the same

US 8,987,385: Interconnected copolymers of ethylene in combination with one other polyalkene

Liu, Lizhi; Karjala, Teresa P.; Chen, Xuming; Wang, Jian; Demirors, Mehmet, “Light scattering analysis of polyethylene blown films: relationships between internal haze and morphology,” Annual Technical Conference – Society of Plastics Engineers, 2012

Zhou, Zhe; Cong, Rongjuan; He, Yiyong; Paradkar, Manjiri; Demirors, Mehmet; Cheatham, Mike; de Groot, A. Willem, “Unsaturation characterization of polyolefins by NMR and thermal gradient NMR with a high-temperature cryoprobe,” Macromolecular Symposia, 2012

Choi, Byoung-Ho; de Groot, A. Willem; Patel, Rajen; Demirors, Mehmet; Anderson, Kenneth, “Investigation of tear properties of polyethylene blown and compression molded films,” Annual Technical Conference – Society of Plastics Engineers, 2011

Demirors, M., “100+ years of plastics,” ACS Symposium Series, 115-145, Oxford University Press, 2011

Zhou, Zhenwen; Zhang, Haiying; Chudnovsky, Alexander; Michie, W.; Demirors, M., “Temperature effects on slow crack growth in pipe grade PE,” ANTEC Conference Proceedings, Orlando, Florida, 2010

Zhou, W.; Chudnovsky, A.; Michie, W.; Demirors, M., “Prediction of PE long-term creep property and lifetime in ductile failure based on short-term tests,” ANTEC Conference Proceedings, Orlando, Florida, 2010

Zhou, Zhenwen; Zhang, Haiying; Chudnovsky, Alexander; Michie, W.; Demirors, M., “Temperature effects on slow crack growth in pipe grade PE,” Annual Technical Conference – Society of Plastics Engineers, 2010

Hermel-Davidock, Theresa; Cong, Rongjuan; Demirors, Mehmet, “Deconvolution of chemical composition distribution for polyolefins,” Polymer Preprints, American Chemical Society, Division of Polymer Chemistry, 2010

Patel, R. H.-D., Theresa; Paradkar, Rajesh; Landes, Brian; Liu, Lizhi; Demirors, Mehmet; Anderson, Ken, “Characterization of amorphous and crystalline orientation in polyethylene films,” Annual Technical Conference – Society of Plastics Engineers, 2006

Demirors M., DeGroot W., “Crystallization behavior of PE in real time,” American Chrystallography Society, Book of Abstracts, 2006

Demirors, M., “Thermoplastics rubbers,” Encyclopedia of Polymer Science and Technology, John Wiley & Sons, New York NY, 2003

Demirors, M., “Styrene polymers,” Ottmars Encyclopedia of Polymer Science, 2002

Demirors, M., “Styrene polymers and copolymers,” Applied Polymer Science 21st Century, Pergamon Press, Oxford, UK, 93-106, 2000