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Here's a recent picture of Ralph and his wife and grandkids

Ralph Czerepinski has elected to retire

After 34 years running around Dow, Ralph has decided to hang up his tennis shoes to pursue other interests at the end of this year, assuming he can get his desk cleaned by that time. Ralph joined Dow in 1967 at the Eastern Research Laboratory after getting a PhD in inorganic chemistry from the University of Washington and, prior to that, a BS in Chemistry and Math from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. In the summer of 1964, he served an Internship at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. His BS (Bachelor of Science, not the other interpretation) and PhD thesis were both related to potential high energy rocket fuel oxidizers. Ralph came pretty close to actually being a rocket scientist.

While at Eastern Research Laboratory, he did temporary assignments at the Sarnia Research Laboratory and in Midland at the Physical Research Laboratory and at the Contract Projects Laboratory. Subsequently the Eastern Research Laboratory, the Physical Research Laboratory and the Contract Project Laboratory have all been closed. In 1972, he and his family moved to Midland, where he became part of the Physical Research Laboratory. While there, he did temporary assignments with the Organic Chemicals Department, which no longer exists either.

In 1980, Ralph transferred to Designed Latexes and Resins Research, which, after quite a few name changes and spin-offs, became Emulsion Polymers R&D. While here, he also spent time working on SARAN Latex, which as a result, was sold to a competitor. HmmŠ Are we seeing a pattern here?

While Ralph worked on countless projects over the years, often two or three at the same time, he has probably had the most fun with over a dozen projects related to the field of Reprography, but there have been very few projects he didn't enjoy. However, his greatest pleasures have clearly come from hassling managers. During his 34 year Dow career, he has "trained" 18 direct supervisors and over a dozen second level supervisors. Of all of these people, only 4 (count'm) are still with Dow. Hmmm.

Some of the projects which he has been involved with include: (a,w)-diacids from oxalyl fluoride; polysulfones by way of fluorosulfonic acid; electronegativity correlations across numerous indicators; interpretation of mass spectra; organic photoconductor activators based on aromatic sulfonyl fluorides; electron donor/acceptor interactions; biologically active sulfonyl fluorides; alternative syntheses for sulfuryl fluoride (Vikane); light weight electrophotographic copy papers; electrophotographic transparencies; electrophotographic microfilm copies; binders zinc oxide based electrophotographic papers; novel dispersants; non-silver electrophotographic prints; non-silver electrophotographic x-ray film; dielectric printing papers; toners for electrophotography; xerographic toners; polymers for novel rotogravure processes; fountain and developing solutions for lithography; oil-soluble polymers; tertiary butyl styrene; polymer impregnation of wood; upgrading of chalk turquoise; improving the modulus of guitar parts; concrete impregnation; transport of environmental mercury; acrylic latexes; core/shell latexes; structure/property relationships-acrylic latexes; latex stabilization; sealing natural gas transmission lines; pressure sensitive adhesives; tackifier emulsions; secondary butyl acrylate; testing of PSA's; concrete latexes; superabsorber polymers; SARAN latexes; architectural & industrial coatings; vinyl acetate latexes; anti-corrosion coatings; condensation polymers via emulsion polymerization; solubility parameter; Diels-Alder chemistries; coalescing aids; thermal analysis (DSC) and Tg correlations with other properties; polymerizable CTA's; structure/property relationships for LMW polystyrenes; multifunctional mercaptans; statistical approach to molecular weight distributions; statistical approach to crosslinking behaviors; hair care latexes; skin care latexes; label adhesives; testing of label adhesives; powder coating resins based on curable LWM latexes; blister-resistant paper binders; calorimetric heats of adsorption of surfactants onto latex surfaces; latex coalescence; latex/coalescent interactions; reactive coalescents; water-borne mechanical emulsions; polyolefin emulsions; ethylene/styrene emulsions; heat-sealing films; chain transfer agents; ink jet inks; crosslinkers; emulsifiers; chemical reduction and analysis of S/B latex residuals; sealants for composite pans; drying oil chemistry, composite structure/property relationships, thermoformed foam objects; filler/fiber/latex-based composite articles and TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving). He claims to have forgotten many past projects.

Ralph is known throughout Dow for his many contributions and successes. For those that know him well, you wonıt be surprised that his KAI score is off the chart indicating he a very high innovator. This may help explain why we saw from Ralph spontaneous ideas, ideas that were risky and sometimes even bizarre, challenging rules and consensus, use of creativity to expand the current structure and break paradigms.

He has indicated that while retirement means closing many doors and opening others, he will most miss his many coworkers and mentors. Every person he has worked with has proved to be a mentor to him, helping him learn and grow. He hopes to be fondly remembered as Emulsion Polymers' Information Garbage Pail. We wish Ralph and his wife Donna a very happy and healthy retirement.

*Actually, since then, he’s also had knee surgery, and is looking for work.

Visit Ralph at his website at