Mr. Smith has served as President since he joined Vertec Polymers in February, 2004. Prior to that, he served in various executive level positions at NetIQ Corporation, a systems and security management software company; at the time of his departure, Vice President of Technology, in the Office of the CTO. Prior to NetIQ's acquisition of PentaSafe Security Technologies in December 2002, he had served at PentaSafe in various management capacities including VP of Engineering, AVP, Director and PLM since 1998. Responsibilities included R&D Management and Product Strategy for Windows Platform products and VigilEnt Security Applications.
He founded Silex Solutions, a consulting firm specializing in Microsoft technologies in 1997, which was subsequently acquired by PentaSafe. From 1989 until 1990 and again from 1994 until 1997, he was employed by Boeing Aerospace Operations where he served in various capacities, including, database systems development and product lead/systems analyst. Mr. Smith received a BS in Physics from the University of Oklahoma.
Dr. Pradeep Rai
Senior Research Scientist
Dr. Pradeep Rai is Senior Research Scientist at Vertec Polymers, Inc since September 2006. His research interests can be broadly characterized as nanomaterials including nanocomposites and nanoplastics, polymer processing and rheology. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from the City University of New York (CUNY) where he worked with the then Editor of the Journal of Rheology, Professor Morton M. Denn, the Albert Einstein Professor of Science and Engineering and the Director of the Benjamin Levich Institute for Physico-Chemical Hydrodynamics. He earned a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech., equivalent to B.S. in US) degree in Chemical Engineering from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay in 1999.
During his two years of Postdoctoral research with Professor Matteo Pasquali and late Professor Richard E. Smalley (1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize winner), Dr. Rai achieved significant advances in the field of carbon nanotube dispersions, a field currently of great technological and scientific importance. His pioneering work is of great interest for the future development of strong and lightweight composites as well as multifunctional devices made of aligned nanotubes on macroscopic scale. He has demonstrated that the rheological behavior of nanotube dispersions is a way to finely characterize nanotubes in solution, and to provide thereby critical information for their further processing into films, coatings, fibers and composites.
Peter Hoffman, Jr.
Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board
Mr. Hoffman is Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Vertec Polymers. He is a private investor and resides in Nichols Hills, OK. Hoffman has been successful in helping build several companies, including Patterson-UTI Drilling where he served as Director of Corporate Development during the company’s years of most rapid growth, and Pentasafe Security Technologies where he was an early stage investor, director, and operations consultant prior to their merger with NetIQ Corporation. Some of his current investments also include the fields of cyber security, behavior analytics, and alternative power distribution systems.
Hoffman is a noted art collector and in 2014 founded The Hoffman Art Institute, an organization dedicated to making great art available to all people. Presently, the focus of the Institute is centered on late 20th century Russian master Boris Chetkov.
Active in the community, Hoffman serves on the Nichols Hills City Council, currently in the position of Vice- Mayor. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, and is Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Wilderness Matters, a non-profit organization devoted to helping all people, especially those with disabilities, enjoy outdoor experiences.
Mr. Hoffman received a BA from Southern Methodist University and a MBA from the Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management.
Dr. Ramanan Krishnamoortii
As Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering & Chemistry at University of Houston's Cullen College of Engineering, Dr. Krishnamoortii develops materials with tailored properties through a detailed understanding and manipulation of molecular level structure, synthesis and most uniquely processing methodologies. While the importance of structure-property correlations for materials has been recognized, the importance of processing conditions on the evolution of structure and hence properties in the case of soft materials have not been fully understood. His research group is pursuing a detailed program, in collaboration with researchers in industry and national laboratories, to address the role of processing on the structure and properties of multi-phase polymers including polymer blends, block copolymers and microemulsions.
Specific research focuses on understanding traditional polyolefin and polydiene materials and developing amphiphilic block, graft and star polymers for a number of technological applications. The potential for the use of highly anisotropic nanoparticles such as layered silicates and carbon nanotubes dispersed in polymeric matrices promises the ability to develop combinations of physical, mechanical and thermal properties while not increasing weight and thus a new paradigm in materials technology.
The author of numerous publications and recipient of many honors and awards, his work has been described as "defying traditional methods of production. He explores ways in which new materials can improve existing products, leading on nominator to state, "He exemplifies excellence in research and teaching in the area of polymeric materials." Learn more about his research and academic career at the Cullen College of Engineering website.