In his address, titled “Coatings 2.0: Changing the Palette of the Blue Planet,” Kruithof will highlight several new developments in coatings technology which help industry tackle today’s environmental concerns: air pollution, waste, water scarcity, as well as the presence of substances of concern in some paint and coatings formulations that can limit the scope for recycling. According to Kruithof, these challenges offer unique opportunities for innovation and help develop industry business, for example, by incorporating recycled and/or bio-based materials in products.
Kruithof will focus on how industry technicians design incremental improvements in paint formulations and examine substantive changes: how new networks and unusual connections can be used for progress. Digital technology, such as Big Data analysis and artificial intelligence, can help industry develop new colors more effectively; and regulatory demands and market challenges can help create customer solutions and new revenue streams.
Kruithof began his career at Akzo in 1984 in the Automotive OEM Coatings Research laboratories. After a series of international assignments in R&D, in 1994 he was appointed research coordinator for the Coatings Group, where he was actively involved in the technology integration of Nobel Industries (1994) and Courtaulds (1998). He built a European technology organization and R&D portfolio for Wood Coatings in the newly created AkzoNobel, as manager for this segment. He served as R&D director for Industrial Coatings from 1998 until 2003, shifting the R&D organization from a regional (European) to a global entity. In 2003 he was appointed R&D director for Automotive and Aerospace Coatings, where he drove digitization of color in coatings and harmonized the technology platforms of the VR business.
From 2012 until his nomination as CTO in 2017, he served as director of RD&I for Performance Coatings, a global role overseeing approximately 2,500 researchers and technicians.
Kruithof earned a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Amsterdam University and B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemistry from Utrecht University in The Netherlands.
In addition to the keynote address, the CoatingsTech Conference will feature a multi-track forum for all professionals in the coatings industry, with Pre-conference Short Courses, the Mattiello Lecture, presentation of the CoatingsTech Best Paper and Student Poster Awards, and a day-long regulatory-focused program.