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BPF Rotational Moulding Seminar: Innovation
BPF Flyer

Dr Mark McCourt from the Polymer Processing Research Centre will be speaking on Combining Rotational Moulidng with Robotics at the BPF Rotational Moulding Seminar.

9th May 2017 | Worcestershire County Cricket Club, New Road, Worcester, WR2 4QQ

The BPF Rotational Moulding Group seminar for 2017 will focus on the subject of innovation.  Discover new techniques and new ideas with this one day event that will provide delegates with an exploration of important topics, including rotational moulding in military applications, innovative materials and applying R & D principles for developing novel products for our industry.

With over 100 delegates expected, this seminar provides a valuable networking opportunity for the Rotational Moulding community. The seminar is only £10 + VAT to all BPF Rotational Moulding Group members* and costs only £60 + VAT for all others.

On the day prior to the BPF Seminar, Matrix Polymers will be hosting an event focussing on how to reduce costs without sacrificing quality.  To find out more about this event view the flyer that can be found here

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PhD Opportunities at the School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at Queens
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The School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at Queens is seeking to appoint motivated individuals to undertake research programmes at PhD level across a range of disciplines.  More information on our extensive research portfolio can be found on or web page here.

If you are interested making positive changes to society through scientific advancement and in improving your earning potential as a practicing engineer, please take a look at our current PhD vacancies by clicking here.

If you need more information on any of these fantastic opportunities please contact the lead academic directly.

Please also check your eligibility for funding before you make a formal application.

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School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Host Visitors from Kogashima College, Japan
Delegation of academics from Kagoshima College.
Delegation of academics from Kagoshima College.

A delegation of academics from Kagoshima College, Japan visited SMAE on 23rd March 2017.  They were here as part of a fact finding visit to the UK replicating a trip that was made more than 150 years ago by Japanese engineers who having studied in the UK, returned to Japan to become leaders in their field.  Following from their visit the visiting academics will apply for funding to send a group of students to the UK in 2018 to study Engineering and to develop their English language skills.

The visit was hosted by the Polymer Processing Research Centre (PPRC) which delivers elements of Queens’ input to the ConnectEd Programme which, in addition to providing technical support to local industry, seeks to develop and build upon links between the Higher Education and Further Education sectors in Northern Ireland.  PPRC have been working with South Eastern Regional College (SERC) on a number of initiatives including hosting visits from local engineering students as well visiting students and academics from Japanese institutions with which SERC have had long standing relationships.

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Could your company benefit from a dedicated PhD Researcher?

The Renewable Engine project is holding briefing events to inform companies in the Energy, Manufacturing and Engineering sectors on how they can access industrial research support and technology development grants through the project.

Renewable Engine is an EU project which is lead by South West College.  Briefing events are being held as follows:

Wednesday 5th April 2017, Queens University Belfast

Tuesday 11th April 2017, South West College, Dungannon

Wednesday 12th April 2017, Institute of Technology, Sligo

Click here for further information on the briefing events and how to register.

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School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering QUB & Agri-Food Quest Competence Centre Breakfast Meeting, 12th April 2017

You are invited to a breakfast meeting at the QUB Polymer Processing Research Centre (PPRC) Ashby Building, Stranmillis Road, BT9 5AH on Wednesday 12th April 2017, 8:00 am - 11:30 am to hear about the expertise, capability and have a tour of facilities available in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the PPRC. 

This will be of interest to all agri-food companies that have a requirement/interest in: 

  • Innovative packaging
  • Product design and development
  • Injection Stretch Blow Moulding
  • Troubleshooting
  • Process Control and 3D-printing
  • Factory Design
  • Energy Recovery
  • Agri food waste valorisation 

We would like to make you aware of the School broad range of expertise covering manufacturing, processing and materials characterisation capabilities including our thermoforming and polymer moulding technology, robotic assembly, and advanced materials characterisation laboratory capabilities in thermal, mechanical, rheological and microscopic analysis of metallic, polymer and composite materials.

The PPRC in particular, was established within the School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at QUB in 1996  to conduct and support leading edge, industrially exploitable, fundamental and applied R&D.  During this time substantial investment has been made in establishing and maintaining state of the art processing and analytical facilities and processing expertise at QUB in rotational moulding and polymer extrusion and extending into injection moulding, blow moulding and thermoforming.  Research in various aspects of polymers, including their processing.  Research staff in the Centre work side by side with industrial and academic partners from across the world in developing new processes and innovative products and provide input to the implementation of new technologies.

You will be very welcome to join us on the 12th April to what we hope will be an informative event that gives you a better idea of capability within QUB in these areas.

Click for further information: SMAE Agri-food Breakfast Flyer

Could you please indicate if you are coming to the event by emailing: before Wednesday 5th April indicating if you have any dietary requirements.

Many thanks, and we look forward to hearing from you.

Dr Ann McMahon

Business Alliance Manager Agri-food and Nutrition Sciences

Research and Enterprise Directorate

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PPRC Staff Attend K Show Dusseldorf
PPRC Staff at K Show
Graham Garrett, Alan Clarke, Mark McCourt and Mark Billham

Four members of staff from the Polymer Processing Research Centre based in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering attended the K Show in Dusseldorf recently.  The K show is the world’s biggest plastics trade show and conference and is hosted by Messe Dusseldorf GmbH. The show boasts 171,245 sq metres of exhibition space with 3,320 exhibitors from 59 countries. Based on previous year’s figures, visitor numbers were expected to be in the region of 220,000 from 108 different countries.

The complete plastics world was represented at the show from material suppliers, machinery suppliers, to finished and semi-finished product suppliers.  Large global companies through to small family owned companies were also represented.

A lot of the companies that exhibit at the K Show use it to launch new developments in materials or processing machinery.  A common theme across a lot of these new launches was “industry 4.0” with remote access, monitoring and control capability being improved so that companies could offer “industry 4.0 ready” machine and processes.

Another theme at the Show was “additive manufacturing” with a number of companies offering 3D printing production machines producing finished products as opposed to prototype only machines.

The Staff, Alan Clarke, Mark McCourt, Mark Billham and Graham Garrett would be happy to discuss their visit and the “new” processes that they discovered at the K Show in greater detail with any interested party just contact us via our Location & Contacts Page.

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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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Contact Information

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

Tel: 028 90974700

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