CIEF: Industry’s Link to Dedicated University Coatings Sciences’ Programs, Students, & Graduates
The Coatings Industry Education Foundation (CIEF) is the coatings industry’s foremost non-profit coatings technologies educational platform. For over 25 years, CIEF has fostered the evolution of a nationwide network of top-flight U.S. university undergraduate and graduate Polymers and Coatings Programs, where highly motivated students receive CIEF scholarships to pursue degrees in the field, perform cutting-edge research, and prepare to enter the industry. Click here to learn more about these specific universities.
Coatings companies now compete in a fast-paced world economy, where consumers, industrial customers, and regulators, alike, are pushing for the most sophisticated, “smartest” coatings ever. These coatings must meet scientifically-challenging utility, as well as economic and environmental requirements. Companies, therefore, must be engaged in coatings technologies progress and be superbly positioned to tap into the best and brightest minds — those men and women trained in the newest technologies and practical applications.
CIEF is an exceptional mechanism to help support this business imperative and act on behalf of enhancing coatings science progress, generally, and to underwrite scholarship by the new generation of leaders in the field. Thanks, in part, to the experiences made possible by these scholarships, CIEF beneficiaries are uniquely equipped and eager to join the coatings industry upon graduation to help lead the new generation of coatings technologies.
For example, one of a number of outstanding CIEF beneficiaries (see student profiles) is described by his program head as “a great example of a CIEF scholarship recipient who has many accomplishments. He began his education as a candidate in chemistry. Soon, he learned about the polymers and coatings program and its ties to industry and developed a keen interest in the field. He added the objective of the MS degree in Polymers and Coatings Science and, in a short period of time, contributed to two major research projects — one on VOC aspects of stain-blocking primer coatings and another on surface modification of polypropylene compounds to improve coating adhesion. He is highly appreciative of the support he has received through CIEF and is looking forward to joining the coatings industry upon graduation this winter.”
It is experiences such as these that CIEF hopes to continue to make possible for promising students at
The American Coatings Association’s Role
CIEF is incorporated in Delaware as a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit, with by-laws empowering the American Coatings Association’s (ACA) Board of Directors to act as its sole governing “Member,” with power to elect CIEF Trustees, oversee its operations, and utilize ACA staff as its Officers. ACA employs its Science & Technology (S&T) Committee as an expert steward for the Foundation, with formal interface involving CIEF Trustee(s) and S&T Committee Members. The overall design is to align programmatic goals; enhance fund-raising efforts; serve as a forum for universities and the industry to collaborate; contribute to student assistance via formal proposal review, grants, and monitoring; and maintain success rate information.
Currently, CIEF scholarships go to coatings technology-focused degree programs that collectively have over 400 active students. Over the past three years, CIEF tracking of bachelor’s degree graduates shows, on average, some 40% go on to pursue advanced degrees in coatings-related science, while more than 35% accept immediate employment with paint and coatings companies. The balance of graduates are strategically retained within the coatings industry, as they are employed by raw material suppliers and other industries that require expertise in polymer science, coatings technology, and product finishes.
CIEF is committed to promoting work within the paint and coatings industry as a challenging and rewarding career path.
The Science and Technology Subcommittee
The new CIEF By-laws require a shared membership between the CIEF Board of Trustees and the ACA Science and Technology Committee (S&T). Accordingly, the CIEF Chairman and Vice-Chairman are members of the S&T Committee, and a member of the S&T Committee, has become a trustee of the CIEF. This arrangement allows for close cooperation between CIEF and the ACA.
The S&T Committee has established a University Liaison Subcommittee that, among other things, seeks to foster regular, enhanced communication between ACA and the leaders of the coatings science programs that are primarily supported by the CIEF. Improving mutual understanding and support for continuing education objectives and attracting other relevant university programs into its network are among its goals.
The S&T Committee has also formed a Continuing Education Work Group to undertake an analysis of the industry’s professional education needs. Inherent in this effort is the assessment of which university-based programs currently are offering the desired training. This may be useful for CIEF as it evaluates best approaches for the future.
CIEF is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization (Federal Tax ID – 231521323) and depends on the generous contributions of donors for its success. All contributions not otherwise designated go directly to the general scholarship fund and are available for distribution in the next award cycle. Additional award funds maintained and managed by CIEF may also receive designated donations, including:
Joseph A. Vasta Memorial Scholarship
The Vasta Scholarship is awarded annually on a rotating basis to educational institutions associated with the CIEF scholarship program. The student recipient is selected by the school.
Honor and Remembrance Fund
The Honor and Remembrance Fund was founded in 1992 to provide an opportunity for individuals, corporations, coatings societies and associations to honor those individuals, both living and deceased, who have contributed to the coatings industry. Earnings from the principal of the fund are used for scholarships, grants, and fellowships at colleges and universities associated with the CIEF program.
A. L. Hendry Scholarship
The A.L. Hendry Scholarship Award is given by the Southern Societies for Coatings Technology for the best college student-written coatings-related paper submitted for their annual conference.
Jim McCormick Scholarship Fund
In 2007, the Board of Trustees of the CIEF set aside contri-butions received in the memory of James McCormick. Donations are used for scholarships, grants, and fellowships at colleges and universities associated with the CIEF program.
The Trustees of the Coatings Industry Education foundation appreciate your consideration of a contribution that will help ensure the future of the coatings industry. To make a donation, please click here and complete the Contribution Form. A separate tax statement acknowledging your donation will be sent to you by the CIEF Secretary.
The new Sidney Lauren Memorial Learning Center, located at the University of Southern Mississippi School of Polymers and High Performance Materials, was dedicated in a ceremony held Sept. 23, 2011, in honor of coatings industry leader Sidney Lauren.
The center is a comprehensive learning environment housing the Sidney Lauren Coatings Lab, which features a state-of-the-art touch screen computer system; a physical library and archive of coatings-related materials; and an online learning center – www.laurenlearningcenter.com – where students may access lectures, patents, and other resources.
The facility was established with the assistance of a CIEF donation; such contributions have also benefitted USM students through the Sidney Lauren Memorial Scholarship.