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AESF Foundation Scholarship Recipients Announced: Xu and Shinde Awarded 2014 Scholarships

8. July 2015


AESF 2014 Scholarship Recipients


The AESF Foundation, the educational arm of the National Association for Surface Finishing (NASF) located in Washington D.C., announced the winners of the 2014 Scholarship Award Program. Yunfei Xu, PhD candidate at Harvard University, and Shinde Manish, PhD candidate at Wichita State University, were chosen as the 2014 Scholarship Award Program recipients for their research in plating and surface finishing science and engineering.


Since 2012, scholarships have been awarded annually to individual students for their research in plating and surface finishing science and engineering by the AESF Foundation.


“This is a very prestigious award meant to give students the ability to pursue their passion in the plating and surface finishing industry,” President of the AESF Foundation, Bob Srinivasan, says. “We want to give these students who display excellence in this science the opportunity to advance their knowledge and contribute to the future of surface finishing technologies.”


Undergraduate and graduate applicants were chosen on the basis of four major factors: academic record, personal statement, work experience and extracurricular activities. Both honorary scholarship recipients will receive a $1,500 award toward their study and/or research related to the advancement of the plating and surface finishing technology.


With the future of plating and surface finishing industries dependent on technological advancements, the NASF and its educational arm, the AESF Foundation, know that education programs and scholarships help foster breakthroughs with students studying chemical engineering, material science or engineering, mechanical engineering, metallurgical engineering, environmental engineering or chemistry.


“It is vital that our organization supports the educational endeavors of students in these fields of study,” President of the NASF, Erik Weyls, says. “We applaud these future innovators for their research and commitment to our industry.”


After careful consideration of the six finalists for the 2014 Scholarship Award Program, the following award recipients were selected:



Yunfei Xu, Harvard University


Yunfei Xu, China, is a PhD candidate in chemistry at Harvard University. Having previously studied noble-metal-free electrocatalysts for water splitting reactions, his current research is focused on surface chemistry and catalysis. Passionate about extracurricular activities, Yunfei Xu co-authored 10 publications, including research articles, reviews, a book chapter and two patents during his undergraduate program. In 2013/2014, he served as a fellow in both Venture Club and the Alumni Relations board of the Harvard Chinese Students and Scholars Association (HCSSA). Xu is now the 2014/2015 co-chair of Alumni Relations for HCSSA.



Manish Shinde, Wichita State University


Manish Shinde, India, is a PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering at Wichita State University. After being introduced to studies in nanomaterial as an undergraduate, Shinde applied his curiosity to produce his master’s thesis work with nanomaterial in dye sensitized solar cells. Pursing his curiosity, Shinde’s doctoral dissertation will focus on creating a replacement for hexavalent chromium products that would be best suited for the metal finishing industry. Aside from educational research, Shinde is a research engineer for the National Institute of Aviation Research where he is involved in different aspects of coating as well as research and development. Presently, he is involved in research of aviation coatings for increased performance for corrosion and heat reflective coatings.

Florida Finishers Corp.'s 2016 Mid-Winter Conference is Feb. 10-11

6. July 2015

Exploration Tower at Cape Canaveral is a stunning architectural landmark providing visitors both fun and education. With seven floors of exhibits and interactive play.


The 6th annual Florida Finishers Corp. Mid-Winter Conference and Exposition will be February 10-11 with the theme “To Plating ... And Beyond."


The conference will be at the Exploration Tower in Port Canaveral. Hotel accomodations are at Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront in Cocoa Beach, Florida.


Located along the East Coast of Florida in Port Canaveral, Exploration Tower is a stunning architectural landmark providing visitors both fun and education. With seven floors of exhibits and interactive play, Exploration Tower includes something for everyone. Visitors will have access to the indoor and outdoor observation decks, nearly 5,550 feet of exhibit space, an auditorium, a café, a gift shop and much more.


A special bus tour of the Kennedy Space Center has been arranged especially for attendees on Friday, February 12.  Event registration is not required to join the tour.  Friends and family are welcome.


For more information about the event, please visit


See the event's promotional video:



Metokote Receives Honda Supplier Performance Award

1. July 2015



MetoKote Corporation’s facility in Huber Heights, Ohio was recognized at the annual American Honda Supplier Conference in Columbus, Ohio last month. Honda honored 53 suppliers for outstanding performance in supplying service parts that serve the needs of customers after they have purchased Honda and Acura vehicles.  


This is the second year in a row that the Huber Heights facility has received this recognition.  Accepting the award on behalf of MetoKote were Suzy Bailey (Customer Service), Jim Herron (Production Manager) and Frank Zack (Plant Manager).


MetoKote has provided American Honda with service sheet metal parts for more than 21 years, including large bulk heads, bumper assemblies and various small brackets.  Many of the parts require custom labeling and packaging, and are sent directly to Honda’s distribution facilities.


The annual supplier awards recognition event was attended by more than 680 Honda North American suppliers. Honda Suppliers hit a record breaking $26.3 million worth of parts in 2014 for the more than 1.8 million Honda and Acura passenger vehicles produced last year in the United States, Canada and Mexico.


“MetoKote is proud to be the recipient of the Supplier Performance Award,” said Jeff Oravitz, MetoKote President and CEO. “We have built a partnership with Honda over the past two decades. Both Honda and MetoKote strive to deliver an exceptional product. To be recognized for our efforts reinforces our dedication to meeting – and exceeding – our customer’s needs.”


MetoKote serves more than 60 customers in the Greater Dayton area and across the United States. The Huber Heights facility has two electro-coating (e-coat) monorail systems and one liquid paint line. The facility also performs value added sub-assembly, custom packaging, bar coding and hem seal operations on finished parts. For more information, please visit

Columbia Chemical Receives Employee-Ownership Award

29. June 2015

Eight Columbia employees were present at the OCEO Conference to receive the company’s award for 10 years of employee ownership:  (Kneeling in front, l to r) Bill Rosenberg, Jr. and Mark Schario.  (Back row, l to r) Tim Lang, Doug Rubino, Brett Larick, Mariann Dance, Martin Gall, and Greg Schneider.


Columbia Chemical Columbia Chemical recently received an Ohio Employee Ownership Award in recognition of 10years of employee ownership.


The company began employee stock ownership in 2005 and has been 100 percent employee-owned since 2012.  The award was presented at the Ohio Center for Employee Ownership (OCEO) Conference, which drew a crowd of nearly 400 people.

Columbia Chemical is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of zinc and zinc-alloy plating additives. 


For more information, contact Columbia Chemical Corporation, 1000 Western Drive, Brunswick, OH 44212, 330/225-3200,

George Koch Sons Acquires Walgren Company

24. June 2015



George Koch Sons, LLC has acquired Walgren Company, a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based company with more than 60 years of experience providing turnkey anodizing and plating systems to the aerospace, military, industrial, and automotive industries around the world.


The systems are used to automate material flow during surface treatments such as plating, cleaning or chemical processing of manufactured parts.  Walgren will become part of George Koch Sons and will continue to serve its growing customer base from Grand Rapids, MI, and Dongguan, China.  Walgren will join Price-Koch Industries as divisions of George Koch Sons.


“The addition of Walgren is another opportunity to increase service to our customers with the best integrated solutions.  Our combined systems play a critical role in providing industry leading manufacturers the solutions necessary to remain competitive by reducing factory costs through automation, material optimization and efficient labor allocation,” said Chris Brack, George Koch Sons’ President. “The addition of the Walgren team, in particular their domain expertise in anodizing lines, deepens our solution offering as we continue to invest in capabilities in finishing systems.  Construction is currently underway on a world-class manufacturing facility in Grand Rapids, and we look forward to adding the expertise of the Walgren team to our operations.”


“The opportunity to team up with an organization like George Koch Sons will allow us to better serve our customers.  Our customer’s needs have become greater and more complex and they often look for one key partner when making significant system investments.” said Craig Stevens, Walgren President. “We are confident that together with the George Koch Sons, we can better provide the breadth of systems to assist manufacturers in managing their complex production programs.”


Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and expected to close at the end of the month.  John Hennessey of NextGen Capital Markets acted as financial advisor for Koch.  For any questions, please contact David Carl of George Koch Sons.  Learn more about Walgren and George Koch Sons at and

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