The miracles of science™

Select Industry


DuPont Fayetteville

News Release

Wilmington, DE, October 3, 2007

DuPont Honors Researchers with Highest Scientific Achievement

Lavoisier Medals Awarded For Replacement Technology for CFCs and Invention of Tough, Lightweight Polymers

DuPont today announced the recipients of the Lavoisier Medal for Technical Achievement, presented to DuPont scientists and engineers who have had a career of outstanding achievements in their chosen fields. The 2007 awardees are Charles Joseph Noelke, a DuPont Fellow based in Fayetteville, NC, and Edward J. Deyrup, a retired DuPont Fellow from Wilmington, DE.

Noelke led the team that developed HFC 134-A, a replacement to chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), a refrigerant recognized in the early 1970s to be accumulating in the atmosphere and potentially depleting the earth's ozone layer. Deyrup was recognized for his technical leadership in advancing Vamac® elastomers for seals and gaskets and for inventing DuPont™ Rynite® PET, a tough polymer used to replace metal with lighter weight, lower cost molded parts in automobiles, appliances and other consumer products.

"Our two honorees have contributed to a wide range of very important scientific and engineering processes that have changed people's lives around the world. Their accomplishments have provided more sustainable solutions to critical areas such as refrigeration, fuel efficiency and demanding electronic appliances," said DuPont Senior Vice President & Chief Science and Technology Officer Uma Chowdhry. "While the Lavoisier Medal honors their individual accomplishments, both Charlie and Ed are quick to recognize the dedication and contributions of the exceptional teams they were fortunate to lead."

Noelke is a chemical engineer at DuPont's Fayetteville, N.C., site. He has been leading efforts to develop environmentally smart alternative processes for making fluorochemicals and fluoropolymers. When CFCs for refrigeration were being phased out, Noelke led the team that was able to proceed from process computer modeling to commercialization of HFC-134a in less than three years. This pioneering work was a key part of the DuPont effort that was recognized with the prestigious National Medal of Technology in 2002 "for policy and technology leadership in the phaseout and replacement of chlorofluorocarbons."

"The contribution that Charlie has made to DuPont and to creating more sustainable solutions further demonstrates the importance and high honor of the prestigious Lavoisier Medal," Chowdhry said. "It is an honor all scientists at DuPont aspire to achieve."

Deyrup retired from DuPont in 2006 after 41 years with the company. He invented the crystallization system that forms the basis for Rynite® PET toughened polymers. As technology leader of the DuPont™ Vamac® ethylene acrylic elastomers business, he led teams from North America, Europe and Asia that expanded production and revitalized the offering with vastly improved products for customers. DuPont™ Vamac® is a tough, low-compression set rubber with excellent resistance to high temperatures, hot oil, fluids and weather. 

"Through his work, Ed always sought to understand technology fundamentals to vastly improve products for customers," Chowdhry said.

The Lavoisier Medal is named in honor of Antoine Lavoisier, the father of modern chemistry, who mentored the founder of the company, E.I. du Pont, more than 200 years ago. Recipients were honored at the Science Excellence Ceremony yesterday at the DuPont Country Club here.

DuPont - one of the first companies to publicly establish environmental goals 18 years ago - has broadened its sustainability commitments beyond internal footprint reduction to include market-driven targets for both revenue and research and development investment. The goals are tied directly to business growth, specifically to the development of safer and environmentally improved new products for key global markets.

DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.


The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont™, The miracles of science™, and Rynite® and Vamac® are registered trademarks or trademarks of DuPont or its affiliates.