Presented on March 25, 2021- Presentation Slides



This webinar honored the work of Mr. Fred Lafferman, a coatings chemist who dedicated his career to research, development, and transitioning coatings for use on Department of Defense (DoD) assets. Mr. Lafferman passed away in July of 2020, but his work continues to inspire all of the researchers he collaborated with during his 53-year career. This presentation provided an overview of his contributions, as well as some poignant personal experiences.

As a recognized coatings expert, Mr. Lafferman’s ability to network and collaborate enabled significant advancements for the DoD. His early efforts in the arena of topcoats set the foundation for currently fielded urethanes and facilitated the advances that contributed to the water reducible and powder coat CARC systems. His recent work in the field of pretreatments led to the transition of chromium-free surface treatments that enhance corrosion resistance of the total coating system while providing a safer material to  end users. Additionally, Mr. Lafferman’s foresight and knowledge of the degradation of organic coatings has guided the U.S. Army Research Laboratory towards data science and predictive modeling for corrosion mitigation.


Speaker Biographies
Dr. Robin Nissan

Dr. Robin Nissan is the Program Manager for the Weapons Systems and Platforms program area of SERDP and ESTCP. He has been serving in this role since 2013. Prior to this, Mr. Nissan worked at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division in China Lake, California, where he started as a research chemist responsible for materials analysis, ranging from polymers to energetics, solid state inorganic to organometallic and ceramic materials, and ended up as the director of the research department. He received a doctoral degree in organic and inorganic chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University.




Mr. John Escarsega

Mr. John Escarsega is a research chemist providing contract support for the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. Mr. Escarsega’s work focuses on current and future generations of coatings, and formulating coatings with near zero volatile emissions and enhanced multifunctional capabilities,- including the elimination of heavy metals for pretreatments and primers. He was the former lead for the Camouflage, Coatings and Corrosion team and DoD’s Chemical Agent Resistant Coating (CARC) commodity manager for over 20 years in the Materials and Manufacturing Science Division of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland. Mr. Escarsega has been involved in major formulation efforts that have dramatically improved durability and lessened environmental impact of camouflage coatings used within the DoD. He has authored numerous open literature publications, written and edited book chapters on organic coatings, and issued patents directly supporting DoD coatings. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Mary Washington University in Virginia.


Mr. Jack Kelley

Mr. Jack Kelley leads the Camouflage, Coatings and Corrosion Team for the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and serves as senior program manager for the Coatings and Corrosion Team. He is a principal investigator for customer and mission funded research programs involving environmental degradation of materials. Mr. Kelley identifies technology gaps and transitions state-of-the-art sustainable alternatives to address Army and DoD corrosion prevention and environmental needs. He has more than 30 years of experience in corrosion science and engineering, and he has led numerous projects that have resulted in Department of the Army policy changes and federal and military specifications revisions affecting transition and implementation. Mr. Kelley earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Northeastern University in Massachusetts.


Mr. Daniel Pope

Mr. Daniel Pope is a materials engineer and leads the Camouflage, Coatings and Corrosion team in the Materials and Manufacturing Science Division of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland. Mr. Pope’s current work focuses on taking data gathered from the field during inspections and incorporating data captured in laboratory settings to develop a predictive model for coating degradation and subsequent substrate corrosion on Army ground and rotary wing assets. His work has included field demonstrations at Army, Navy and Marine Corps repair and maintenance facilities. He has authored numerous papers and presented his work at conferences detailing his work in the field of military coatings for tactical assets. Mr. Pope earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Baltimore in Maryland.