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Photo of Pawlak, Kenneth

Kenneth Pawlak

Outstanding Achievement Award

BS '71 | Bioengineering


Kenneth Pawlak has more than 45 years of experience in medical plastic product design and development with an emphasis on medical devices and pharmaceutical packaging. During his career, he held positions at Aksys Ltd., Baxter Healthcare Inc., Abbott Laboratories, Amersham Corporation, GD Searle, Respiratory Care Inc., and Natus Medical Inc. and brought many industry-changing advances through his creativity and expertise. Ken holds 26 product and molding process patents including the first application of a new plastic enclosure material; the first self-contained daily home hemodialysis machine; the first molded-in aluminum outset process patent; the first portable VCR-size, PD machine; and the first application of steam-in-place nylon filters.

In 2016, Ken was inducted into the prestigious Plastics Pioneers Association. He won the R&D 100 Award by R&D Magazine in 1995 and 2016, the Design Innovator Award by Injection Molding Magazine & Gabriel Inc. in 1995, and the World Star Packing Award by the United Nations, World Packaging Organization in 1988. He is a senior member of the Society of Plastics Engineers, past chairman of the Product Design and Development Division, past chairman of the Rotational Molding Division, and served on the Medical Plastics Division, Board of Directors. Ken has a BS in bioengineering from UIC and an MBA from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.