Portland Local Section

American Chemistry Society

Silver Chemists Meeting

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Tuesday April 18, 2017 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Speaker: Tom Wilson, Nike (retired)

Title: "What's in a Shoe?"


11:30 - 12:45 pm Lunch and first part of presentation at Mama Mia Trattoria, 439 SW 2nd Ave in downtown Portland

1:00 - 1:30 pm Second part of presentation at the Nike Store at the corner of 5th Ave and Morrison St, 5 blocks away from Mama Mia's

To make lunch reservations please email Warren Ford


Most people think of shoes as an assemblage of cloth, leather, rubber and foam. To get to a finished, functional shoe requires an understanding of polymer chemistry, adhesion and physics. In this talk, a sectioned shoe will be shown to see the number of different components. Some of the components' chemistry will be explained along with different Nike technologies dependent on these materials and chemistries.

Bio for Tom Wilson III

Tom received his Ph.D. in Fiber & Polymer Science from NC State University. He was an NIH post-doctoral fellow at UNC Chapel Hill in dental materials. He spent 7 years in the medical device industry working on contraception. He started at Nike in 1997 working on their Air Cushioning technology, in 1999, he moved to Nike Taiwan innovation. He moved to Nike Worldwide Headquarters in 2012 where he was Director of Materials Technology for Sustainable Product. He has 13 US patents and is the inventor of many of the rubber compounds in Nike shoe soles. He retired in 2015. Tom was Chair of the Portland Local Section in 2014.


Recommended: Bus or Max. The Nike store is right on the main downtown bus and Max routes, and Mama Mia is 5 blocks from Nike. Fare for passengers age 65+ is $1.25.


If you drive: recommended parking in one of the Smart Park lots at 3rd and Alder (620 SW 3rd) or 4th and Yamhill (818 SW 4th). Cost for 2-3 hours is $5.00. Get ticket at entry and pay at street level machine when ready to leave. On street parking is very limited and duration is mostly 2 hours or less.


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