Robert Barsotti - R&D Manager, Altuglas International
Learn more about Arkema Inc.'s R&D program and culture from Robert Barsotti, R&D Manager for Altuglas International.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
I manage an R&D group in Altuglas International consisting of seven scientists, engineers and technicians. My day-to-day work consists of helping to set R&D strategy for the Altuglas International group to maximize the value of our scientific efforts along with developing the members of my group to allow them to achieve their fullest potential.
What did you do before joining Arkema Inc.?
Arkema was my firstjob after graduating from MIT with a PhD in Materials Science Engineering. I have a Bachelor’s of Science and Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
What is a major accomplishment you are most proud of?
In my previous position as a research scientist in the Altuglas group, I led the development of a line of sustainable acrylic products, commercialized under the trade name of Plexiglas® Rnew®. This technology, which allows for significant improvements in the impact and chemical resistance over current polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) products while being > 25% bio-sourced, was recognized with an R&D 100 Award in 2012 (given annually by R&D magazine to the top 100 technological achievements of the year).
Why did you apply for a job at Arkema Inc.?
Arkema offered exciting research opportunities for a young scientist– working on materials that can have an immediate technical and commercial impact in a wide range of end markets.
How do you see your future at Arkema Inc.?
I am very excited to continue my growth and development in scientific leadership at Arkema; taking on new challenges and having greater input on the larger picture of R&D.
In your opinion, what are the main qualities that you need to grow your career at Arkema Inc.?
Leadership, technical knowledge, ability to collaborate both internally and externally, strong focus on delivering results, excellent communication.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to work for Arkema Inc.?
My best advice would be to aggressively pursue your career; seek out topics that excite and interest you and attempt to take a leadership role in those areas.
What are some of the highlights of working at Arkema Inc.?
One of my personal highlights was collaborating with Lehigh University and TPI Composites on a grant from the Pennsylvania Nanomaterials Commercialization Center for using Arkema’s Nanostrength® block copolymers for toughening of wind turbine blades. I was able to present this work at a conference hosted by Sandia National Labs. More general highlights include the chance to work with extremely talented scientists and engineers, the ability to be involved with high-level projects and an excellent work-life balance.
How would you describe Arkema Inc. in one sentence?
Arkema is a dynamic and exciting chemical materials company that engages in the highest quality scientific research with an aim at solutions to help with global macrotrends such as sustainability, energy, and lightweighting.