Prominent scientists in organic coatings and paints

  • Doc. Miroslav Svoboda, Csc.
Professor Miroslav Svoboda was born in 1927 in Mukachevo, Trans-Carpathian Ruthenia (which was part of the Czechoslovak Republic before WWII ). He returned to the-then Czechoslovak Republic from the Soviet Union as a member of the Czechoslovak army. After completing his secondary school studies he studied chemistry at the Faculty of Chemistry, Czech Technical University (which is now the independent Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague), from which he graduated in 1950. He then joined the Institute for Technical Chemistry in Ústí nad Labem. From 1951 he was with the Research Institute for Protection of Materials in Uhříněves (later renamed as the State Research Institute for Protection of Materials), where he specialised in organic coatings.
In his research, Professor Svoboda studied the protective properties of organic coatings. This he tried to pursue also when in managerial positions – head of department of organic coatings, head of surface finishing, and director for research. During the nearly 20 years during which he was Director of the Institute, Professor Svoboda also headed up a laboratory with a few personnel studying metal protection with organic coatings. He was the leading scientist in the “Protection of metallic articles against corrosion” specialisation in the Czech Republic.
He earned his scientific degree CSc. in 1964, and based on his dissertation thesis, was appointed Associate Professor at the Institute of Chemical Technology in Pardubice in 1971. Professor Svoboda's papers devoted to organic coatings were published in domestic as well as in international journals. He always collaborated closely with the Department of Paints of the Institute of Chemical Technology in Pardubice (now the Faculty of Chemical Technology, University of Pardubice) where, as an external lecturer from 1954 to 1988, he taught 5th-year students the subject of corrosion with focus on the protective properties of organic coatings.
Until 1 October 2007 he actively contributed, as part of the SVÚOM s.r.o. company (successor to the State Research Institute for Protection of Materials), to projects focused on anticorrosion protection of steel structures and reinforcing metals in concrete and on corrosion inhibitors (grant 2003 – 2004). Within Research Project MSM 2579478701 he contributed to the prediction of the behaviour of paints in natural conditions based on the results of accelerated laboratory tests. He wrote a number of research reports and publications dealing with this topic. The results of this work are summarised in the 77-page publication: J. Benešová, M. Svoboda: “Predikce účinnosti organických povlaků na základě laboratorních zkoušek” [Prediction of the efficiency of organic coatings based on laboratory tests] (Series: Metody sledování životnosti [Service life monitoring methods], issued by SVÚOM, Praha, Eva Kalabisová; printed by SVÚOM Praha 2010, ISBN 978-80-87444-06). A laboratory testing method to assess the impact of basic natural factors on coatings was developed in depth and validated.
Currently, Professor Svoboda is engaged in the preparation of reviews on protective properties of organic coatings, which are published mainly in proceedings of conferences dedicated to paints and coatings.