Polymer Society Annual Reports




  1. Board membership

Stuart Patrick stepped down as Chairman of the Polymer Society Board in January 2015. The Board expressed their thanks for his hard work and leadership during his two terms as Chairman. Alan Wood took over the Chair.

There were no changes in the Board Membership during 2015. The active representation and participation from the British Plastics Federation is still unresolved but still being sought.

The Board members, fourteen in total, are currently Mr M Bennett, Prof J Busfield, Prof P D Coates, Mr J Czerski, Mr J Dorken, Dr M Hodgson, Dr A Gill, Ms M Ingle, Mr P Law, Mr S Patrick, Dr I Robinson, Ms K Satterthwaite, Dr A Tinker, Dr A Wood and Mr S Taylor (a corresponding member representing the IOM3 Southern Africa Section).

  1. Board meetings

We continued to have three meetings in the year.
•    21st January at IOM3 London – 50 % attendance.
•    4th June International Institute for Nanocomposites Manufacturing, University of Warwick – 50% attendance.
•   6th October at IOM3 London – 35% attendance.

Following the disappointing attendance on the 6th October, Doodle Polls have now been introduced in an attempt to maximise attendance.

  1. Activities during  2015


  1. 1 Technical programme

The Society continued to have an active technical programme during 2015 which featured PPE’15, two meetings organised by the Rubber in Engineering Group [RIEG] (one joint with the Manchester Polymer Group). The Manchester Polymer Group also held a one day seminar on ‘Polymers – Environmental & Engineering Conflicts’ which was supported by the Society and was well attended. It had been hoped to hold a joint meeting with the Packaging Society but due to last minute problem, this had to be moved to March 2016.


Further details of these and future events can be found in the Appendix.

  1. 2 Web-site developments

The Polymer Society and the RIEG continue to maintain a high position in the league table of home page views of all the technical divisions and committees. The PVC and PPE committees were lower down the league table due in part to lack of activity in these areas. Clearly, the activity relating to the PVC microsite would be expected to increase in the run-up to PVC2017.

  1. 3 Engagement with technical community and/or local societies,

The relationship with the Polymer Processing Society (PPS) was formally acknowledged in writing and needs to be developed further.

Good links continue to be maintained with the KTN.

There have been a number of joint activities with the Manchester Polymer Group and closer links are being developed with the Packaging Society and the Biomedical Applications Division.

The Chairman currently sits as a member on the Industrial Advisory Board at Queen Mary University of London.


  1. 4 Contributions to IoM3 house journals

Materials World

Direct contributions to Materials World have been limited over the year, one example being the contribution made by Stuart Patrick to a recent article on sustainability.


Plastics, Rubber and Composites: Macromolecular Engineering

PRC:ME continues to have a good impact factor, publishing excellent papers related to polymers. Free access to the Journal is available on-line to members.


  1. 5 Other
  • Sustainability

Stuart Patrick continues to represent us on the SDG but it is recognised that the trade associations in our sectors are already working extensively in the area of sustainability and so we confine ourselves to working within the aims of the IOM3 Sustainability Policy.

  • Awards and Prizes

Awards in 2015 included:


Colwyn Medal

Awarded to Gert Heinrich who leads the rubber research group at TU Dresden, 


Prince Philip Award for polymers in the service of mankind

Awarded to Avon Rubber. The presentation was made by HRH Prince Philip at the official opening of the new Institute headquarters at 297 Euston Road.


James S Walker Award

Awarded to Elizabeth Walton who carried out her fourth year research project in the MIT Langer Laboratory. Her project was in the development of materials known as Dynamic Covalent Networks with a high drug loading and a sustained drug release profile.


Alan Glanvill Award

This was awarded for the following paper in PRC:ME.

C. J. Norris, M. Hale and M. Bennett, ‘Pyrolytic carbon: factors controlling in-rubber performance’ 2014. Plastics, Rubber and Composites. Vol 43 (8), pp. 245 - 256.


Further information on the awards can be found at http://www.iom3.org/iom3-awards-2015.


  • Membership increased during the year, more than doubling, due to the updating of the Institute’s membership records. The number of members is currently 808.


  • South Wales & Western Polymer Group

It is with regret to note that the South Wales & Western Polymer Group ceased activity during 2015.

  • Student Design Innovation in Plastics (DIP)

The Worshipful Company of Horners and IOM3 continue to jointly sponsor the DIP Award with the focus of encouraging plastics design innovation and best practice in future product designers in the UK and Ireland. The 2015 design brief was ‘Design to transcend Metal: Changing Perceptions’. The competition was won by Alexander Bordino, a second year BSc Product Design Nottingham Trent University student, his Design being for new ice-cream pump mechanism. Further information can be found at http://www.designinnovationplastics.org/news_archive/150706-2015_competition_winner_announced.html.

  • Polymer Study Tours

Despite good numbers in previous years, unfortunately the Manchester and Edinburgh Polymer Study Tours were cancelled in 2015 due to lack of interest from teachers. The programme will carry on for 2016 and the Worshipful Company of Horners will continue to support it financially along   with considerable industrial support.as well as from the IOM3 Education department.

  • Education in the Polymer Industries

Dialogue has been continuing with ELTAG, the group looking at training in the rubber industries with a view to developing training programmes.


  1. Strategy and Objectives for 2016 and Beyond


  1. 1 Opportunities and constraints

The main constraint still remains the need for improved ongoing contact between the IOM3 and the industries in the polymer sector.
Discussions continue regarding the educational provision within the rubber industry with a view to the organisation of some form of formal training provision at a range of levels. This is seen as an opportunity to engage both the industry and the employees in the industry with the Institute and develop better relationships.

Ian Bowbrick sits on  the BPF Skills and Education Committee, the equivalent body for the plastics industry and so good links are maintained to progress in that sector.

The Polymer Society Board would like to acknowledge the administrative and technical support provided by Dr Keith Watkinson to both the Board and the Rubber in Engineering Group.

  1. 2 Specific targets for 2016

The main target for 2016 will be the development of the educational provision for the rubber industry and the close linking of this with the Institute. If successful, this could be seen as a possible model for the plastics industry as well, this being explored once the rubber activity is functioning.
The relationship between the Board and the Polymer Industry Advisory Board of the Materials KTN needs to be maintained and strengthened in order to ensure strong links between the Institute, the KTN and Innovate UK. Strong links to the KTN and Innovate UK are required so that the Institute can be seen by the industries to be a significant contributor to research and development activities within the sector.

Joint activities with the Packaging Society have been developed and it is hoped that this will be the first of such collaborations with them and other Divisions within the Institute. Discussions are in an early stage with the Biomedical Applications Division regarding a possible conference related to the medical use of polymers.


  1. 3 Specific targets for the 3 years beyond 2016

Outline plans for the following four years would include:
•    Maintain conference and meeting activities to ensure the revenue stream into the Institute.
•    Progress the training agenda which is under development and attempt to link this closely with the Institute.
•    Maintain and develop closer links with other Divisions within the Institute.
•    Attempt to develop closer links with the few remaining local polymer societies.


Appendix: Technical Programme as of December 2015











Organising  Division(s) /Committee(s)


Financial Underwriter (IOM3/




Target No's

Actual No’s

27th March 2015


Future Smart Applications for Elastomers






20th April 2015


Rubber: A Resilient Future Part 2

Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Manchester

Manchester Polymer Group/ RIEG




8th-10th September 2015


Polymer Process Engineering 2015


Bradford University

Bradford University




28th October 2015

Delayed to 2016

Pack to the future

University of Birmingham

East Midlands Packaging Society/ Polymer Society/ University of Birmingham





23rd November 2015


Polymers – Environmental & Engineering Conflicts

Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Manchester

MPG/Polymer Society




16th March 2016


Pack to the future

University of Birmingham

East Midlands Packaging Society/ Polymer Society/ University of Birmingham




8th April 2016


Rubber Sustainability

IOM3, 297 Euston Road





16th May 2016


Rubber – Resilient Future 3

Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Manchester





1st July 2016


Rubber Manufacturing

Nottingham University


University of Nottingham




7th – 8th  December 2016


Innovations in rubber products






25th – 27th April 2017


PVC 2017


PVC Committee




10th – 12th September 2019


IRC 2019


Kia Oval, London

RIEG/ Polymer Society