University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Shirley and Ting-Wei Tang Endowment Lecture Series


Dr. Barry Siadat ’79PhD, ChE

Cofounder and Managing Director,
SK Capital Partners


John M. Steitz

CEO, Addivant Corporation


“Generational Advancement in Additive Technology”


Thursday, October 13, 2016, 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Massachusetts Room, Mullins Center

Reception to follow. Free and open to the public.



Speaker Bios


Barry Siadat

Barry Siadat ’77G, ’79PhD has worked in the chemicals industry for nearly four decades. Over the last decade, he has built a successful private enterprise combining his chemistry knowledge with his acumen for increasing growth and profits for operating companies. He oversees a portfolio of eight companies that operate in 30 countries, employs 9,000 people and generates annual revenues of more than $8 billion. Though he operates in a highly technical and complex environment, his strategy for success is simple: invest in people, processes, and technologies to create strong and globally competitive enterprises in specialty materials, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals sectors. The strategy’s foundation is the use of integrated, multi-disciplinary teams working in a performance-oriented culture.

Siadat is presently chairman of the board of four chemicals and plastics companies: Ascend Performance Materials in Houston, Texas, Archroma in Switzerland, Addivant in Middlebury, Connecticut, Aristech Acrylics LLC in Florence, Kentucky, and a board member of the TPC Group in Houston, Texas . Many of these firms are world leaders in proprietary technologies for thousands of products. They are privately held by SK Capital Partners, which was co-founded by Siadat in 2007. SK Capital Partners is a private investment firm based in New York and Florida. In addition, Siadat is a member of the executive board of Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida.

Siadat began his career in 1978 at W.R. Grace & Co., a global leader in specialty chemicals, and later moved to Allied Signal, a global leader in Engineered Materials and Aerospace. He held a number of technical, operating, and executive positions, in each of his former employers.

Siadat and his wife, Afsaneh Siadat, are active in philanthropic causes and have made gifts to medical centers. At UMass Amherst, they created the Dr. Barry and Mrs. Afsaneh Siadat Chemical Engineering Early Faculty Career Development Award in 2012 and established the Armstrong/Siadat Endowed Professorship in Materials Science in 2014.

In 2012, Siadat was the recipient of the Outstanding Senior Alumnus Award from the UMass Amherst College of Engineering. In 2014, he received the University of Massachusetts Distinguished Achievement Award at the university’s Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony. Then in 2015, he received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering.

Siadat received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in polymer science and engineering and a PhD in chemical engineering from UMass Amherst.


John Steitz

John Steitz was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Addivant Corporation, a leading global supplier of antioxidants, intermediates, inhibitors, modifiers, UV stabilizers and other additives to the plastic and rubber industries in March 2015.

Mr. Steitz has more than thirty years of specialty chemicals experience in food, pharmaceuticals, polymer additives, fine chemicals and catalysts.  Before joining Addivant, Mr. Steitz served as President and Chief Operating Officer of PQ Corporation, a leading worldwide producer of specialty inorganic performance chemicals and catalysts, from October 2013. Before joining PQ Corporation, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Avantor Performance Materials, a supplier of highly pure ingredients for the pharma, biotech, clinical testing and electronics industries. 

Mr. Steitz also served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Albemarle Corporation, a leading global developer, manufacturer, and marketer of highly-engineered specialty chemicals. During his tenure at Albemarle, he led global manufacturing and sales expansion into China, Russia, South America and the Middle East. He also managed several strategic acquisitions and integrations in China and U.S., while restructuring Albemarle's R&D function to improve the company's vitality in new product offering and revenues. Before joining Albemarle, Mr. Steitz spent twenty years at Mallinckrodt, Inc., holding a variety of positions of increasing responsibility. He eventually served as vice president and general manager of Mallinckrodt's pharmaceutical chemicals division, focused on analgesics, vitamin-mineral and excipients globally.  

Mr. Steitz is a member of the Board of Directors of Innophos, a publicly traded enterprise dedicated to the food, beverage and nutritional markets.  He received his B.S.Ch.E. from the University of Missouri in 1980 and in 1983 received his M.B.A from the Southern Illinois University.


Past Lectures »


The Shirley and Ting-Wei Tang Endowment Lecture Series, founded in 1999, brings leaders of both engineering education and engineering-based companies to campus to present a major talk to the University. Lectures cover subjects such as engineering education, entrepreneurship, global engineering issues, and engineering and business leadership.

Lecturers are invited to interact with students and faculty before and after the lecture. “This is a chance for students to develop a relationship on a human level with an accomplished business leader or educator,” said Joseph I. Goldstein, dean of engineering in 1999. “I see the field of business having more to say to engineering, and our students need to be aware of what’s going on beyond their field. Many of our students will eventually be leaders in these technology-based businesses.”

Shirley Tang is a retired academic adviser for the United Asia Learning Resource Center; Ting-wei Tang taught in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering for more than 30 years and is a professor emeritus. “We decided to establish an endowment in the College of Engineering because we want to make UMass better,” the Tangs said.