SCI America is pleased to announce that the prestigious SCI Perkin Medal was awarded to Barbara Haviland Minor, The Chemours Company. This annual award is recognised as the highest honour given for outstanding work in applied chemistry in the United States. Barbara Haviland Minor will receive the award to recognise her work in the field of chemical engineering, especially her work leading to the development of non-ozone depleting and low global warming refrigerants.
Barbara graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Bucknell University and joined the DuPont Company in 1981. She worked at DuPont for 34 years until a spin off to a new company in 2015 called The Chemours Company, where Barbara works today.
Barbara has spent most of her career developing non-ozone depleting and low global warming refrigerants for air conditioning and refrigeration applications. Barbara has developed several new refrigerants to help meet phase-out requirements for ozone destroying CFCs and HCFCs, and high global warming HFCs. In 2010, she received a DuPont Sustainable Growth Award for development of a low GWP hydrofluoroolefin refrigerant named HFO-1234yf for automotive air conditioning. Because HFO-1234yf contains an unsaturated double bond, it has >99% lower GWP than the current refrigerant HFC-134a used in vehicles today. It has been adopted by all major auto companies is already used globally in over 20 million vehicles. Barbara has also developed other new refrigerants which have been installed in thousands of residential air conditioning and supermarket refrigeration systems around the world. She holds over 160 US patents for refrigerants, cleaning agents and aerosol propellants and has many publications in the field. She has travelled globally for many years speaking at conferences and seminars on alternative refrigerants to address ozone and climate change issues.
In 2014, Barbara was one of the first women named a DuPont Fellow in the company’s 200+ year history, which is the highest technical level in DuPont. She is now one of only two Chemours Fellows in the Chemours Company.
Barbara is very active in refrigeration and air conditioning industry organizations. She is currently chair of the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Technology Institute (AHRTI) Steering Committee and chair of the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) Research and Technology Committee. These committees conduct research into new refrigeration technologies for the benefit of the industry. She is also an active member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (ASHRAE). She currently serves on the ASHRAE Refrigeration Committee and Technical Activities Committee and is past chair of TC 3.1 Refrigerant and Secondary Coolants Technical Committee.