Dr. Ken Laverdure is currently a Fellow in Sustainability and Materials Science at Estee Lauder. His work on sourcing and sustainability at Estee lauder has given him unique insights into how Sustainable materials supply chains can be pieced together to support sustainable materials and packaging development. He has extensive experience in Engineering and Project management, sourcing, Industrial collaborations and deal-making. Throughout his career he has been active as a formal and informal mentor to promising junior colleagues from numerous areas that intersect his own wide ranging interests and professional activities. He has a rare breadth of knowledge and critical degree of specialization in green processes and sustainability. He has built and refined complex Industrial processes and collaborations. He holds several Industrial patents in addition to peer reviewed and trade publications.
Dr. Laverdure is an accomplished technology evangelist and deal-maker. He deploys deep technical insights that complement years determining what customers and collaborators want and need and how to make a match. His numerous technical accomplishments synergize with his deal-making, management and mentorship experience. He uses this combination as a powerful tool to bring new technologies into mass production, supply chains, and markets.
Dr. Laverdure played a key role in developing the world’s first mass market compostable bag and in bringing it to market as part of the Sun Chips Biopolymer Program. His favorite observation: “Chip bags are some of the most advanced technology that the average American trashes without releasing it. It is my job to change that.” This work was recognized for a Top 100 R&D Award. Dr. Laverdure subsequently founded the Next Gen biopolymer program at PepsiCo and their composting testing and verification. He flexed his collaboration-building skills on a multi-year project on advanced film deposition processes. In this program, called “Dragon Fire”, Dr. Laverdure melded the technologies and capabilities of multinational collaborators spanning three Continents to achieve commercialization of new scalable technology and processes. Through his work on “Dragon Fire”, he honed a rare expertise: taking a complex manufactured product from a technology search all of the way through to a full scale commercial installation and trial. He has developed a robust knowledge of Polymer Processing, materials analysis, Project Management, Process Development, and of relevant Sustainability factors and challenges. Throughout his experiences he has been a keen observer of people at work, how they interact with their roles and how people manage interactions, especially interactions between different subject matter experts.
Dr. Ken Laverdure holds a from the Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from University of Delaware. His early Industrial career and experience focused on petrochemical polymers and polyolefins. His early work provides him with the tools and p[erspective needed to fully understand both challenges presented by plastics and challenges faced by the Plastics Industry from a 360 degree broad grounding. He developed structure-property relationships and designed polymers for the Material Science R&D Group at Dow in Freeport, TX. Then he developed plastic film, sheet and foam extrusion in the Total Petrochemicals Application Lab in Houston Texas.
He has been awarded a PepsiCo Chairman’s Award, a DuPont innovation Award, and a “R&D 100 Award” for “One of the 100 Technologically Significant New Products of the Year”.