Arkema gift to support additive manufacturing lab in renovated Steidle Building

January 15, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Arkema Inc., a leading specialty chemicals and advanced materials company, recently made a philanthropic commitment to name a new laboratory in Penn State’s Steidle Building, home of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences’ Department of Materials Science and Engineering. The building is currently being renovated and is slated for completion in June 2016. The $50,000 gift will support the Arkema Additive Manufacturing Laboratory.

“Arkema is committed to the development of innovative, high-performance materials to meet the needs of today and tomorrow, and we are pleased to reinforce our collaboration with Penn State by making a contribution to support the promising field of additive manufacturing. We are proud to have our name associated with this laboratory and look forward to future discoveries from the Penn State researchers engaged in this exciting area of research and development,” said Ryan Dirkx, vice president of research and development at Arkema Inc. Dirkx has a doctorate in solid-state science from Penn State and is responsible for research and development in North America and research and development coordination between the United States and France.

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3-D printing, refers to a process in which objects are produced layer by layer from a digital file or model. Uses for this technology and the materials it will employ have the potential to revolutionize nearly every aspect of life, and it is already in use in the areas of architecture, medicine, electronics and specialty manufacturing of all kinds. This technology has the potential to find new applications for virtually every material, as well as the potential to create new alloys and composites not previously possible.

Arkema Inc.’s gift will be used to purchase new equipment and other necessary materials and supplies. The new laboratory will allow students to explore the technology and integrate the process into their research. It will impact all of our students through its use to enhance undergraduate laboratory courses.

“Additive manufacturing is an exciting, rapidly growing area in materials science that holds the potential to create new materials with unique functions. Arkema's support of this laboratory will give our students a leg up with hands-on experience in this fast-paced field. We are eagerly looking forward to the new research innovations and unique educational experiences that will result from having this lab at Penn State due to Arkema's generosity,” said Michael Hickner, associate professor of materials science and engineering, and chemical engineering.

“Materials science and engineering at Penn State consistently ranks highly among materials programs and it is critical that we have state-of-the-art facilities to remain competitive and attract top-quality students and researchers. We are extremely grateful to Arkema Inc. for this generous gift,” said Susan Sinnott, materials science and engineering department head.

Arkema, headquartered in Colombes, near Paris, France, is a world leader in materials for coatings and paints and develops state-of-the art specialty chemicals and polymers. Reporting annual sales of €7.5 billion in 2014, the company employs more than 19,000 people worldwide and operates in close to 50 countries. In North America, Arkema Inc., a subsidiary of Arkema, employs nearly 3,000 people and operates 41 sites in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Brazil. Arkema Inc. is headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and is the company’s main research and development location.

This recent gift continues Arkema’s generosity to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State. During the past six years, Arkema has consistently donated to the department to support graduate fellowships, the department’s graduate colloquium in materials, and undergraduate student travel.

Penn State's alumni and friends are invaluable partners in fulfilling the University's land-grant mission of education, research and service. Private gifts from alumni and friends enrich the experiences of students both in and out of the classroom, expand the research and teaching capacity of our faculty, enhance the University's ability to recruit and retain top students and faculty, and help to ensure that students from every economic background have access to a Penn State education. The University's colleges and campuses are now enlisting the support of alumni and friends to advance a range of unit-specific initiatives.

For more information about the Steidle Building renovation, visit

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Last Updated January 15, 2016