Hubert Monteiro is a Technical Consultant for Royce International and, as an active member of the Thermoset Resin Formulators Association (TRFA) since it was founded 10 years ago, has a unique perspective on the role industry associations play in the technical community.
Can you give me a little background about you and Royce International?
A native of India, I came to the United States with my wife 13 years ago mainly for family reasons, our three children having preceded us here. Having been involved with marketing epoxy resins and providing technical service to customers since 1963 (almost 50 years!) while working for CIBA India, I was happy to accept an offer from Royce International to be their Technical Consultant, a position I still hold.
I had all my early education in India and earned a Master's degree in Chemistry. I was awarded a French Government scholarship, which enabled me to qualify for a Doctorate in Polymer Science from the University of Strasbourg, France. On a fellowship from the New York State University in Syracuse, NY, I did a year's post-doc before returning to India.
Royce International, a family-owned company, which has been in existence for the past 80 years, markets epoxy resins, curing agents and reactive diluents. It sources most of its epoxy resins and diluents from India and the Far East and makes phenalkamine and other curing agents in collaboration with Palmer International in a plant in Skippack, PA. Royce prides itself on the technical service it offers its customers.
TRFA is about to celebrate its 10th anniversary. How do you think Royce International has benefited from your involvement in TRFA?
Royce was a founding member of TRFA, and, I believe, has benefited from its association. We have been able to project ourselves as a technically competent company through the papers we presented [in 2005 and 2010] and through our interactions with other participants. At the same time, the conferences provided us with an opportunity to network with existing and potential customers and suppliers.
How have you benefitted personally?
Personally, I have found most of the papers presented at conferences very interesting and useful in expanding my technical knowledge. Since the association is still rather small, it provides more of a family atmosphere as many of the members are now known to one another.
What has been most challenging/difficult for you as a volunteer leader?
I do feel that the TRFA is still relatively unknown. For it to have a real impact, I think we should increase our membership to at least 100. Our participation in recent Trade Shows has given us a little more visibility. Hopefully, our 10th anniversary celebration will give us some more publicity. I think that more exposure to our conferences could be an incentive for people/companies to join.
What has been most surprising to you about your association volunteer experience?
For me, as Chair of the Potting, Encapsulation and Electrical Insulation Committee, I have been pleased with the technical input from members and, particularly, with the quality of the papers we have been able to get for the conferences.