To download an Educator of the Year Nomination form, click here!


2023 Plastics Educator of The Year - Mark Woverton

Mark Wolverton is a PlastiVan educator with more than 45 years of experience and expertise in making plastics parts happen. PlastiVan is a vehicle for Mark to foster the next generations with his enthusiasm for plastic parts and materials development. Education is at the core of Mark’s career. A developer of advanced thermoplastic compounds and
resins, his roles required educating engineers, scientists and technologists in the properties and uses of those materials. He would teach many others the principles of design with these materials. Often press side process studies became an opportunity to learn and educate. He would also relay key learnings from failure studies to others to bring better products to life. He published many articles and papers and is co-author of one patent for material composition and properties. He has been part of and led teams in product and materials development for the business machine, consumer electronics, automotive & transportation, defense & aerospace, personal care, and medical

Mark was inspired by his Dad and DuPont scientists while at Concord High in Wilmington Delaware. He augmented his metallurgy education at Drexel University with courses in plastics under Roger Corneliussen, graduating with his BS in Materials Engineering. Mark is Emeritus and Honored Service
Member of SPE and a member of the Plastics Pioneers. His hobbies include coaching youth archery, participating in tournament archery, golf and scuba diving.

2020 Plastics Educator of The Year - Craig Adams

Craig has been teaching at Forest Park Middle School in Franklin since 1986. He teaches grades 6th – 8th Engineering and Technology.

He started teaching about plastics around 30 years ago when a parent connection brought over a pile of scrap plexiglass. He is strong believer in project based education. If you provide high quality hands-on projects the kids will be engaged and the learning will automatically happen.

He lives in Merton, Wisconsin and graduated from UW Stout 1986.

Craig is also an avid outdoorsman, certified hunter safety instructor and runs an outdoor club at Forest Park Middles school.

SPE Educator Of Year-2020

Picture1 Bob Novak-02

2019 Plastics Educator of the Year – Bob Novak

Bob is an Experienced Associate Dean with a demonstrated history of working in higher education for over 28 years, 23 years as an instructor.

Bob is skilled in Computer Numerical Control (CNC), Machine Tool Operation, Tool & Die/Moldmaking, and Plastics.

He is a strong education professional with a Bachelor’s Degree focused in Career Technical Education and Training from University of Wisconsin-Stout and State of Wisconsin Certified Journeyman Tool & Die Maker.



2016 Plastics Educator of the Year – Professor Tim A. Osswald

Professor Osswald has written 12 books in the plastics field, four of which are textbooks: Understanding Polymer Processing, Polymer Processing – Modelling and Simulation, Materials Science of Polymers for Engineers, and Polymer Rheology. Professor Osswald is the faculty advisor to the Student SPE Chapter. He is also faculty advisor to the student chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and Theta Tau.

Consolidated Papers Foundation Chair sponsored by the Mead Witter Foundation
Honorary Professor at
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and
Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Co-Director of the Polymer Engineering Center
Mechanical Engineering Department
University of Wisconsin-Madison

• Honorary Professor – National University of Colombia (2010)
• Fellow of the Society of Plastics Engineers (2008)
• Honorary Professor – University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (2006)
• Chaired Professorship: K.K. and Cindy Wang Professor (2005-2015)
• Journal of Polymer Technology, Chief Editor (2004-present)
• Nominated as the first American member of the International Alliance
of Polymer Technology Professors (2002)
• Recipient of the VDI-K Dr.-Richard-Escales-Prize (2001)
• Journal of Polymer Engineering, Editor for the Americas, (1999-present)
• Hanser Publishers, Advisory Board, (1998-present)
• Journal of Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Editor — Plastics
• NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award (1991-96)
• Alexander von Humboldt Fellow (1987-89)





2015 Plastics Educator of the Year – Lih-Sheng (Tom) Turng

Since joining UW-Madison in 2000, Professor Turng has developed two new technical elective courses (ME 419 Fundamentals of injection Molding and ME 974/6Ot Fundamentals of Micro-fabrication that complement and strengthen the existing manufacturing and polymer engineering programs. In addition to developing new senior/graduate courses, Professor Turng also revamped and teaches two exísting undergraduate courses, ME 313 Manufacturing Processes (Plastics Processing) and ME 3L4 Competitive Manufacturing (Modeling in Materials Processing). Professor Turng has incorporated innovative teaching methods and modern computer simulation tools for plastics processing (Moldflow and Moldex3D) in his courses, which have been well received by both students and colleagues He also worked with the UW-Madison Engineering Outreach Program to make his ME 419 lectures available on videotape and DVD through the Outreach Program Office and the National Technological University (NTU) to benefit practicing engineers in industry or students unable to attend regular classroom lectures due to scheduling conflicts, co-op assignments, or distance barriers.

Professor Turng has published nearly 300 technical papers since he joined UW-Madison, of which 140 are in prestigious referred, archival journals. He and his students have also presented 74 technical papers at the SPE Annual Technical Conferences (ANTEC). Professor Turng’s students have won several ANTEC Best Paper Award, Best Paper Award Runner-up, Best Graduate Student Paper Awards, and Best Graduate Student Poster Awards from the SPE and the SPE lnjection Molding Division (IMD). As a faculty member at UW-Madison, he also authored/edited many books, book chapters, journals, and have filed or received 12 patent applications or patent approvals. Turng has been a member of SPE since 1991. He has been a regular paper reviewer and contributing author for SPE’s technical journals such as Polymer Engineering and Science and Polymer Composites since 2001.

2014 SPE Milwaukee Educator of the Year – Dr. Majid Tabrizi

Dr. Majid Tabrizi currently teaches at University of Wisconsin – Platteville (UWP)and he is the Director of the Center for Plastic Processing Technology. He has previously taught at University of Northern Iowa and University of Kerman.

He currently runs the:

  • Plastic Program at UWP.
  • Middle school and high school students program which contains 43 modules. This program has received national attention and has been written about in the Thermoforming Quarterly.
  • Plastic Technology program, a SPE-UWP program designed to prepare the high school teachers for teaching plastics in the curriculum. 80% of the teacher participants have incorporated the plastics in their educational program.

He has worked in industry as Research Director for Iowa Laser Technology.
He has done research for the Iowa High Tech Council, National Science Foundation, Department of National Resources and the Department of Energy.
He has provided specialized industrial training for John Deere, 3M, Generac,Loud Speaker Components, Cuba-City Machine, Plastic Ingenuity, Print Corporation and AST Corporation.
He is an advisor to the UWP Student Chapter of SPE.
He has authored many article especially on plastic education at UWP.


Jeff Thielke named “Milwaukee SPE 2013 Plastics Educator of the Year”

At the Milwaukee Society of Plastics Engineers Annual Education / Career Night, Wednesday April 17, 2013, at Waukesha County Technical College, Mr. Jeff Thielke will be honored as the first recipient of the Milwaukee SPE Plastics Educator of the Year Award.

Mr. Thielke has been teaching for over 29 years, currently he teaches technology education classes at the Germantown School District, Kennedy Middle School and has taught Middle school for 12 years and high school for 17 years. He has taught Project Lead the Way classes as well as Gateway to Technology classes. As an associated member of the Milwaukee SPE, he has taught plastic technology in his classrooms as well as written curriculum for Wisconsin Manufacturing Plastics Youth Apprenticeship and Manufacturing Plastics Technical Training Program. He has written articles for several publications including The PLTW Journal, Teaching Today, Bright Ideas and the Milwaukee SPE Newsletter. He has spoken several times including Wisconsin Technology Education Association Conference, Society Of The Plastics Industry Seminar and Milwaukee SPE seminars. He also will help other teachers in other districts get started in teaching plastic technology in their technology classes.

Mr. Thielke has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Technology Education and a Masters in Vocational Education. He is married with children and coaches and teaches wrestling.