If you ask most people, they will tell you Florida is known for its warm weather, beaches and theme parks. However, for those in the agritechnology industry like Paul Williams, the state is rich in innovation and inspiration.
“All you have to do is walk up and down the street,” said the vice president of technology and innovation for Arkema-ArrMaz. “Take a look for yourself. The community of scientists and engineers is very active here.”
Growing up, Paul loved math and science, which fueled his pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Rockhurst University and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Arizona. Prior to starting at Arkema-ArrMaz, Paul moved to Georgia while working with Arizona Chemical, where he was the director of science and technology for the last seven years of his 17-year tenure. Little did he know then about the career opportunities waiting for him just a few hours south.
“I knew about Arkema-ArrMaz and its scientific innovations,” said Paul. “What I didn’t realize was the amount of industry, agriculture and mining activities that were happening right here [in The Corridor].”
With over 25 years of industrial chemical experience, Paul was drawn to Arkema-ArrMaz for its innovations in industrial mineral flotation, a process used to extract minerals such as phosphate from its ore for use in fertilizers, and dust control and anti-caking coatings which improve fertilizer safety and performance.
“We add value from the second the phosphate is mined all the way until the fertilizer is being placed in the field,” said Paul. “We’re focused on eliminating pain points for our customers by providing chemical process aids that enable them to operate more efficiently, and coatings that improve their fertilizer product quality and performance.”
Today, the company is a leading producer of specialty chemicals for the mining, crop nutrition, infrastructure, and oil and gas sectors. From its Innovation Center in Mulberry, Florida, Paul helps lead the company’s innovation efforts in agritechnology and other growing industries.
Arkema-ArrMaz’s research and development capabilities extend internationally with labs in France, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and China. Still, its Florida location remains at the heart.
“Mulberry is the hub for our research and development,” he explained. “The technology and innovation process begins here but our products are used by our customers across the globe.”
Paul has called Florida home for many years. While he’s passionate about his work, it’s his dynamic team that really motivates him – many members of which are graduates of local universities.
“The universities here are building a science and technology talent pipeline that we need,” he said. “I’m working with a very diverse and great group of people, many of whom came from that talent pipeline, and get the job done.”
Today, Paul and his team continue to develop the highest-performing, highest-value agritechnology solutions in The Corridor to meet the unique needs of Arkema-ArrMaz customers globally.