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At 2017 Vinyltec, Student Kyle Kilponen Gains a New Perspective on Vinyl and Sustainability

Oct 2017

The Vinyl Institute (VI) has selected three students to attend the Society of Plastics Engineers’ 2017 Vinyltec, the largest vinyl-focused conference in the U.S. Kyle Kilponen, one of the three students, gained a new perspective on vinyl and sustainability.

Kyle is a senior chemical engineering major at Michigan State University, and he has worked at CertainTeed/Saint-Gobain as a materials and product development intern in their Siding Products Group.

We asked Kyle a few questions about his experience at the 2017 Vinyltec:

What are the top 2-3 things of interest that you took away from this year’s Vinyltec?

  1. The workshop the first day gave me a new perspective on sustainability. It taught me that sustainability doesn’t just include environmental concerns, but also social and economic matters as well.
  2. The different regulatory measures and the approaches that the industry is taking to approach the changes in regulation across the globe were very interesting.

Is there anything you’ve learned about vinyl and vinyl technology that took you completely by surprise?

I was surprised at how widespread vinyl usage was. The presentation on the use of vinyl in airplanes and the subsequent reduction in CO2 production as a result of vinyl usage in place of other compounds in airplanes was very surprising.

Is there anything that made you even more interested in vinyl?

Yes. The vinyl industry is much more expansive than I had imagined, with opportunities in packaging, construction materials, and chemical production, amongst other industries. I would definitely like to explore my opportunities within the industry.

Do you see yourself working in the vinyl industry in the future after attending this year’s Vinyltec?

Yes. I hope to work in a product development or process engineering role within the vinyl industry.

Photo: (From Left to Right) Deonante Fraizer, Kyle Kilponen, Rich Krock, Michael Webster