James W. Rawlins earned his B.S. in Polymer Science in 1993 and his Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering in 1999, from The University of Southern Mississippi (Southern Miss). His professional career began as technical director with Highland International, Inc., in Boone, NC, a protective coatings manufacturer. In 2000, he joined Bayer Corporation in Pittsburgh, PA, as a senior research chemist and in 2002, was promoted to technical marketing director for Europe in Leverkusen, Germany. Dr. Rawlins joined Southern Miss as assistant professor of Polymer Science and Engineering in 2004 and was promoted to associate professor in 2009. He presently directs a 30+ member research team that includes 10 graduate students. He has published 29 peer-reviewed articles; authored more than 95 scientific presentations, 66 conference papers, and 22 poster presentations; lectured at numerous short courses; and holds 8 U.S. and 3 European patents. Dr. Rawlins research efforts have gained notable recognition and received the American Coatings Show Best Paper Award in 2008. His research focuses on corrosion control; functional coatings; synthesis and characterization; and structure-property relationships for polymer matrices in surface coatings, composites, and adhesives.
Proceeds from the Waterborne Symposium are deposited into the USM Research Foundation and are used to endow scholarships for students in the Polymer Science program at USM as well as for general program development