Catching Up with Mitch Patterson

Since graduating from UNI with a P.S.M. in Applied Chemistry and Biochemistry and a B.S. degree in Chemistry, Mitch Patterson has made his interest in metal working a career. Patterson gained valuable experience as a project manager in the UNI Metal Casting Center during his last year at UNI and after graduating in 2009, he used his experience to land the position of Product Manager for HA International, a foundry supplier with offices in Chicago.

When asked what he most enjoys about HA International, he said, “I am able to see chemistry in action, both in cutting edge research and everyday manufacturing. Although I am based in the Westmont, Illinois, office, I cover North America and often travel to the foundries we supply. It never gets boring seeing 3,000 degree liquid metal being poured into a sand mold where my company’s sand, chemicals and refractory coating are being put to the test.”

While working at HA International, Patterson has received awards such as the 2011 American Foundry Society’s Best Paper Award and the 2011 Howard Taylor Award— an award that recognizes a paper presented at the AFS Metalcasting Congress for having the greatest long-range technical significance to the cast metals industry.

The paper was co-authored by Jerry Thiel, director of the UNI Metal Casting Center, and the technology presented was based on new bio-based foundry binders developed and patented by UNI under the CABB grant. The project was led by Jerry Thiel and Associate Dean and Associate Professor, Shoshanna Coon.

In addition to co-authoring an award winning paper, Patterson has also had the opportunity to travel to Dusseldorf, Germany, to speak at the International GIFA Foundry Conference. The conference was a one-hour presentation and seminar based on a product that Patterson was responsible for: a new, specialty sand mined in Coos Bay, Oregon.

“The Department of Chemistry at UNI provided me with an excellent chemistry background and opportunities to work with and understand many analytical instruments. What was especially helpful was using the chemistry skills to perform interdepartmental research. Combining two areas of expertise (chemistry and metal casting in my case) can really set you apart from the crowd.”

Patterson currently lives in one of the suburbs of Chicago and would like to progress to an executive position within the company eventually. He’s currently deciding between Research and Sales/Marketing. Eventually, he would like to pursue an M.B.A. as well.