Q&A – Graham Ormondroyd
Having been appointed one of the new IOM3 Strategic Advisors, Graham Ormondroyd, Head of Materials Research at the BioComposites Centre at Bangor University and Chair of the IOM3 Wood Technology Society, speaks about taking on the role.
Tell me about your background.
I started as a forester and gained a degree in forestry at the University of Wales, Bangor. However, after a year working for the Forest Research Institute, New Zealand in their composites lab, I realised that a career in science was the way to go. Following my degree I studied at Buckinghamshire and Chilterns University College in High Wycombe and gained an MSc in Forest Product Industries. This MSc was accredited as the entrance exam for the Institute of Wood Science at Associate level, which began my road to involvement with the Institute. Following my time in the home counties, it was back up to Bangor for a PhD in Wood Modification, something that would lead to my role as first a research scientist and then the role of Head of Materials Research at the BioComposites Centre at Bangor University.
How did you become involved with IOM3?
I became a member of International Wood Society (ISWc) and was asked to be a board member the year IOM3 and the IWSc merged, when the IWSc became the WTS. This began my relationship with the Institute, which has seen my role in the development of the Natural Materials Association as the first Vice Chair and been on the line of succession in the WTS and this year taking over the role of the Chair.
What are you most looking forward to about taking on the role?
I am most looking forward to be able to help in the development of the Institute for the future, to make it prosperous. This will be a challenge. The Institute needs to adapt to the new ways that people learn and gain knowledge as well as a new period of entrepreneurship and fluid employment.
What do you feel are the main priorities for IOM3 going forward?
The Institute spans a large section of the materials cycle, from stone, ceramics and mining, through to timber, packaging and natural rubber. However, at the heart of all we do should be the protection of our planet and the environment. Throughout the whole of the materials cycle, best practice and low-impact policies should be adopted. The adaptation of low-impact materials use as a matter of course should be our priority.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
Between work, the Institute and my three year old Jack, I am kept pretty busy, but I do find time to train for triathlons and am a member of the local team. I compete both in triathlons and in individual sports - I recently ran the London Marathon and will be riding in Ride London, both for charity. I also write music, but having not played for a long time the art of writing has kept my hand in.