Throughout a formidable record of accomplishment on both the technical and business sides of the chemicals and materials industries, Barry Siadat has never forgotten the value of thinking like a chemical engineer. Siadat earned his UW-Madison bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1975, and he credits Professors Stuart Cooper and Jim Kartsky with helping him develop a keen interest in materials and polymers, and Charles Hill with teaching him the fundamentals of chemical engineering.
“Over the years I have successfully applied the systems approach taught by chemical engineering to just about any situation where one needs to carefully evaluate factors that are important to the outcome and approach them in such a way as to ensure the desired outcome,” Siadat says.
That certainly held true as he went on to earn his PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Massachussetts-Amherst and
work as a scientist at W.R. & Grace Company, authoring more than 25 scientific journal articles and earning numerous United States patents for his innovations in areas as diverse as polymer compositions, masonry and roofing materials. But it proved equally vital as Siadat took on management roles at W.R. & Grace, and then at companies including AlliedSignal and Avient Technologies. He eventually began combining that management experience with the investment side of the business as co-founder, president and managing director of SK Partners.
In his current role at SK Partners, Siadat serves as chairman of several specialty materials and chemical companies in a $9 billion portfolio with more than 9,000 employees. Establishing SK and building it up to its current strength, he says, “is perhaps the culmination of all my prior technical and business achievements.”
Siadat also serves on the board of the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in his current hometown of Miami Beach, Florida. In 2014, he received the UMass-Amherst Distinguished Achievement Award.
Siadat lives in Miami Beach with his wife, Afsaneh. He has three children—Sharareh, Seterah and Afshin—and enjoys spending time with his grandkids and working out.