We are excited to welcome Chase Murphy to the Induron team! Chase manages our R&D department, but until this department is filled he will be working as a chemist learning Induron’s technology.
Before coming to Induron, Chase was a Senior Polymer Chemist at Specialty Polymers in Chester, SC for about 3 years then transitioned to the R&D Manager at the Chester, SC location. Prior to that role, he spent 2 years at Carboline as a chemist in the Tank Linings and Fire Proofing groups. Chase also spent 7 years at Sherwin-Williams in various roles within polymerization groups.
Chase’s extensive experience and industry involvement makes him an excellent addition to the Induron family. To learn more about Chase, check out this Q&A.
Q: Tell us about your background, experience in the paint/coatings industry and how you came to work for Induron.
A: I graduated from Southern Mississippi in 2005, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Polymer Science. I was hired by Sherwin-Williams immediately after graduating to work as a Chemist in their wood lab in Greensboro, NC. After about three years there, I was asked to move to Chicago to work at the Steudel Research Center focusing on condensation polymerization (alkyds, polyesters). My last year at Sherwin, 2012, I worked at Breen Tech Center in Cleveland in the Polymer Research Group. I joined Carboline in early 2013 and worked as a chemist in the Tank Linings and Fire Proofing groups until late 2015. From then, until I joined Induron, I worked for Specialty Polymers in Chester, SC. I started as a Senior Polymer Chemist, and after about three years I was the R&D manager at the Chester site. I have been looking for the right opportunity to return to Alabama for the past 3 years. Induron was the right opportunity!
Q: What are your responsibilities in your new role?
A: I’ll be working as a chemist learning Induron’s technology until our R&D team is fully built-out, and then I will take over as manager.
Q: What’s the most challenging part of your job?
A: After working in emulsion polymerization for the last 8 years, I’m having to re-learn the 2K epoxy coatings technology.
Q: Are you seeing any new trends in the coatings industry? If so, please describe.
A: The usual trends are always around: pressure from regulatory bodies to reduce emissions, eliminate hazards from chemicals of concern (real or perceived), etc. Also, clients downstream are always looking for more economical and easier to apply technologies in addition to better performance. Recent years have posed a new challenge with universally unreliable supply chains. Manufacturers are faced with either being creative and flexible with both their clients and vendors or losing business. At Specialty Polymers, when we were faced with no viable options regarding our supply chain, the technical team would communicate with clients to find alternatives we could supply rather than cut off their business. We had record years and new customers coming to us due to larger emulsion polymer vendors’ inflexibility.
Q: Tell us about a project you’ve worked on that you’re especially proud of.
A: I developed several exclusive water-based polymers for a very high-end artist paint company. It was a lot of R&D work and back and forth with the customer. There was one small volume product that gave them an exclusive edge in the museum curation field. I read an article several months ago about protesters who threw a can of soup on a Van Gogh painting. The article stated that there was no damage due to a protective varnish over the painting. I shot the artist paint company’s lead chemist a text asking, ‘Is that our stuff on the Van Gogh?.’ He replied no, due to the type of paint Van Gogh used, but your polymer is protecting historical paintings in museums all over the world. It would have been a better story if my polymer was on the Van Gogh, but still gave me a sense of accomplishment!
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
A: In general, someone once told me that I can’t possibly know all the answers, I just need to know how to find the answers.
Q: If you could have dinner with any person living or dead, who would it be and why?
A: This is a tough one, and it could change at any moment, but right now I’d say Wes Montgomery, because he was the smoothest and hardest working jazz guitar player ever.
Q: Tell us a little about your family, pets and/or hobbies.
A: I met my wife Jackie in 2010 while we were both working at Sherwin-Williams in Chicago. We got married in 2017 and now have a daughter, Penelope, who will be 3 years old in July. We also have a cat named Snips. My wife has a degree in classical piano, and I have been an amateur jazz musician since I was 13, so music is a passion in my family that we are passing on to our daughter.