The Manchester Polymer Group (MPG) is a local society, affiliated to the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, focusing on meeting the needs of its membership with polymer and elastomer interests in the North West. It exists to advance and develop all aspects of science, engineering, technology, and design as applied to the development, processing, application and sustainability of those products containing significant polymeric and elastomeric content.
MPG also promotes and supports training and practice in the polymer and elastomer disciplines and disseminates knowledge relating to those materials within its boundaries. It aims to support its members in career and professional development, provide opportunities for networking and promote the benefits of membership of the Institute. The Group is also involved in encouraging school pupils to consider a career in the STEM areas as well as keeping the public informed in debates around polymers and elastomers based on sound science concepts.
Polymer and Elastomer applications
Polymers are used across almost every sector including packaging, medical, building and construction, textiles, consumer products, most modes of transportation, electrical and electronics and industrial machinery. They are also particularly suitable for recycling. In the UK, more patents are filed each year in polymers than for other materials combined. There are constant innovations occurring that can help revolutionise industries such as shape-memory polymers, light-responsive polymers, and self-healing polymers.
Elastomers or Rubbers are used across a large range of domestic and industrial applications based on either natural rubber or an extensive array of synthetic rubbers. Examples are tyres, automotive, gaskets, seals, electrical insulation, hoses, and drive belts, particularly where oil and chemical resistance and high temperature performance is necessary.
Christina is a Postdoctoral Research Associate within the Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub at the University of Manchester. Her research focuses on the synthesis and testing of bio-based and degradable polymers for liquid formulations.
She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Reading which included a year in industry at Johnson Matthey, where she worked in Fuel Cell R&D. She then completed a PhD at University College London exploring polymeric pharmaceutics and later applied this to studying polymeric self-assembly for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes at Somaserve Ltd.
She is passionate about building sustainability into research, achieved the first gold LEAF lab award at UoM and helps lead lab sustainability efforts across the university. She actively supports outreach activities and events which promote equality, diversity and inclusion within STEMM.
Worked in the polymer industry for over 50 years starting in the laboratory and progressing to Managing Director and then Chief Executive of a group of 8 polymer compounding and moulding companies. After selling these companies has been providing strategic planning consultancy to manufacturing businesses
Dave Wetters FIMMM Hon Treasurer Dave has been part of the plastics Industry since 1980’s when he joined a trade moulder as a technical representative moving into machinery sales and support for a wide range of companies from UK , Germany and the USA. This experience led to roles worldwide in Technical service primarily in compounding and latterly in Biodegradable compounds. This period of over 15 years encompassed Biodegradable material conversion as well as developing new compounding and conversation methodology. He has been a member of MPG since the 90’s and as Hon Treasurer for 15 years.
Now retired after a career in polymers, particularly PVC, Stuart has been a volunteer member of the IOM3 Manchester Polymer Group for many years. He is also a STEM Ambassador assisting young scholars to better understand the important role played by polymers and elastomers in today’s environment.
Stuart is also a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Horners
Clive has been on the Manchester Polymer Group Committee for some 45 years and is the immediate Past Chairman of the group. Clive has a degree in Polymer Science and Technology and a PhD in Composite materials. Clive spent his career in the computer simulation of the injection moulding process optimising the use of materials in design and reducing waste and energy in manufacture. Clive retired some ten years ago from FlowTech Design Limited which he founded in 1991.
Pravin has over 40 years within the polymer science industry working in many different areas such as Rubber, Plastics, Composites and Adhesives. Throughout his long career he has worked in positions such as Technologists, Technical / Quality Manager, R&D Manager, Group Technical Director, Operations Director and Managing Director in the UK, Europe, North America and Asia He has experience in many multi-national companies covering a wealth of applications and sectors within material science. He has an ONC, HNC and BSc (Hons) from Manchester Polytechnic in Polymer Science- studied part time on day release. He established Prea ltd over 20 years ago focusing on polymer management consultancy to all areas of the polymer industry globally such as; mergers and acquisitions, recruitment, chair roles, restructuring companies, formulation and processing operations.
Background in chemistry and polymer engineering. PhD in Nanotechnology materials. A short time in Japan with TDK at their Materials Research Centre, using various instrumentation to characterise and survey materials properties. Chris then moved back to the UK and started at Hiden Analytical, a mass spectrometry manufacturer. Focus on materials characterisation applications and also real time reaction analysis. Some years at Thermo Fisher Scientific, but back at Hiden for the past 7 years
Joined the IoM3 during PhD and MPG local society about 20 years ago.
Dan studied Materials Engineering at Loughborough University, graduating in 2017. His first job was in an aerospace component forging factory, however he has now been with specialist engineering company Farrat for five years. He is currently their Spring Design Lead, using elastomeric isolators to develop vibration and noise control systems for the construction industry.
Ajithkumar S Nair, a Rubber Technologist at Clwyd Compounders Ltd., Wales, UK since March 2022. He completed my Bachelor of Technology in Polymer Engineering in 2004 from Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India and Master of Science in Polymer Science and Engineering in 2009 from London Metropolitan University, UK. Ajithkumar previously worked as Process Engineer for 10+ years in various rubber products manufacturing companies in the UK and in India.
Nithin is a masters graduate in Chemical engineering from Imperial College London and has an Undergraduate Chemical Engineering degree from Kerala University, India He is an experienced professional in the Tyre and Rubber industry currently working at Clwyd Compounders Ltd as a Rubber Technologist to develop formulations and is interested in Nanomaterials and Hydrogen resistant elastomers. He has previously worked at Dunlop Aircraft Tyres Ltd and MRF Tyres Ltd as a Materials Development Engineer to develop new materials and taken roles of Process development engineer to design Rubber Mixing lines and trouble shoot mixing Issues.
Thomas Bennett graduated with a BSc (Hons) and PhD in materials science and polymer chemistry from the University of Queensland. He is currently a Customer Success Manager at Evove with 7+ years of product development, R&D commercialisation, project management, and business development experience.
Jake has an academic background with BEng Chemical Engineering and a MSc Polymer Science and Technology from University of Hull and Loughbourgh University. During his studies Jake joined the Technical Department at Matrix Polymers focusing on developing new materials to the rotational moulding industry. Jake began his PhD at Queen's University Belfast, sponsored by Matrix Polymers. He's based at the Polymer Processing Research Centre (PPRC) researching sustainable rotational moulding material solutions.