STS AICHE February 2022 Workshop

Thursday, February 3, 2022, 5:30pm-6:30pm CST
Event format: 
In-Person / Local
Posted by Kanjakha Pal

How Digital Transformation Enables Autonomous Polymer Operations


This talk will focus on three of the most important aspects of polymer manufacturing that effectively drive the bottom line of businesses: specifications, operational efficiency and inventory management. Since many facilities and feedstock suppliers are located across several geographical areas, variations in quality, coupled with the individual facilities' level of resources to control these variables, pose a challenge to polymer manufacturers to remain competitive across their product ranges. End users are requiring increasing levels of performance from materials as applications continually expand, pushing the limits of existing assets and technologies. This is especially important as the workforce ages, and tribal knowledge has not been adequately captured and quantified. A key facet of digital transformation is expanding the available quantitative process data to improve decision-making. Real-time measurements, analytics and process control are major factors in the operational side of digital transformation. This talk delves into novel, real-time measurements of polymer properties. These real-time insights drive advanced analytics and control, and will lead to autonomous, end user-optimized manufacturing, while enabling greater sustainability and the next generation of materials.

About the Speaker

Alex W. Reed

Co-founder and CEO

Fluence Analytics

Stafford, TX

Alex is co-founder and CEO of Fluence Analytics, a technology startup that provides real-time analytics solutions for the optimization of manufacturing and R&D processes. His vision and leadership took the Tulane University spin-out from patented laboratory concepts to a company delivering innovative hardware and software solutions for process monitoring and optimization to chemical and biopharmaceutical manufacturers. Fluence Analytics has raised over $13 million in equity funding from institutional venture capital (Energy Innovation Capital, Diamond Edge Ventures – strategic venture group for Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Yokogawa Electric Corporation and JSR). The agile company has more than 25 team members, and it has several multinational chemical and biopharmaceutical companies as customers. Additionally, Fluence Analytics’ products are now in use on three continents.

Prior to founding Fluence Analytics, Alex worked as the Associate Director for Operations and Strategy at PolyRMC, a Tulane university R&D center that is active in fundamental and applied polymer research. Alex is listed as an inventor on several patents and has served on the boards for the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition and the Applied Polymer Technology Extension Consortium. In 2016 Forbes recognized Alex as a 30 under 30 recipient, and he has been recognized with several regional awards for entrepreneurship and innovation. Alex also regularly mentors entrepreneurs, students and faculty on the commercialization of technology, as well as entrepreneurship.

AICHE Members guide to understanding the R&D Tax Credit


These valuable Federal and state research and development (R&D) tax credits have been available to businesses and entrepreneurs for more than three decades. Even so, many AIChE Members simply don’t realize the tax credits are available to them or don’t understand which activities qualify.


This session is designed to help you recognize which of your activities qualify for R&D tax credits, what the qualification process entails and how a qualified R&D specialty tax services partner can help ensure you are receiving all available credits and benefits.

About the speaker

Rebecca Branch is a licensed attorney in the state of Texas with ten years of experience working on R&D tax credits. She completed her undergraduate degree at University of Washington in 2008 and then moved to Houston to attend University of Houston Law Center. While attending law school, Rebecca joined both the Moot Court team and the Houston Journal of Business and Tax. After graduating from law school in 2011, she passed the Texas State Bar Exam. She then began work as a corporate tax consultant specializing in R&D tax credits. She continued to work at that job until coming to join the R&D credit department of ETS in February of 2017.

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