Meet the Instructors

August 15 - 17, 2023 | Daytona Beach, FL

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Scott Weber - 2022 TAPPI Extrusion Coating Course Chair
Application Development & Technical Support Engineer



Scott holds a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Miami University of Oxford, Ohio.   An industry veteran, Scott has over 30 years of experience in extrusion coating and lamination, blown and cast film most of which focused on flexible packaging applications.  Scott currently has two patents and has been involved in the development of other products that were patented during his career.

Helping others to develop and continue to grow in the industry is very important to Scott.  This has led him to become involved with TAPPI.  Scott is currently 1st Vice Chair within the IFPED Division Leadership Team.  He has chaired the TAPPI Extrusion Coating Course since 2012 and has presented at the Blown Film Extrusion Course and TAPPI PLACE/IFPED conferences.  In 2018 he received the Division Leadership and Service Award and the Andreas Ahlbrandt Prize.

Scott resides in West Chester, Ohio with his wife Lori.  Together they enjoy spending time at Lake Cumberland, KY with their family and friends.  He is the proud father of two daughters and grandpa of four grandsons.

Olivier Catherine, Group Technical Director
Exxon Mobil


Olivier Catherine has 20 years of experience in the plastics industry as an expert in polymer processing, polymer rheology and process modeling. He is currently the Group Technical Director at Cloeren Incorporated, a solution supplier for coextruded flat film, sheet and extrusion coating tooling technology.

Olivier obtained his Master’s in Materials Science from Cemef / Mines Paris Tech – France in 2001. He then worked for the Saint-Gobain Group in France and Massachusetts from 2001 to 2010 in various R&D  roles.

In February 2010, Olivier joined Cloeren Incorporated ( where he manages the material characterization lab, works on innovative die and feedblock designs, and assists customers with their specific processes.

Carmelo Declet-Perez, Associate Technical Service & Development Scientist
Dow Chemical Company 

Carmelo Declet Perez

Carmelo Declet-Perez is an Associate Technical Service & Development Scientist for the Packaging and Specialty Plastics & Hydrocarbons (PSP&H) business at Dow. In his current role, Carmelo is responsible for technical relationship management at various customers in the Food & Specialty Packaging market segment. He also leads various platforms for understanding multilayer packaging structures and design for sustainability. Prior to this role, Carmelo was part of the PSP&H Polyethylene Product Group. In this role he was the technical focal point for extrusion coating and led a variety of projects across LDPE and Solution LLDPE. Carmelo is an active member and participant of employee resource groups, which seek to drive innovation through a more inclusive workplace. Carmelo holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. In his free time, Carmelo enjoys photography, hiking, and exploring new cuisines.
Kelly Frey, Extrusion Coating Technical Service
Chevron Phillips Chemical Company


Kelly Frey graduated from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton, Canada, in 1990 with a degree in Plastics Engineering Technology. Upon graduation, Kelly was employed by Dow Chemical Canada in Sarnia, Ontario where he worked in Polyethylene Technical Service and Development for approximately ten years. While employed at Dow Chemical, Kelly worked in TS&D supporting Dow’s blow molding, blown film, and injection molding polyethylene business. Kelly joined Chevron in Orange, TX in 1999 where he worked in their molding technical service group and then transitioned to extrusion coating technical service in 2000. Kelly then joined Chevron Phillips Chemical Company during its formation in 2001 and has since worked in extrusion coating technical service. Kelly has presented technical papers at both Antec and TAPPI’s PLACE conference and is an active member of the TAPPI International Flexible Packaging and Extrusion Division. Kelly is married, has two daughters and resides in Owasso, OK.

Aaron Hootkin, Regional Sales Manager
Enercon Industries


Aaron Hootkin is Enercon Industries’ Web Surface Treatment Regional Sales Manager, a role that he’s held for the past ten years. Prior to that, Aaron spent almost 20 years in the printing industry where he started out as an account manager, transitioned into sales management, and eventually positions in both domestic and international business development. His previous converter experience with applications that have required bonding inks, adhesives and coatings to plastic have provided him a unique  customer’s perspective into the challenges that many in the industry are trying to overcome every day.

Jim Lush, Sales Manager
Celplast Metallized Products



Jim Lush has been with Celplast Metallized Products in Toronto, Canada, since 1989, where he started in operations, playing key leadership roles in quality assurance, planning and continuous improvement. Jim has used his plant and leadership experience to assist in sales growth. After roles in account management and business development, he is currently Sales Manager at Celplast.

Jim joined TAPPI in 2003 and became involved with the International Flexible Packaging and Extrusion Division at the committee level by joining the Flexible Packaging Committee. He received a Certificate of Recognition in 2008 for technical program development within that committee. He also served on the Technical Program Committee for the Division’s annual conference in 2007 and 2008. In 2012, Jim began officer rotation with the Division, and finished as Division Chair in 2016. 

Jim has been instrumental in introducing the Mentor Match program to the Division and has worked tirelessly to get young people involved. In addition to moderating panels at several TAPPI Flexible Packaging Conferences, he is currently chairing the Marketing Team.

During his spare time, Jim is on the soccer field or at the hockey rink developing and coaching the kids in his community.

Joe Lutz, Director of Sales and Marketing
Pelletron Corporation


Joe has 15 years of technical experience developing bulk material handling solutions for the plastics industry. He earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from West Virginia University. His career at Pelletron began in R&D, which means that he has spent many hours learning the ins and outs of pneumatic conveying in the test lab. In addition to the lab, Joe has started up many pneumatic conveying systems all over the “real world” and holds three patents for new products he developed while at Pelletron. For the past five years, Joe has led Pelletron's sales department. His broad experience makes him a unique asset to the industry.

Vipul Padman, Principal Scientist
Berry Global


Vipul Padman, Ph.D. is a Sr. Research Scientist at Clopay Plastic Products in Mason, OH. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Pune University, India in Polymer Engineering and his Ph.D. from the University of Southern Mississippi in Polymer Science and Engineering. He has also received an MBA from Indiana University. His research experience covers various aspects of polymer rheology, cast extrusion processing, material selection, formulation design and simulation. While working in the rheology field for more than a decade; he has successfully derived and established several structure-property relationships for a wide range of polymer systems, such as solutions, gels, and colloids. His current focus is largely on understanding polymer melt behavior during extrusion processing. He has successfully established structure-processing relationships of polymer melts and developed models that can predict processing behavior. His expertise includes designing rheological tests and using simulation software to resolve processing issues.

Lou Piffer, Senior Sales Engineer
Davis-Standard LLC



Lou Piffer is currently a Senior Sales Engineer for Davis-Standard LLC, Converting Systems (D-S). He has been with D-S for the past 33 years, mainly in the Field Technical Sales function. He is currently responsible for sales of cast film, extrusion coating, and liquid coating equipment in the central and southern US, Latin America, as well as several strategic worldwide accounts. He received a BS in Chemical Engineering from Drexel University in 1985, and has been a proud Dragon ever since. Lou has been a recipient of the Davis-Standard President’s Award, which is given to the top employee in the organization. Lou and his wife Linda currently reside in their beloved 'Tree House' in southern Delaware.

Lou began teaching the TAPPI Extrusion Coating Course in 1993 and the Film Extrusion Course in 2017 and has consistently received top scores on course attendee evaluations for both. He has been active in TAPPI since the late 1980s, writing multiple papers, chairing conference sessions, and contributing chapters to the last two editions of the Extrusion Coating Manual. Lou has held all the officer positions in the IFPED Council, and is currently a practicing Chair Emeritus. In 2001, Lou was the recipient of the Division Leadership Award & Andreas Ahlbrandt Prize.

Ted Schnackertz, OEM Sales Manager


Ted has over 40 years of experience in the process control industry with real-time on-line measurement and control systems in the paper and plastics industry. He has held positions as a field engineer, systems engineer, project manager, applications engineer and currently is the OEM Sales Manager for NDC. Ted studied electronics engineering at CCNY (New York) and electrical engineering at Lowell Institute of Technology in Lowell, MA. Ted is a TAPPI member and has instructed in at variety of Courses and presented papers at TAPPI Conferences since 1998.
Duane Smith, Process Manager, Web Handling & Specialty Winding
Davis-Standard, LLC

Duane Smith is Process Manager, Web Handling & Specialty Winding at Davis-Standard, LLC. Duane has over 45 years of experience, and is widely known throughout the paper, film and nonwoven industries for his technical knowledge on web handling and winding. He has been awarded two patents in winding. Duane has made over 85 technical presentations, and published over 30 articles in major international trade journals and magazines. He is the author of the Winding chapter of the Film Extrusion Manual and the Unwinding/Splicing and Winding chapters of the Extrusion Coating Manual, Fifth Edition. He has been an instructor at more than 20 TAPPI Courses and has published three books through TAPPI Press. He is the editor of TAPPI Press’ first e-book, The Ultimate Roll and Web Defect Troubleshooting Guide. Duane has been active in TAPPI for more than 40 years. Duane was named a TAPPI Fellow in 2011.
Nick Sturgis, Technical Service Scientist
Dow Chemical Company

Nick is currently a Technical Service Scientist at Dow based out of Freeport TX. He joined Dow Technical Service in 2016 and supports flexible packaging customers. He has broad experience across Dow’s polyethylene and polyethylene copolymers portfolio with a focus on how they process and perform in blown film, cast film, and extrusion coating. He enjoys solving customer problems and developing new experimental methods to quantify how products perform during extrusion and in end-use applications. Some examples of new products developed that leveraged those interests are curl resistance HDPEs in blown film and pinhole resistance LDPEs in extrusion coating. His educational background is in Chemical Engineering – He received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University in 2010 and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Penn State University in 2016.
Brady Hunnicutt
Westlake Corporation

Brady Hunnicutt is a Technical Service Engineer for Westlake Corporation. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Stephen F. Austin State University with additional certifications in Secondary Education and Agricultural Development. Prior to the beginning of his career in the plastics industry Brady was a Texas High School Agricultural Mechanics Instructor for three years. His introduction into the plastics industry began in 2014 with Westlake’s Polyethylene Technology Department. At Westlake Brady started as a Lab Technician in Westlake’s Customer Solutions Center in Longview, Texas, operating various extrusion and lab equipment until being promoted into the Technical Service and Product Development Division in 2019. Brady’s experience as a Lab Technician exposed him to a broad array of troubleshooting, operating, and project development experience with a large emphasis on Extrusion Coating as well as extensive work in Twin-Screw Compounding and Blown and Cast Film extrusion. Married with three children he currently resides in Henderson, TX and frequently visits his family’s farm in Mt. Vernon, TX.