Carnegie Mellon University

 James Spanswick

James Spanswick

Associate Director, Center for Macromolecular Engineering, Department of Chemistry


Founder ATRP Solutions

ATRP Solutions was founded in 2006 and is focused on synthesis of polymers prepared by Controlled Radical Polymerization processes for evaluation in their customer’s applications.

President of Bridges Technology Innovation Capitalization

Bridges TIC was founded in 1994 and is a consulting group focusing on commercialization and capitalization of intellectual assets.

Bridges TIC Accomplishments

  • Evaluated patent portfolio for identification of infringement and/or development of licensing packages targeting non-competing businesses, for several Fortune 100 Companies.
  • Formed consortium of industrial sponsors to fund and exploit new polymerization technology discovered at a US University.
  • Evaluated markets for packaging materials through 2010.
  • Evaluated impact of several emerging technologies on competitive position of major petrochemical feedstock supplier. Developed strategy for internal research program.
  • Carried out competitive technology evaluation for corporation interested in acquiring new oxidation technology for production of aromatic acids.


Post-doctoral work, National Research Council of Canada with K.U. Ingold, 1968 to 1969

Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland, “Chemistry of Indane Derivatives,” 1968

A.H-W.C, Industrial Organic Chemistry, Heriot-Watt College, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1965

Professional Affiliations

  • Participant in Technology and Manufacturing Competitiveness Task Group.
    New Chemical Science and Engineering Technology Work Group for Vision 2020.
  • Member of Licensing Executives Society.
  • Member of American Chemical Society; Division of Polymer Chemistry and Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering.

Research and Professional Experience

Employed at Amoco Chemical Corporation (Now part of BP) from 1969 to 1994.

Project Manager (New Business Group): 1994

Responsible for initiation, definition and development of research and development projects with business and market input. Also responsible for identification and evaluation of external technology to enhance the strategic technologies of the Corporation.

  • Demonstrated utility of a new modifier for polyethyleneterephthalate that could expand the market for polyesters and create a potential opportunity of $60MM sales for the modifier.
  • Identified three technologies for acquisition. Two directed towards extension of markets for existing business units and one new business project.

Senior Research Supervisor (New Business Development): 1989 to 1993

Responsible for the technical leadership of a group directed towards the creation of new business opportunities and for the interaction of R&D with other business groups. Individual responsibility identification, enhancement and exploitation of leverageable capabilities in the organization.

  • Initiated and directed programs on segmented block copolymers to meet identified market targets in elastomeric materials and self reinforced thermoplastics.
  • Commercialized three new olefin based alloys meeting identified customers needs.
  • Developed and evaluated materials for electronic, biomedical and aerospace markets.

Senior Research Supervisor (Engineering Resins): 1986 to 1989

Participated in integration of new engineering resin company acquisition (APPI), including R&D at Bound Brook, NJ; manufacturing plants at Marietta, OH. and Greenville, SC.; and corporate headquarters in Ridgefield, CN. with existing Amoco Chemicals infrastructure.

  • Transferred production of Torlon‘ from Joliet, Illinois to a new plant constructed at Greenville, South Carolina, with significant modification to the plant and no interruption of product supply.
  • Integrated synthesis and compounding sections of Torlon‘ plant reducing production inventory to zero and off-spec material twenty-five fold. Saved $3/lb. in production costs.
  • Commercialized two new products, one new fabrication process and extended research in to three new areas.
  • Integrated ACC and former Union Carbide engineering resins R&D functions.
  • Moved two New Ideas Process projects to new venture status.

Research Supervisor / Senior Research Supervisor (Exploratory Research): 1982 to 1986

Responsible for definition, staffing and management of new strategic thrust for ACC R&D involving utilization of novel heterogeneous catalysts in continuous processes for preparation of new monomers from available feedstock.

  • Initiated research in four new areas for ACC, catalyst synthesis, olefin utilization, dehydrogenation and C4 chemicals. Three projects implemented in plants.
  • Established and ran European Technology Surveillance Program to track developments in six critical technology areas for ACC. Chaired technology review committee for AC.
  • Initiated New Ideas Program to stimulate innovation within ACC. Set up cross business unit interactions to move projects forward.

Research Scientist / Senior Research Scientist: 1974 to 1982

(Dual Assignment — Exploratory Research and Condensation Polymers)

Responsible for product and process development to allow ACC to enter new markets with polymeric materials based on the corporations strengths in aromatic acids and olefins.

  • Developed a proprietary gas phase process for LLDPE including catalyst development, process definition and product development; scaled up to semi-works unit.
  • Process is currently utilized in ACC’s gas phase polypropylene plants.
  • Developed a process for melt transesterification route to polyarylates and polycarbonates and developed stabilizer packages to give colorless products.
  • Worked on polyamides formed basis for AmodelTM development.

Research Scientist (Polystyrene Division): 1969 to 1974

Responsible for upgrading and extending the spectrum of products based on polystyrene and polypropylene to meet evolving customer requirements for products from recently acquired businesses.

  • Developed an understanding of the role of rubber phase morphology in impact polystyrene that resulted in a 50% reduction of amount of rubber used in products. Kept products competitive and formed basis for all subsequent plant modifications.
  • Took three new products to plant trial, two commercialized.
  • Initiated a joint study with a glass manufacturer to examine the role of interfacial reactions in glass filled polypropylene that resulted in current commercial product.
  • Developed antistatic and fire retardant formulations for polystyrene and polypropylene markets

Pre College Employment: 1958-1963

Laboratory Technician at Edinburgh Pharmaceutical Industries. Worked in the new product research group focusing on product development, and pilot plant scale up for production of natural product based drugs.