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BETHEL, CT, U.S.A., June 7, 2016: Nearly 1,400 industry professionals attended the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) ANTEC® 2016 conference, making ANTEC once again the world’s largest plastics technology conference. Among these attendees was a contingent of young professionals and students whose participation in ANTEC events was particularly noteworthy, according to SPE officials.

Industry experts made a total of 550 original, peer-reviewed technical presentations during ANTEC 2016, covering every sector of the plastics industry. “SPE received consistently positive feedback on the technical program, plenary sessions, and networking opportunities,” said Wim DeVos, CEO of SPE. “We intend to build on that momentum as we prepare for ANTEC 2017.”

ANTEC 2016 took place May 22-25 in Indianapolis, starting on Sunday evening, May 22, with SPE’s Industry Awards Gala. Attended by 150 people, the Gala included the annual presentation of awards for outstanding contributions to the plastics industry. This year there were four honorees: Dr. Samuel Kenig (The SPE International Award); Frank Macher (Business Management Award); Dr. Tim Osswald (The Fred E. Schwab Education Award); and Dr. Gregory Campbell (The Research/Engineering Technology Award).

SPE’s growing emphasis on cultivating the next generation of plastics professionals was evidenced by special activities for young professionals and students. These included Pilot Our Future, a program to help participants determine the best career directions; Plastics University, an interactive “museum” in which companies exhibited technologies that drive innovation; a Speed Interview Session; a Student Luncheon, and other events.

“In addition to these special events, throughout ANTEC 2016 we observed more interaction between young attendees and established industry professionals than at any previous ANTEC,” noted Mr. DeVos. “This was a very promising manifestation of the continued effort of SPE to grow the much needed young workforce inflow into our industry.”

Concurrent with the ANTEC technical sessions were exhibits by more than 75 industry companies.

SPE will celebrate its 75th anniversary at the next ANTEC in 2017. It will take place on May 8-10 at the Hilton Anaheim in Anaheim, California. More than 35% of the exhibit floor at that event has been sold already. More information on the ANTEC Conference is available at, or

Photo Caption: At center in photo is Zarif Farhana Mohd Aris, from the University of Massachusetts—Lowell, winner of the Graduate Student Best Poster Award at SPE ANTEC® 2016; at left is Russell Broome, SPE managing director; at right is Stephen McCarthy, distinguished university professor at UMass-Lowell and chair of the Student Activities Committee at ANTEC.


SPE-ANTEC® (Annual Technical Conference) is sponsored by the Society of Plastics Engineers, and is the leading technical forum for providing cutting-edge technological issues and information pertinent to the needs of the plastics industry. Held once a year in the USA, ANTEC features presentations of hundreds of peer-reviewed technical papers, providing plastics professionals unique inside access to proprietary research and findings.

THE SOCIETY OF PLASTICS ENGINEERS (SPE) is the premier source of peer-reviewed technical information for plastics professionals. Founded in 1942, SPE takes action every day to help companies in the plastics industry succeed by spreading knowledge, strengthening skills, and promoting plastics. Employing these vital strategies, SPE has helped the plastics industry thrive for over 74 years. SPE has become the recognized medium of communication among scientists, engineers, and technical personnel engaged in the development, conversion, and application of plastics. For more information, please visit