University of Akron/Professor Joseph P. Kennedy Expose, Part 17

Once I left U. Akron it was as if a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders.  Although my ordeal does not compare in magnitude to his, I kept thinking of the immortal Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, “Free at last, free at last.  Thank God almighty we are free at last!”  But in reality I wasn’t fully insulated from the influence of individuals at U. Akron.  Indeed, I had struck out on my own and started a private company (Stewart’s Technologies, LLC) where I was engaged in research for hire services as well as producing small quantities of perfluoroarylated Lewis acids (PFLAs) for sale.*  Despite numerous difficulties I can say without hesitation that even the worst of times on my own were better than the best of times at U. Akron.

Around this time U. Akron sent documentation concerning the patents on which I was listed as a coinventor whereby I’d essentially assign over my interest in the patents to them (see below).  I only signed such documents with the caveat that I contested “Kennedy’s” inclusion as a coinventor on US 7,202,317 (see enclosure #3 in my letters to Ken Preston and George Moxon, both posted below).  Eventually I had raised this concern (again) directly with the director of technology transfer at U. Akron (Mr. Preston) as well as with the attorney (Mr. Moxon) of the law firm (Rotezel and Andress) handling the patent filings (see below).  Despite indicating that I was the sole inventor to U.S. 7,202,317 neither of them followed up with me on the matter, further perpetrating the fraud of “Dr. Kennedy”.  At that time Dr. Collins was still in the employment of U. Akron and had not yet admitted to the fact that indeed I not only conceived the invention but that I was responsible for its full development (please see the last document posted in blog # 16 of this blog series for his admittance of these facts).  I can only assume that Collins was in no position to challenge “Kennedy” or anyone else at U. Akron for that matter.  In fact, on reviewing the invention disclosure form that U. Akron forced me to sign (see below) in April 4, 2003 (this was for the first patent covering the polymerization system devised by Dr. Collins and Dr. Piers) it should be noticed that “Dr. Kennedy” was already listed as a coinventor despite the fact that this document actually predates my actual invention contained in US 7,202,317!  Further casting serious suspicion on his claim to inventorship is the fact that his claim to inventorship is solely verbal.  Regardless, as shown in the previous blog posting, every single document regarding this invention clearly shows it is mine as does the fact that I’m the only person to invent two additional polymerization systems that effect cationic polymerization of IB in aqueous media.

Declaration of power to U.Akron for Inventions

Letter to Ken Preston

Letter to Roetzel and Andress Moxon

Invention Disclosure Form

In an attempt to further disclose another discovery that I had made previously at U. Akron I began writing a journal article on the decomposition of carbocations paired with PFLAs by sterically hindered pyridines (SHPs).  During my stint at U. Akron I discovered that 2,6-di-t-butyl-4-methylpyridine readily consumed cumyl carbocation when the latter was paired with a PFLA derived anion and this finding was unique in that the consensus was such SHPs were too bulky to react with any electrophile other than H+ .  The only problem is that my discovery laid buried in my dissertation and not in a journal.  Most of this article is still on my website to this day; however, it was properly rejected by Dr. Collins due to lack of more thorough experimental investigations** (which I wasn’t about to return to U. Akron to conduct).  Regardless, submission of this draft spurred additional work in the Collins’ lab and I donated some of the PFLAs used in this research.***  This proved to be the final turning point for me in dealings with U. Akron as “Dr. Kennedy” was again somehow able to worm his way into a journal article that focused on my discovery.****  Unfortunately, I was in no position to prevent this from happening as I was not the lead author since the follow-up research had been conducted by a postdoc of Collins.  When this occurred I severed my ties with Collins and soon afterwards, Collins admitted that I was the sole inventor to US 7,202,317 (see last document on the previous blog posting) just prior to departing from U. Akron.

Following this formal severing of ties with Collins I’ve continued to be active in the field of cationic polymerization, now having invented two additional methods for aqueous polymerization of isobutene in addition to numerous other novel discoveries.  Still, during my studies of the patent and scientific literature I’ve stumbled across a number of interesting findings regarding “Dr. Kennedy’s” past inventorship experiences which further serve to collaborate previous blog postings concerning this individual.  These will be detailed in a future blog posting in this series…

* Sadly enough the only individuals to harass me in regards to PFLA manufacture were people from U. Akron and Northwestern University.  In the former instance Mr. Kenneth Preston of U. Akron attempted to coerce me into licensing a patent where I was listed as a coinventor.  The other instance involved an attorney for Northwestern University whom indicated was requested by no other than Tobin Marks to inform me that I had to stop selling PFLA compounds.  In both instances I politely declined their requests since the technology I was using was public domain.  The reader can only cast judgment as to the lack of integrity of these individuals and their respective institutions.

** In this article I attempted to forward a modification of the so called “complex counteranion theory” that supposedly originated from “Dr. J.P. Kennedy”.  As I will be detailing in a subsequent blog posting, a large number of inventions ascribed to this individual are in actuality “prior art” works of others (he even admits this in several publications) and it would appear that the same can be said for a number of concepts that this individual is credited for having developed.  Regardless, I have since devised my own theory that satisfactorily explains the MW-T profile behavior for cationic polymerizations.

*** As far as I can tell my donation of materials was never properly referenced in any of the three subsequent papers that were published by the Collins’ group following my departure from U. Akron.

**** This is the only journal article based on a discovery of mine where “Dr. Kennedy” was able to place his name.



University of Akron/Professor Joseph P. Kennedy Expose, Part 16

During my stay at U. Akron I became accustomed to making very detailed notes of the going-ons of individuals at this school (in my laboratory notebooks).  This necessity arose from “Kennedy’s” failed attempt to force me to falsify research data on Yb(OTf)3catalyzed aqueous polymerization of IB.  I even reference this habit of note taking in notebooks kept during my subsequent stint in the Collins lab as this practice disturbed numerous people in this research group (see P 87 & 130 Notebook 3).

P 87 Notebook 3

P 130 Notebook 3










This habit resulted in a catalog of disturbing and in some cases illegal behavior by people who worked in this department (see below).  Out of kindness I have redacted names in many instances; however, let me state for the record that should circumstances warrant it I will do an entire data dump of these documents and more.

Back to where I last let off in the previous blog.  Several unusual things happened within days of making my invention.  First, Scott tried to make excuses for including “Kennedy” as a co-inventor when he made absolutely no contribution to my invention ( see PP 146-147 Notebook 2).

P 146 Notebook 2

P 147 Notebook 2










When that approach didn’t work I was informed by Collins that I might not be able to finish developing my invention and in fact might never be able to report it (see P 155 Notebook 2 and P 1 Notebook 3)!

P 155 Notebook 2 P 1 Notebook 3

There is little doubt in my mind that this might have been a contrived strategy to prevent me from receiving any credit for discovering this form of polymerization.  I met this potential impasse with greater furor than ever.  The work pace imposed on me became quite grueling as not only did I write a 300+ page dissertation but several articles resulted from the work and I did all of the reduction to practice in addition to other related experiments.  It was not uncommon to put in 70-80 hours/week.  As a result I had conducted over 200 polymerizations alone.

While conducting experimentation, I devised a generalized theory as to how my invention operated (PP 17-18 NB 3).

PP 17-18 Notebook 3

As I refined my theory I was able to make steady improvements to yield and to MW/T profiles (P11 Notebook 3, P 20 Notebook 3, P 81 Notebook 3, P 93 Notebook 3).

P 11 Notebook 3 P 20 Notebook 3 P 81 Notebook 3 P 93 Notebook 3

Through the tenants of my theory I invented a couple new types of surfactants (P 79 NB 3) and also proposed a new idea in order to rationalize the unusual effects that sterically hindered pyridines had on carbocations when paired with weakly coordinating anions (see my dissertation and subsequent papers published by this group following my departure).

P 79 Notebook 3

During this period Scott had little to contribute in the way of helpful suggestions when it came to conducting polymerizations (see P 51 NB 3) and in fact one of his suggestions led to an accident that almost killed me (see P 59 NB 3).

P 51 Notebook 3

P 59 Notebook 3









If the long hours weren’t bad enough things were ever more taxing due to the environment at U. Akron.  The Collins lab was structured on a socialist model which ultimately meant that state of the art equipment costing many tens of thousands of dollars was never fully operational for meaningful periods of time.  Illustrative of this is the fact is that one glove box had its atmosphere compromised no less than 30 times in less than two years (see P 26 NB 3).

P 26 Notebook 3










Another example is the Grubb’s still produced solvents of such low purity I was never able to use them for my work and due to the laziness of the students assigned to this setup no less than two solvent reservoirs had been allowed to run dry (see P 87 NB 3).

P 87 Notebook 3










If one went to the trouble to clean glassware or purify reagents they had to be closely guarded as people would attempt to steal them in order to avoid working (see P 110 NB 3).  Any common use item could be expected to be filthy and most likely in disrepair (see P 126 NB 3).

P 110 Notebook 3

P 126 Notebook 3


Sexual promiscuity and related questionable interactions with students was not uncommon (see P 15 NB 3) and in some instances I saw faculty arrive to the school drunk with empty beer cans spilling from their car as they headed toward the polymer department.*

P 15 Notebook 3

Moreover, one student literally became so irrational that it is a miracle it didn’t result in another school tragedy (see P 123 NB 3, P 127 NB 3, P 128 NB 3, P 129 NB 3).**

P 123 Notebook

P 127 Notebook 3

P 128 Notebook 3

P 129 Notebook 3


Sadly enough I couldn’t even venture far from the lab without getting the brunt of the dismay and disrespect that faculty and staff held towards Collins (P 98 NB3, P 128 NB 3, P 131 NB3).  I never fully understood what the underlining causes of this hatred were but it was difficult to deal with and moreover students in the lab issued similar complaints to me.  All of this wasn’t made any better by the fact that my notes on the odd behavior of people at this school were discovered by Collins; however, on review I can vouch for the authenticity of every one of them.

P 98 Notebook 3

P 128 Notebook 3

P 131 Notebook 3










During my entire period at U. Akron I was never kept abreast of anything related to patents stemming from my inventions.  I was shutout of the entire process.  As I was approaching graduation it became apparent that I had no ability to prevent “Kennedy” from worming his way onto the patent covering my invention.  This was most apparent when I approached Dr. Newkome about this and told him all of the details behind my firing by “Kennedy”, my subsequent inventions in the Collins group, and the attempts by “Kennedy” to steal credit for my inventions.  Newkome’s advice was in some regards bittersweet.  He suggested that I could bar “Kennedy” from appearing as a coauthor on any of my publications; however, he informed me that trying to do the same on the patent application would be a futile exercise.  As such, Dr. “Kennedy’s” name is not listed as a coauthor on any publications that I was able to exercise control over (see J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2003, 125 (48), pp 14686–14687 and J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2005, 127 (1), pp 46–47).  It is for this reason that “Kennedy’s” name is not included as a co-author on any of the papers that were published during my stay at U. Akron and the only reason he is mentioned in the “acknowledgments” section is that Newkome suggested this as well, despite the fact that “Kennedy” made no contributions whatsoever.

Within about one year following my graduation Collins left U. Akron.  I’m guessing that the situation there became intolerable but I have no true insight as to what caused his departure.  Following graduation but prior to his departure I had resumed interacting with him as I wanted to publish additional papers on my findings relating to the decomposition of carbocations by sterically hindered pyridines.  A poorly constructed article on my part stimulated additional research by Collins and I contributed a sizable amount of the key reagent required to conduct this work.  But again, “Kennedy” latched onto my work.  Since I was not conducting these follow-up experiments I had no control over the author list and as a result “Kennedy’s” name appears on one of them.  Not long after that episode I realized that people at U. Akron would continue to leach off of me if the opportunity presented itself and thus I formally parted ways with Collins.  Although the reason is unknown to me, Collins finally admitted to a number of key “officials” at U. Akron that indeed I was the sole inventor for the aqueous polymerization systems for IB (see email below).  Unfortunately, none of these people took the proper actions needed to fix this injustice and credit for my invention is still improperly shared with others.  As will be shown in subsequent blog postings, despite repeated attempts on my part U. Akron employees and the law firm involved in handling this patent refused to effect the proper corrections to the names listed as inventors on this patent.  Moreover, at no time did U. Akron ever investigate “Kennedy” or take any sort of corrective action against him.

Collins email










* In one instance, myself and another student witnessed a faculty member leave the main office of the polymer science department through the front door while within seconds later his student adulteress left through the backdoor around 8-9pm one night.

** I have to note that another individual from this school later became so troublesome that I had to inform them that should I deem them to be a threat to my physical well-being I will not hesitate to use deadly-force against them.  The unwanted harassment in addition to the fact that I know this person has been on psychotropic medications at times (and since all recent mass shooters have a history of being on these drugs) were of serious concern to me.




University of Akron/Professor Joseph P. Kennedy Expose, Part 15

Before I pick up where I last left off I need to digress yet again.  If the reader looks (in part 14 of this blog series) at the initial notebook page (notebook 2, page 139) that describes my invention, the first aqueous polymerization system for IB, they will notice in the left hand margin a somewhat cryptic note.  This note reads “yet they will try to take credit” and I wrote this immediately after my advisor Scott had signed my notebook (notebook 2, page 141 {see below}) one day later, his signature thereby officially noting my invention (just not on the actual date that I conceived the invention!).  All of the other writing contained on these pages are original and were present prior to Scott’s signature which leads to an important point (and he did read them prior to signing).  That point is, Scott refused to sign the initial pages detailing my invention as they clearly demonstrate that I was indeed the sole inventor for this polymerization system.  This fact is further reinforced by documents/information that I provide in my next posting (including a full admission by one of the people listed as a co-inventor!).

Notebook 2 pp 139-141

Another side digression that I wish to make at this time concerns another method “Kennedy” used to extract ideas from students (besides the cabinetry behind his computer desk where he retained all hard copies of documents submitted to him by students).  Dr. “Kennedy” made it a habit to ask questions on examinations that required the student to devise new methods manufacture for existing materials or to submit details concerning new compositions of matter that would address a need described in the problem he set forth.  Good examples of these can be found on test questions written by “Kennedy” that appeared on comprehensive exams.  The polymer science department at U. Akron kept copies of all of these examinations on hand and thus it should be relatively easy for interested readers to verify this fact (look in the late 90s to early 2000s for the following example).  Unfortunately I did not retain these but I do recall one question in particular relating to amphiphilic materials wherein “Kennedy” required the student to draw the structure of such a material and then detail its synthesis.*  As it turns out, “Kennedy” was heavily involved in the development of such materials for use in biomedical applications (e.g. artificial pancreas).  My memory is quite vivid due to the fact that my answer was nothing more than a copy of chemistry that my cohort in the “Kennedy” group was working on (and I received full credit for the question).  This was in fact the same student who had his idea (for a high temperature stable silicone polymer) stolen by “Kennedy” as I described earlier in part 14 of this blog series.

As I stated earlier, with the exception of Dr. Jack Pi, no one in “Kennedy’s” group and most especially “Kennedy” possessed much in the way of knowledge when it came to silicon chemistry.  It just so happens that this particular triblock copolymer which formed the basis for the my answer to “Kennedy’s” cumulative exam question (polyethylene oxide-polyisobutene-polyethylene oxide) was made by one of the few transformations involving silicon that was well-known in the “Kennedy” lab; that is, hydrosilation.  Although I do recall this student conducting other methods to make these materials he was involved in making networks derived from these two polymers, and one method involved hydrosilation of pentamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5H) to polyethylene oxide and polyisobutene polymers that possessed terminal unsaturations (e.g. telechelic polymers with α,ω allyl groups).  These polymers were chosen due to their biocompatibility, the fact that polyisobutene has a low glass transition temperature, and because polyethylene oxide is oxygen permeable.  All of these characteristics were deemed necessary to make an artificial pancreas.  Regardless, this student’s use of D5H in conjunction with Karstedt’s catalyst in the presence of water led to his invention (accidentally) of a highly crosslinked silicone polymer that had high thermal stability (and which “Kennedy” ultimately stole credit for).  As we will see, stealing credit for other people’s invention is a recurrent theme in “Kennedy’s” life…

* Hopefully this wasn’t in his cationic polymerization class, which appeared to have one exam.  I glanced at this and did not see the problem I’m referring to (above) listed on that particular exam.





University of Akron/Professor Joseph P. Kennedy Expose, Part 14

Before I resume my previous blog I need to make a backwards digression.  Prior to making my discovery that Holy Grail was stable to hydrolytic cleavage in excess methanol (see below) and thus readily coming to the conclusion that polymerization of IB might be feasible in the presence of water (also see below)* a former research mate from “Kennedy’s” group paid me a visit.  At this moment I won’t disclose his name; however, I will say that he (like the vast majority of people who have emerged from this research group) is a coward.  This individual (as did everyone in the “Kennedy” group and many outside students too) knew quite well that I was being shafted for no good reason and yet not a single one of these people ever bothered to report anything to the department head or president of the university.  So when this person came to visit me in a distraught state because “Kennedy” had screwed him out of royalties stemming from this student’s invention I had little pity for him.  A picture of “Kennedy” receiving a royalty check for an invention made by this student is given below (and yes, I am invoking “fair use” in that this blog expose is in part for “educational” purposes, and for the general knowledge of the public as it no doubt exposes criminal activities {it will not come down without a large counter-lawsuit and even more public exposure}).  This picture shows George Newkome (current polymer science department head the last time I checked) along with Luis Proenza (current president of U. Akron), the latter is handing “Kennedy” the royalty check for the invention made by the student.

NMR exp that shows HG stable in MeOH, notebook 2 (this notebook page records Dr. Lewis’ discovery that Holy Grail was stable to hydroxylic cleavage)

First pzn exp IB aqueous media notebook 2 (These are the first notebook pages that record Dr. Lewis’ invention on aqueous polymerization of IB.  Much more will be said concerning this and related documents pertaining to this invention in subsequent blog postings.)

Dr. “Kennedy” receiving royalty check for a student’s invention

Furthermore, I wish to add that the witness to this invention can vouch with 100 % certainty that the aforementioned student was solely responsible not only for conception of the invention, but also for its reduction to practice and additionally made arrangements for the licensee to travel to U. Akron to negotiate patent licensing!  How can I make this statement?  I am the witness who signed the laboratory notebooks of this student recording his invention and additionally I also know the basic gist of how the invention came about.  All I will say is that in “Kennedy’s” lab no one (with the exception of Dr. Jack Pi) was well-versed with silicon chemistry and much of what the remainder knew was derived from the Gelest chemical catalog!  This was in part where this student gathered the necessary information needed to devise this invention (along with careful observations of what water does when present in a hydrosilation reaction mixture containing “Karstedt’s” catalyst).

As we will see in later blog postings, this habit of “Kennedy” in stealing inventions from others is not limited to this one student.  Moreover, as I will be pointing out in future blogs the chemical literature (both patent and peer reviewed articles) is replete with examples of patents that were issued to “Kennedy” (both while at Esso Corp. and U. Akron) which contain “prior art” content and thus never qualified as being “patentable” and definitely are unoriginal.  Some of the earliest articles and patents coauthored by “Kennedy” make false claims as to the originality of the research (e.g. polymerization using alkyl Al coinitiators or copolymers of IB with β-pinene) and can be readily traced as originating from peer scientists within the polymer community at the time in question or well prior to it…

* In later blog postings I will be providing numerous additional pieces of evidence that demonstrate conclusively that indeed I am the sole inventor of the first (and actually next two) aqueous polymerization systems for IB (i.e. the only aqueous polymerization systems for this monomer).  The second of these was reported by myself and a colleague a little over one year ago and the third will be reported sometime this year.

University of Akron/Professor Joseph P. Kennedy Expose, Part 13

Note to reader:  Much of the information here is contained in my dissertation, copies of which can be found at both the science library as well as polymer science department at U. Akron.

I spent the remainder of my academic career working in the Collins’ lab.*  It was here that I actually learned the majority of my laboratory skills.  Most of these skills were not imparted by the teachings of people in this lab but instead were self-taught by reading texts such as “The Manipulation of Air-Sensitive Compounds” followed with repeated trial and error attempts to replicate what I had read.  Once I entered this research group the first task at hand was to synthesis a compound that was nicknamed “holy grail.”  This material was a perfluoroarylated chelating (i.e. bidentate) borane that has the formula 1,2-C6F4[B(C6F5)2]2 and it proved at that time to be very difficult to make (taking the better portion of one year).  During this period I made some minor improvements to the synthesis of this compound.  Several things stood out in stark contrast to my experience in “Kennedy’s” lab.

  1. Collins’ equipment was modern (please see pictures below, which only show a portion of modern pieces of equipment).
  2. Scott was well-versed in the types of manipulations that needed to be conducted and was excellent at deciphering NMR spectra.
  3. Scott was a stickler for only publishing chemistry that was replicable and I can’t ever imagine him attempting to fabricate anything.
  4. Dr. Collins also was a slave driver, and in that regard I learned to develop an even better work-ethic than I had before.

Grubb’s Still for purification of solvents.

IB being collected in a graduated tube on a specialized Schlenk line.

BBr3 being purified.

Next, I began exploration of the polymerization of IB under anhydrous conditions using “holy grail” as many analogous monodentate perfluoroarylated Lewis acids had been previously used in a similar manner.  It was not uncommon for me to spend 10-12 hour days, every day of the week working in an attempt to get my degree.  In addition to the synthesis of “holy grail” and the numerous other compounds had to be made (e.g. initiators, surfactants, etc.) just for polymerization studies, a large amount of time was devoted towards conducting modeling experiments.  During my stint in this lab I collected in excess of 1,000 NMR spectra (see picture below) and many experiments were quite time consuming (ca. 6-8 hours) where manual probe tuning between 1H and 19F nuclei had to be conducted (in addition to manual shimming) over a temperature range of -80 to 25 °C.  Although keeping up the pace I had set was difficult, for the first time at U. Akron I was making good progress towards finishing a degree.  One other thing which made this period enjoyable was that I had no further contact with “Kennedy.”

Binders of GPC data and NMR spectra collected in Collins’ lab by Dr. Lewis.

During the latter part of modeling work, in an attempt to figure out why cumyl methyl ether was not an efficient initiator with “holy grail”, I made an important discovery.  The NMR spectra afforded on reaction of cumyl methyl ether seemed to indicate an unusual decomposition reaction and in order to shed light on its mechanism the a related reaction (that of methanol with “holy grail”) was explored.  All of the modeling experiments were very difficult as moisture had to essentially non-existent. They also had to be initially conducted at low temperatures (ca. -80 °C) and were further complicated by the fact that milligram or sub-milligram quantities of reagents were always involved.  Since money was very tight and the solvent of choice (CD2Cl2) was expensive the use of stock solutions (which would have facilitated proper stoichiometry) was out of the question.  After numerous attempts to add exceedingly tiny amounts of methanol (in a controlled manner) to an NMR tube I (out of desperation) added in a huge excess.  I was just sick and tired of banging my head up against the wall spending up to 8 hours at a time trying to get the proper conditions that would placate Collins.  This act of defiance was fortuitous as something very unusual occurred.  When the amount of methanol was close to that of “holy grail” decomposition always resulted but this time when methanol was in a huge excess no decomposition happened.  I was amazed that hydrolytic cleavage of “holy grail” did not occur and seeing that the pKa of methanol is close to water I formulated what would be my very first invention, aqueous polymerization of IB.

*The end result of all my work prior to graduation was no less than 3 notebooks full of data (for Collins alone), >> 1,000 NMR spectra, and several journal articles and patents (not to mention a 300 page dissertation).

University of Akron/Professor Joseph P. Kennedy Expose, Part 12

At this point in time I thought it worthwhile to post a number of photographs taken at The University of Akron that provide additional credence to this blog series.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, in this case “words of damnation” no doubt…

The following are pictures of “Kennedy’s” state of the art dry boxes and laboratory.  It should be obvious to the reader that this is a poor joke at being anything remotely up to date or for that matter in proper operating condition.

“Kennedy” Lab 1

“Kennedy” Dry Box 1

“Kennedy” Dry Box 2

“Kennedy” Dry Box 3

“Kennedy” Dry Box 4

“Kennedy” Dry Box 5

The following are pictures of “Kennedy’s” chemical storage.  Corrosion, leaking containers, etc. were commonplace as was improper mingling of reagents and storage methods.  Much of this mess was cleaned up prior to my departure from U. Akron by an unknown individual who appeared to show up (either retired or fired from) a local company (which the author believes was Firestone).  I’m guessing that individual had no life to speak of.

“Kennedy” Chem Storage 1

“Kennedy” Chem Storage 2

“Kennedy” Chem Storage 3

“Kennedy” Chem Storage 4

“Kennedy” Chem Storage 5

“Kennedy” Chem Storage 6

“Kennedy” Chem Storage 7

“Kennedy” Chem Storage 8

“Kennedy” Chem Storage 9

The polymer science department at U. Akron.  This is a good place to have one’s mental and physical health assaulted and ideas stolen all at the same time.

Polymer Science Bldg

University of Akron/Professor Joseph P. Kennedy Expose, Part 11

Once “Kennedy” had fired me I looked up Paul F. Buzzi, Esq.  Of the many people whom I have met in my life, Paul is without a doubt one of the most upstanding.  I recall somewhat vividly how Paul described the sinful and hypocritical lifestyle he used to live, getting high with judges in Akron (ones who sentenced others involved in drugs to prison).  Ultimately Paul got hooked on another drug, Jesus juice, and his addiction had dramatic positive results.  Paul waited for an answer from the Polymer Science Department at the University of Akron, but none was to be had.  Meanwhile, for the next 1.5-2 weeks my status as a student was apparently in a state of limbo and it wasn’t until I ran into the head of the Polymer Science Department (Dr. William {Bill} J. Brittain)* that inquiries were made into the previously described events.  When I ran into Dr. Brittain the first thing he said was something to the effect “Mark Kohler asked me if you were to still have clearance to the building and I wondered what was going on.”  So within a day or two latter I arranged to meet with Brittain and told him the entire series of events that had transpired.  Brittain asked me what I’d like to do and admitted that the events were gross misconduct on “Kennedy’s” part.  I told Dr. Brittain that all I wanted to do was simply finish my Ph.D. seeing all the time I had invested.  I was then immediately moved into a new research group that had shown up at U. Akron, that of Dr. Scott Collins.  I was also informed that this move would be most ideal for me seeing that Collins had a project centering on IB polymerization and I was already somewhat well versed in the area.  Having few options at my disposal and a great desire to get my degree and get the hell out of the shithole of Akron I accepted this arrangement.

* I was well acquainted with Brittain having finished a M.S. under him instead of a Ph.D.  At this juncture I cannot say anything overly good or bad about him.  During my stint in his lab I learned absolutely nothing of value in terms of synthetic laboratory techniques.  What I did learn was how power corrupts and how that corruption can destroy people’s lives.  Without going into detail at this moment (and I have plenty of documentation on file that I can post) one need only look at court records pertaining to him in the 90s as well as awards granted through the Polymer Division of the ACS to students (during the time that Bill chaired this division) to figure out what was going on.  Remember, this is the time of Monica Lewinsky…

University of Akron/Professor Joseph P. Kennedy Expose, Part 10

Again, I noticed that whenever I tried conducting experiments using Yb(OTf)3 in the absence of Stas there was never any product.  Finally, I demanded to see some of his samples.  Despite having run many reactions, each of which made multiple gram quantities, Stas was only able to supply me with a couple (ca. 3) samples in small vials (< 1 g).  Upon testing them with a number of analytical techniques including GPC and 1H NMR I discovered them to be polydimethylsiloxane and not PIB (see files below this paragraph)!  Indeed, I now had positive proof of falsification of data.  Immediately I setup a time to present this evidence to “Kennedy” and when I did the same result occurred.  This time around not only did “Kennedy” tell me he only cared about data but he informed me that I needed to consider if I wanted to continue to work for him.  I was to have a response to him within 1-2 days.  When I met with “Kennedy” the last time I informed him that I would do anything to continue working under him with the exception of falsifying data.  It was then that “Kennedy” called in his secretary at the time, Debbie England, and began to ramble off false allegations about how “Stewart has failed to fulfill his obligations to me.”  I stopped him in mid-sentence and told the two of them that I need not listen to this crap anymore and that I was going to get an attorney.  The very next day, “Kennedy” left the country for Europe.

GPC of Stas’ acutal samples (these are GPC traces for samples supplied by Stas)

1H NMR of Stas’ actual samples (Proton NMR spectra for samples supplied by Stas)

University of Akron/Professor Joseph P. Kennedy Expose, Part 9

Following the accident (of which U. Akron never supplied me any photos of despite EOHS taking numerous pictures) “Kennedy” had me back to working on polymerizations and requested the construction of a less dangerous cooling bath.  Despite having spent almost one month on the construction of this bath, “Kennedy” decided to not use it.  During this period my relations with both Stas and “Kennedy” continued to deteriorate as I was never able to reproduce any of Stas’ results in the area of the Yb(OTf)3 polymerization system (please see files below this paragraph).  Likewise, Stas began acting unusual and his physical appearance, odor, and physiological responses began to take a weird turn.  For example, on numerous occasions he acted paranoid during experimentation.  According to him, failure was certain unless I did as he said.  He also appeared to be either drunk or sedated by some sort of drug and his body odor at times had become so unpleasant that people could not stand to be in the same office cube room as him.  While working in complete air conditioning he would begin to sweat profusely as if he was running a marathon.  As I continued to question his previous results threats were being lodged against me, death threats.  These threats were of such a grave nature that I had to begin locking all personal belongings in a filing cabinet to prevent the possibility of being poisoned.  A friend of mine, Mr. S. Carrolla and I approached “Kennedy” about Stas but as per usual “Kennedy” did nothing.

(This is a picture of a master table of experiments Dr. Lewis conducted in an attempt to replicate work originally reported by Stas and Dr. “Kennedy”)

Yb master table summary 4-24-01 (this file contains tabulated data necessary to construct the table shown in the above picture).

I soon began to suspect that “Kennedy” was possibly the mastermind behind the entire fabrication of experimental data.  During several group meetings between the three of us “Kennedy” would make unusual comments.  For example, after Stas started to become somewhat belligerent during one meeting “Kennedy” stated, “You know Stas, Stalin wasn’t a bad guy.  He did many good things.” To which Stas replied, “Dr. ‘Kennedy’ you should not say these things.”  While attending these meetings I kept voicing my concern over the fact that Stas did not possess any physical samples of the polymers he had supposedly made.  “Kennedy’s” reply to me was, “I don’t care about samples.  Go into the lab and make me data.”  It seemed as if my assumptions were true.  To me it would appear that the entire thing was fake from the very beginning and both Stas and “Kennedy” knew it.  Still, I wasn’t sure as “Kennedy” didn’t give me a direct order to falsify data, but what else could “Go into the lab and make me data.” mean if physical samples were not important?  Regardless, my conscious is such that even at that time doing such a thing was impossible for me.  So, I returned to the lab once more (at least for approximately one more week) to conduct some final experimentation.

University of Akron/Professor Joseph P. Kennedy Expose, Part 8

As my suspicions grew and I became more vocal about them an unusual accident occurred which almost decapitated me.  While working in one of “Kennedy’s” state of the art dry boxes (sarcasm implied) an explosion occurred while I attempted to increase the speed on an electric stirrer.  These boxes were crudely constructed and always possessed such a high moisture content that withdrawal of TiCl4 from septum sealed bottles always resulted in the generation of so much HCl that it obscured the view from the front window to the back window (these boxes had two sets of gloved windows opposite to one another).  At the time I was overly ignorant about what a proper glove box looked like and obviously what a good versus bad atmosphere behaved like.  In this instance it would appear that oxygen, a contaminant that is difficult to exclude with this sort of glove box was the culprit in starting this explosion (in addition to the obvious glaring safety violation of using a non-explosion proof motor in a dry box containing about 15 L of highly flammable heptane in addition to several mL of even more highly flammable IB and methyl chloride {MeCl})!  I should mention that the collection method used for both IB and MeCl always involved loss of no less than 5-10 mL of condensed liquid (which quickly volatilized to gas) to the glove box atmosphere.  These problems were no doubt compounded by poor techniques that were common practice in the “Kennedy” lab such as the use of only purging to bring in certain items as opposed to the standard pump-refill technique.  Regardless, even though I escaped harm and no one else was injured and furthermore, I was able to prevent a serious fire from developing (despite safety glass being flung about 20+ feet {see pictures and documents below}) the accident did not improve my relationship with “Kennedy.”

 This is a fragment of the window pane and a piece of wire that may have come from the electric motor.

 Dr. Lewis’ accident description, part 1.

 Dr. Lewis’ accident description, part 2.

  UA memo.  UA never investigated this matter to determine if the accident may have resulted from an attempt to kill Dr. Lewis.