The pursuit of "material health" coupled with the drive to integrate sustainable materials into the interior spaces in which we live, work, and play requires designers and architects to better understand the chemical properties and hazards of the materials they specify. This burden adds to their already complex job of synthesizing abstract concepts into aesthetically pleasing structures and spaces that harmonize form with function. This visually rich presentation by Mark Krejchi, Ph.D., of Wilsonart, discusses key concepts that address fundamental health, safety, and welfare issues involved in sustainable material design. Equipped with this information, attendees will be better positioned to make more informed decisions about the hazards and sustainable value of the various hard surfacing choices.
Presenter: Mark Krejchi, Ph. D., Research Fellow, Wilsonart
Mark Krejchi earned a Doctorate in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where his work established some of the earliest examples of successful biomimicry based material design. After completing his doctorate, Mark accepted a position at the California Institute of Technology in the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. His work there utilized directed evolution to adapt naturally occurring enzymes to carry out industrially significant chemistry under conditions familiar to biological systems. Mark rounded out his academic experience at Stanford University in the Department of Chemistry where he was focused on altering the structure of polypropylene to produce materials that would simplify the complex recycling processes associated with multicomponent plastic parts. In 1996, Mark moved into the commercial world when he accepted a position at Wilsonart LLC. Since that time, he has played important roles in the design, development, and commercialization of innovative decorative surfacing solutions both in the US and abroad. Mark holds several patents in areas that involve the consolidation of manufacturing processes to decrease waste and save energy, the dematerialization of substrates to reduce raw material consumption, and the development of recycling processes to utilize postconsumer plastic waste. Mark and his wife, Amy, reside in their empty nest in Temple, TX.