Brookfield, CT – The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) today announced that Dr. Mark Ratner, Ph.D., an expert in the field of nanotechnology, and former astronaut Dr. Story Musgrave, will be the two plenary speakers to address the 2004 attendees at the 62nd ANTEC at Chicago’s Navy Pier.

“ANTEC attendees will have the advantage of hearing one of nanotechnology’s renowned experts on this relevant trend of extreme miniaturization that could significantly impact technology in the plastics industry,” says Lesley Kyle, SPE’s senior event manager. “In addition, we’re privileged to have such an accomplished individual in the field of science and technology with astronaut veteran Dr. Musgrave.”

Monday May 17th: Dr. Mark Ratner
On Monday, May 17th, Dr. Ratner will speak on “Polymer Nanostructures: Fabrication and Applications.” Dr. Ratner is currently Morrison Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, where he served as Department Chair from 1988-1991 and as Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, from 1980-1984. Among his many accolades, Dr. Ratner was the recipient of the Feynman Award in Nanotechnology in 2001, and he co-authored the book Nanotechnology: A Gentle Introduction to the Next Big Thing in 2002. Dr. Ratner’s latest book, New Weapons, New War: Homeland Security, International Defense and Nanotechnology is currently in press.

What is Nanotechnology? Nanotechnology refers to the manipulation of matter at the atomic and molecular level. A nanometer, or billionth of a meter, is where nanotechnology derives its name.

Tuesday, May 18th: Dr. Story Musgrave
On Tuesday, May 18th, Dr. Story Musgrave will deliver the address to ANTEC attendees. As an astronaut for over 30 years, Dr. Musgrave trained in the Apollo program and assisted in the development and rescue of the Skylab Space Station. He was also the lead astronaut for NASA spacewalking for over 25 years. Dr. Musgrave helped develop all space waking processes and equipment for the space shuttle system, and on Challenger’s first flight, tested the new equipment during the first spacewalk.

Dr. Musgrave worked on the design and development of the Hubble Space Telescope for 17 years and was also the lead communicator on the deployment mission. He also served as the payload commander on STS-61 where he acted as the lead spacewalker in the successful repair of 13 major failures on the telescope. On STS-80, the longest shuttle flight, Story assisted in the deployment and operation of an ultraviolet telescope and an electronic chip producing satellite called Wake Shield. In addition to his own flights, Story was the “capsule communicator” in Mission Control for over 25 missions.

For the last five years, Dr. Musgrave has been a Walt Disney Fellow in the Research and Development division of Imagineering. He has been a concept artist and innovator with Applied Minds since 2001 and presently works for Tupperware as a designer in product development.

Early Bird Registration Still Available
Established SPE members signing up for ANTEC before January 31, 2004 will save $110 off the full conference registration price.

First Time ANTEC Attendees: First time ANTEC attendees have until March 31, 2004 to receive $110 off the full conference registration price (reference code NEWATT). (This does not apply to speakers, moderators or students-)

For more information about ANTEC exhibit space or to register before the Early Bird Registration deadline, please contact Lesley Kyle, SPE’s senior event manager, 203.740.5452, email:, or visit

ANTEC (Annual Technical Conference) is sponsored by the Society of Plastics Engineers, and is the leading technical forum for providing cutting-edge technological issues and information pertinent to the needs of the plastics industry. Held only once a year, multiple peer-reviewed technical papers will be presented providing plastics professionals unique inside access to proprietary research and findings.

About SPE
The Society of Plastics Engineers, Inc. (SPE) is the premier source of peer-reviewed technical information for plastics professionals. Originally incorporated in 1942, today SPE every day takes action to help companies in the plastics industry succeed by spreading knowledge, strengthening skills and promoting plastics. Employing these vital strategies, SPE has helped the plastics industry thrive for over 60 years. SPE has become the recognized medium of communication among scientists, engineers and technical personnel engaged in the development, conversion and applications of plastics.

Tracy Hartman/Aloft Group, Inc.
978.462.0002 Ext. 103