Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Clean Tech Center Partners with ESF on Radiation Curing Training!

SUNY-ESF Leads National Initiative to Provide Workforce Training in Radiation Curing

Employees at Central New York businesses that use or plan to use radiation curing in their manufacturing processes are eligible for free online courses

A new online program offered through the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) will provide specialized training to address workforce shortages in the field of radiation curing, also known as energy curing. Radiation curing is a manufacturing technique that uses ultraviolet light (UV) or electron beam (EB) processing to cure coatings, inks, adhesives, composites and other materials.

The workforce shortage in radiation curing exists despite the fact that nearly 1,000 chemists with bachelor’s degrees were seeking employment in New York state, according to recent New York State Department of Labor statistics. The Radiation Curing Program (RCP) at SUNY-ESF aims to address this disconnect by providing specific job skills for individuals seeking careers in related fields, practicing industry professionals, upper-level undergraduate and graduate students, and recent graduates.

The RCP is a response to nationwide demand for training and education related to radiation curing. In Central New York, the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CEO) Clean Tech Center is funding an incentive program to enable employees at Central New York businesses that use radiation or energy curing in their manufacturing processes to take one or more RCP courses at no cost.
The program comprises three online courses and an Advanced Certificate, with curriculum jointly developed by a team of academic and experienced industry practitioners to reflect current and emerging applications. It is a collaboration among SUNY-ESF; RadTech International North America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of ultraviolet and electron beam technologies; CenterState CEO; the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY); and other organizations. It is supported in part by a U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration H-1B Technical Skills Training Grant.
The online approach is designed to be user-friendly, flexible and convenient. Support and facilitation are provided by an experienced team of instructors and support staff. Central New York participants will have additional opportunities for course-related demonstrations and site visits to the UV/EB Process Curing Systems Technology Center on the SUNY-ESF campus and the laboratory at Rapid Cure Technologies, a formulator and manufacturer of environmentally friendly rapid-cure chemistries and processes based in Syracuse.
UV and EB curing refer to the special ways in which coatings, inks, adhesives, composites and other materials may be cured as an alternative to traditional energy-intensive methods that create harmful emissions. In short, these processes entail using ultraviolet energy from a UV lamp or focused beams of electrons to instantly cure or cross-link specially formulated chemistries, using less energy and costing less than conventional methods.
Energy-cured applications include everyday products like cereal boxes, CDs and DVDs, magazines, credit cards, cell phones, contact lenses and keyboards, along with an increasing range of consumer and high-tech products. The advantages of UV and EB are well-documented, particularly when used with manufactured products that require fast processing or on substrates that are sensitive to heat. In addition, UV and EB are considered environmentally responsible since most or all of the solvents in traditional processes may be eliminated. Radiation curing is a sector of the sustainable materials and manufacturing industry that has a market size in North America of $1 billion and growing.

The three RCP course offerings in Spring 2014 are:
  •  Introduction to Polymer Coatings (February 3 - April 18)
  • Radiation Curing of Polymer Technologies (February 17 - May 2)
  • Radiation Curing Equipment, Instrumentation and Safety (February 17 - April 18)

  • Registration is now open. For more information, visit or contact Chuck Spuches, associate provost for Outreach at SUNY-ESF, at 315-470-6810.

    Robert M. Simpson, President and Chief Executive Officer, CenterState CEO; Dr. Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr., president, SUNY-ESF; Governor Andrew M. Cuomo; and Dan Montoney, Chief Technology Officer/Owner, Rapid Cure Technologies, view a radiation curing application of a UV coating system.