‘Wall Street Journal’ spotlights grad’s company

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A. Sue Weisler

Kevin Surace ’85, president and CEO of Serious Materials Inc., is a member of the RIT Board of Trustees.


A company founded by Kevin Surace ’85 (electrical engineering) has been recognized in the ninth annual Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Awards.

Serious Materials Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., was recognized in “Environment” category for its EcoRock drywall substitute. Serious Materials began selling the product to a limited number of contractors early this year.

EcoRock, which will be priced to compete with premium drywall products, is made with recycled material and requires 80 percent less energy to make and produces 80 percent less carbon dioxide than standard gypsum-based drywall. The company expects to expand production and distribution over the next two years.

According to the Wall Street Journal, some judges wondered if a relatively high price would limit the product’s use. But Darlene Solomon, chief technology officer of Agilent Technologies and an Innovation Awards judge, called the product a “novel solution to a basic problem that has enormous impact.”

An article about Serious Materials is featured in the fall 2009 issue of RIT: The University Magazine.