Dr. James O. Stoffer, a UMR professor emeritus of chemistry whose research includes finding a more environmentally friendly replacement for chrome in aircraft coatings, recently received the UMR Coatings Institute Distinguished Scientist Award for his contributions to advance research and education in the coatings field.
Stoffer received the award during the UMR chemistry department’s awards banquet April 23. He is the third person to receive the award in its 12-year existence.
"Dr. Stoffer has served the coatings industry in an exemplary way through his educational efforts, high standards in research and extensive service," says Dr. Michael R. Van De Mark, director of the UMR Coatings Institute and an associate professor of chemistry. "He is nationally known for his work in polymer and coatings chemistry."
Stoffer joined the UMR chemistry faculty in 1963 and became professor emeritus in 2000. Although officially retired, he continues to conduct research in UMR’s Graduate Center for Materials Research, where most of his efforts are directed toward finding a replacement for chrome in aircraft coatings. Working with four graduate students and three post-doctorate students, Stoffer has developed a non-chrome primer for aircraft that is now commercially available and used by the Air Force.
He earned his bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Mount Union College in 1957 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Purdue University in 1961. At UMR, he became a senior investigator with the Graduate Center for Materials Research in 1985, serving as that center’s director from 1992 through 2001. He also directed the UMR Paint Short Course Program from 1985 to 1987. He also has served as a lecturer in the Coatings Short Course at UMR for 30 years.
While at UMR, Stoffer has received five Outstanding Teaching Awards and three Faculty Excellence Awards. Also active in the community, he served for 12 years on the Rolla Planning and Zoning Commission and 24 years on the Rolla Municipal Utilities Board of Directors.