R.J. Del Vecchio's career in the rubber industry began in 1965 with a summer job at DuPont before he started graduate school. After a few years off for military service, he worked for companies such as B. F. Goodrich, United Technologies and Lord and Barry Controls. Del founded a fulltime consulting service in late 1990. Much of his work is based on his extensive experience with engineering applications of rubber, as well as the normal technical skills involved in compounding and processing a wide variety of elastomers. In addition, he has become an enthusiastic user of, and instructor in, Statistical Process Control and Design of Experiments, especially as those methodologies apply to the polymer industries.
He has published numerous technical papers at American Chemical Society meetings, has appeared in the trade literature both here and overseas, and has authored several chapters in technical books on topics such as rubber testing, SPC for the mixing operation and basic rubber technology. In 1976, he organized the first symposium sponsored by a local rubber group on Engineering with Rubber, and has continued to be involved with educational activities for the ACS Rubber Division and other institutions ever since. His consulting practice was originally based in the molded goods field, including materials development and process optimization. Del Vecchio then expanded his services into the areas of statistical analyses, test development, failure analysis, acting as an Expert Witness, and giving frequent courses in Design of Experiments methodology.
He has been married for 31 years, has two children and enjoys photography, motorcycling, and target shooting. His book on practical application of Design of Experiments in the rubber and plastics industries, sponsored by SPE, was released by Hanser Press late in 1997, sold out, was reprinted in April 1999, March 2000, and again in February 2005. He has since published "A Beginner's Guide to Rubber Technology," (October 2001) and edited "Fundamentals of Rubber Technology for the Rubber Division, ACS (March 2003)," and is presently working on an expanded revision of his text on Design of Experiments.