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Webinar Lecture to ISPA Students
ISPA Students
ISPA Students who attended the webinar.

Dr Paul Hanna from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering’s Polymer Processing Research Centre (PPRC) was invited to give an expert lecture on the subject of Rotational Moulding to over forty Master’s degree students and staff at the Higher Institute of Plastics, Alecon (ISPA) in France.  The lecture was delivered using a webinar format and supports the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in helping to foster international links with a leading Polymer Engineering Institute.  Ms Claire Horner, International Development Officer at ISPA, highlighted the learning benefit of expert lectures in English and that this formed part of ISPA’s international strategy to prepare work-ready students.  Guillaume Lemaire, Master’s degree student, commented “very clear lecture, interesting and well-illustrated”.  For further information please contact Dr Paul Hanna (

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New Robotic Rotational Moulding Machine Arrives at the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queens.

The School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering has recently installed a new state of the art, robot based rotational moulding machine. Named ‘Robomould’ the installation is the result of a collaboration between QUB, French multi-national ‘Total’ (and its research centre based in Feluy, Belgium) and Automation & Manufacturing Services (AMS) also based in Belgium.

Queens Academics along with colleagues based in the Polymer Processing Research Centre (PPRC), will work on the development and optimisation of this unique, rotomoulding technology. Using state of the art computer simulation models and sophisticated process monitoring techniques, this automated polymer processing technology will be tested and improved over the next 18 months. 

The PPRC is recognised as a centre of excellence for the global rotational moulding industry where they have contributed to a number of world leading technical developments in the area. Researchers in QUB developed the first commercial process control system (Rotolog) and simulation software (RotoSim) for the Rotomoulding Industry and there has also been recent commercialisation of a new energy-saving system, the Rotocooler. The fundamental understanding of the rotomoulding process that was developed at QUB also enabled the moulding of new materials for new application areas, notably motorcycle fuel tanks which are now in use by BMW, Ducati, Harley Davidson and Honda.

For more information contact Mark Kearns at:  

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Advanced Sensors for Polymer Processing Workshop
Bio-polytec Logo

The Polymer Processing Research Centre (PPRC) on behalf of the Bio-PolyTec project consortium invite you to a FREE half-day workshop on Real-Time monitoring of Polymer Degradation and Additive dispersion during Processing. The workshop will introduce novel, fibre-optic based sensors capable of monitoring physio-chemical changes in polymers and compounds in real-time during processing. Variation in the agglomeration/dispersion of filler particles or the degradation of biodegradable polymers can be critical issues for many high-performance products but require expensive and time-consuming laboratory analysis to detect. Learn how this can be done in-process in real-time. The workshop will cover:

  • Industry leaders discuss issues in the manufacturing of high performance polymer products
  • Recent developments in using process spectroscopy and fibre optic probes to detect degradation of PLA during extrusion
  • Recent developments in using process spectroscopy and fibre optic probes to detect agglomeration of filler products during compounding
  • Hands-on demo of sensor system
  • Details on funding opportunities for investigation of the application of the technology to your business

Date and Time: 10:45-13:30 on Thursday 26th November (Lunch Provided)

Location: Polymer Processing Research Centre, Queen’s University Belfast

To confirm your attendance please visit the eventbrite page

For more information on the Bio-PolyTec project please visit:

Project Partners:






We hope you can make it.

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Rotational Moulding Hands-On Training Seminar
Course Attendees.

Mr Mark Kearns (Moulding manager), Dr Paul Hanna and Dr Mark McCourt (Process engineers) from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering’s Polymer Processing Research Centre (PPRC) recently delivered a Rotational Moulding Hands-On Training Seminar to a large group of industrialists from across the UK, Ireland, Europe (Italy, Germany) and India.  The delegates attending the training course were given the opportunity to put theory into practice by using QUB’s industrial scale Ferry Rotospeed rotational moulding machine.

Topics covered included:

  • Fundamentals of the process and award-winning products from around the world.
  • In-depth study on the anatomy of the moulding cycle, heating/cooling mechanisms, science behind bubble and pin-hole removal.
  • Types of rotational moulding machinery and moulds available to industry.
  • Colour blending methods and control of shrinkage/warpage.
  • Hands-on demonstrations of in-mould pressurisation, process monitoring, powder grinding, quality and in-mould cooling.
  • New materials and development trends for the industry.

For further information please contact Mr Mark Kearns (

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Former QUB Professor Honoured by Queen
Professor Roy Crawford
Professor Roy Crawford

Professor Roy Crawford moved from Northern Ireland to New Zealand ten years ago.

He has just received one of the highest honours in New Zealand, a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for his work in tertiary education.

Professor Crawford who now lives in Sunnyhills in East Auckland, was the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Waikato from 2005-2015.  He retired recently and is currently undertaking consultancy work on a part-time basis.

During his tenure at the University of Waikato, Professor Crawford’s key achievements included leading the University to be one of the top 50 in the world, implementing a research excellence agenda that significantly improved the University’s research capability, modernising the campus, and continuing a tradition of innovation. Recent reports showed that the University of Waikato contributed almost $1 billion to the local economy.

Before moving to New Zealand, Professor Crawford was Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at Queens University Belfast.  He has published eight books and over 300 papers and has been a member of numerous government panels and research grant committees in the UK and New Zealand.

His particular expertise is associated with the rotational moulding of plastics.  He is widely recognised as a world leader in this field and has given keynote lectures, courses and seminars on this subject all over the world. Professor Crawford is the Technical Editor for RotoWorld® magazine, the magazine for the rotational molding & plastics design industries, a position he has held since the magazine’s inception in 2005.

For further information:

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May 2015 edition of the PPRC Newsletter
Newsletter Cover

Welcome to this May 2015 edition of the PPRC Newsletter which provides information on a range of training courses provided by the Centre.

Please click to download a copy: PPRC Newsletter 3 May 2015

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Great Britain Rototour 2015 - 6-15 September 2015
Rototour Logo

The Polymer Processing Research Centre in the School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast looks forward to hosting Rototour (!rotoplas/c1hzl) in September 2015, an annual event organised by the Association of Rotational Moulders Australasia (ARMA) which is coming to the United Kingdom for the first time since the inaugural tour to China in 2005.

During the Northern Ireland stage of the tour, delegates from Australia, Brazil, China, Finland, Kazakhstan, the Philippines and USA will visit PPRC’s material processing and characterisation laboratories.  They will also participate in technical discussions and demonstrations led by PPRC in association with Total Petrochemicals, a long-term industrial partner of the Centre supplying polymeric raw materials to processors across the world for a wide range of industrial and household products.

Commenting on the visit scheduled to take place in September, PPRC Moulding Manager, Mark Kearns, said “As a leading centre for R&D in materials processing with over 25 years’ experience in rotational moulding, we are delighted that PPRC has been chosen as a destination on the 2015 Rototour.  We work with industrial and academic partners across the world and look forward to show casing and providing insight into the innovative work being undertaken at Queen’s University Belfast.”

PPRC Director, Dr Nicholas Dunne, said "it is a great honour for the PPRC and Queen's University of Belfast to host the Association of Rotational Moulders Australasia during their Rototour- not only does it provide an opportunity to showcase our world-leading , translationary research that we are conducting in rotational moulding, but also engage with leading international companies that consider innovation as a key component in technological advancement of the rotational moulding business".

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Connected Newsletter Summer 2015
Newsletter Cover

Welcome to the latest edition of the Connected Newsletter to share with you our experience of the Connected project.

Click the link to download a copy: Connected Summer Newletter 2015



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Contact Information

Polymer Processing Research Centre
Queen's University Belfast
Ashby Building
Stranmillis Road
Belfast BT9 5AH

Tel: 028 90974700
Fax: 028 90660631

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