2019 Advisory Board

  • Robert Eller

    President Robert Eller Associates LLC

    Bob Eller is President of Robert Eller Associates LLC (REA).

    REA provides technical, market and economic analysis to support management decision-making, and strategy formulation in the plastics, TPE and rubber industries often at the advanced R-D/early commercialization interface. TPEs are one of REA’s consulting specialties.

    His company has operations in Akron, Ohio (USA), Asia Pacific and Europe. Bob and his associates have carried out numerous technology, strategy, pricing forecasts, product positioning analyses (usually at the advanced R/D-early commercialization interface) and acquisition support.

    His company is currently working on:

    -Assisting clients with identifying opportunities for product innovation and the innovation process

    -Positioning new TPEs and their fabrication technologies

    -Acquisition candidates in the global plastics and rubber markets

    -The evolving role of thermoplastic composites and fabrication technologies

    -Innovation opportunities in the packaging industries

    -Positioning of new polyolefin, TPE and compound technologies in automotive

    - Assessment of compounders in the Asia/Pacific region

    Bob is a graduate of M.I.T.in Chemical Engineering and has an M.S. in Polymer Science and Chemical Engineering from Brooklyn Polytechnic. 

    His employment experience includes ExxonMobil, A. D. Little, Phillip Townsend Associates, Charles River Associates (Vice President), Multibase (a French/U.S. TPE compounding company- General Manager) and Robert Eller Associates LLC which he established in 1991.

    Bob holds 4 patents in the plastics materials and process areas.

  • Timothy J. Higgins

    Marketing Manager Momentive

    Tim Higgins is a Regional Marketing Manager at Momentive Performance Materials.  Tim has over 15 years of experience in the elastomers industry; divided across both on the technical and sales & marketing acumens.

    His company possesses operations across all poles including, Waterford, NY (USA – Global HQ), Asia Pacific and Europe.  Momentive’s global silicones business brings innovation to a wide range of industries, including automotive, electronics, personal care, consumer products, aerospace, and building and construction to name a few. Momentive’s innovative portfolio of silicone elastomers influence the design of hundreds of applications across a wide range of industries. The exceptional properties of silicone elastomers, such as, heat and moisture resistance, flame retardency, weatherability and dielectric properties, make them ideal candidates for a wide range of industrial, electrical transmission, transportation and consumer applications. In addition, the purity, clarity, and strength of silicone elastomers have benefited a variety of medical and baby care products. Momentive has an extensive offering of formulated products, including elastomers and coatings. And, of course, also collaboratively formulates with customers to meet specific needs


    Tim is responsibilities include:

    Assessing market needs and trends to identify new opportunities to establish an elastomers marketing strategy for the Americas.
    Developing, communicating and executing market segment strategies and marketing plans for selected markets.
    Coordinating with other functional roles such as Technology, Sales, Product Management, Marketing and Operations, EHS and Product Stewardship.
    Introducing new products to the market that will grow the Elastomers segment.
    Determining new product resourcing for given markets.
    Accountable for driving business strategies within the Americas.


    Tim is a graduate of Ferris State University where he duel majored and received degrees in both Plastics and Rubber Engineering Technology.  He went on to receive his Master’s Certificate from Villanova University.


    His employment experience includes Rhein Chemie Corporation/Lanxess (NA Business Development & Technical Manager), Zeon Chemicals (Market Development Specialist), Hiawatha Rubber/Mainsail Global (Chief Development Officer) and Momentive Performance Materials (Current – Regional Marketing Manager).


    Tim truly passionate about his work and is always eager to connect with others within the industry. He enjoys working directly with the customer or business partner to understand his or her business objectives, problems, angle, etc. This provides for the collaborative process, information and ideas which then flow and together a synergistic solution is spawned.

  • Dr. Jungmee Kang

    Senior Research Scientist Goodyear

    Dr. Jungmee Kang is a Senior Research Scientist at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. She received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she studied the block copolymers containing sacrificial blocks. She did a post-doctoral work at The University of Akron under the guidance of Prof. Joseph Kennedy in Polymer Science, and studied the polyurethanes containing polydimethylsiloxane or polyisobutylene. Her expertise spans over the synthesis, processing, and characterization of polymers and compounds.

  • Alper Kiziltas

    Research Scientist - Sustainable Biomaterials and Plastics Ford Motor Company

    Dr. Kiziltas’s research is focused on sustainability and emerging materials such as nanomaterials, polymeric and soft materials, biomaterials, glassy and amorphous materials, self-healing materials and bio-inspired and patterned functional materials. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Maine. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Karadeniz Technical University (KTU). He has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles and papers in leading journals and conferences in his field, and regularly serves in organizational leadership roles for the SPE (ACCE TPO, Automotive Division), Thermoplastic Elastomer Summit and Advancements in Fiber-Polymer Composites Symposium. He is the recipient of the SPE-ACCE best professional paper award and holds 5 patent disclosures.

  • Elizabeth Ponte

    Senior Marketing Manager - Americas & EMEA Teknor Apex

    Elizabeth Ponte is the Senior Marketing Manager for Teknor Apex Company and is responsible for the development and execution of the TPE Division’s marketing strategy. She has over 18 years of experience at Teknor Apex in technology, operations, sales, and marketing. Elizabeth holds a BS degree in Chemical Engineering, a BA degree in German, and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Rhode Island.  

  • Dr. Prakash Sanjeevaiah

    Director of Technology Star Thermoplastics

    Dr. Prakash Sanjeevaiah is the Director of Technology at Star Thermoplastic Alloys and Rubbers, Inc. In his current role, he is leading a team of researchers in product development, innovation and strategic and disruptive marketing of elastomers. Dr. Sanjeevaiah has a PhD degree in Organic Chemistry from Loyola University Chicago with focus on application-oriented synthesis and characterization of macromolecules. His wide expertise includes material science, thermoplastic elastomers, characterization, polymer processing.

  • Dr. David Ward

    Vice President, Research and Development Lion Elastomers

    Dr. Ward is responsible for new product and process development for Lion Elastomers’ SBR and EPDM product lines in Port Neches, TX and Geismar, LA.  He graduated from the University of Waterloo in Canada with an Honours B.Sc. and Ph.D. in chemistry.  During his Ph.D. he studied EPDM technology at Polysar, and subsequently, Nova Chemical and Bayer developing metallocene catalyzed processes.  After more than two decades at W. R. Grace & Co. in various roles from polyolefin catalysis to strategic business development, Dave returned to the EPDM business at Lion Elastomers.  He leads teams in support of Lion Technology providing Quality Management, Research and Development, Technical Service, Process Technologies, and Pilot operations.