Kevin Spoo graduated from college with a degree in chemistry and hauled manure for his uncle while searching for a job. In 1974, he joined Interplastic Corporation and found the chemistry of polyester resins fascinating. Spoo decided to research resins and composites. “I was very intrigued by all of the different processes people were using to transform composites into finished projects,” he says.
Spoo worked for several companies in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1987, he joined Phillips Petroleum, where he spent four years developing processes for molding thermoplastic composites such as pultrusion, vacuum forming and compression molding. In 1991, Phillips left the thermoplastics market. While the company offered to retain Spoo, he was unsure what role he would play. Then in 1992, he had an interview with Owens Corning that he says completely changed his life. “My heart was set on composites, and I knew that anything I did in the future had to deal with composites,” says Spoo.
Owens Corning allowed Spoo to use his background in resins and pultrusion to get involved in a variety of composites arenas. This winter, he celebrated 21 years with the company. Spoo is a senior research associate at Owens Corning, though he prefers no title at all. “There are a lot of projects that come along on the application side and the project development side, so I gave up the title a long time ago,” he says.
Through the years, Spoo has been involved in several ACMA committees and CGIs, including ACMA’s Pultrusion Industry Council (PIC), the PIC’s Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) Subcommittee, the PIC’s Technical Subcommittee, the Fiberglass Grating Manufacturers Council, Corrosion Control Division, the Transportation Structures Council and Technical Papers Committee. He credits these committees and others with researching what people really want.
Many of Spoo’s peers recognize his passion and devotion to advancing the composites industry. “Kevin Spoo combines deep expertise in composites with a solid data driven methodology,” says Peter Emrich, senior vice president of technology at Molded Fiber Glass.
Spoo and his wife have been married for more than 30 years and have two children.