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PPRC and CP Cases embark on new Knowledge Transfer Partnership
KTP Associate Karem Akoul
KTP Associate Karem Akoul

The PPRC have begun a new Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with CP Cases based in London.  CP Cases is a vibrant, fast growing company that design and manufacture high-performance protective cases for the storage and transport of high-value equipment for the media/entertainment and commercial industry.  CP Cases have over 45 years’ experience in the design and production of cases and containers in plastics, welded aluminium, specialist rugged textiles and foam engineering.  Through this 2 and a half year Knowledge Transfer Partnership, the project will involve the embedding of advanced ‘Industry 4.0’ manufacturing technologies to provide a step change in production efficiency.  For further information on KTP opportunities with PPRC please contact us via Email.

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Queen’s awarded £1 million to tackle plastic waste problems

Over 7.5 billion tonnes of plastic has never been recycled, which, if measured in plastic bottles, would be enough to cover the whole of Northern Ireland to a depth of 40 meters.  

The project, Advancing Creative Circular Economies for Plastics via Technological-Social Transitions (ACCEPT Transitions), will address this problem.  It is being led by Professor David Rooney, Director of the Research Centre in Sustainable Energy at Queen’s.  Professor Rooney has an 11 strong team of academics from right across the University, with expertise in areas including politics, engineering, psychology and architecture.

The aim of the project is to tackle plastic waste problems by creating a sustainable plastics circular economy in the UK.  This would be an economy that keeps resources, including “waste”, in use for as long as possible.  Work is due to begin in early 2019.

The project will do this by taking on three elements.  Firstly, understanding consumer behaviour and attitudes towards plastic use and plastic waste; secondly, assessing the current industry supply chain so that hotspots can be identified and managed; and thirdly, working with industry to design and prototype building products that use significant quantities of recycled plastic waste.

Professor David Rooney, from the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Queen’s is project lead. He said: “The world-leading, state of the art facilities at Queen’s make the University the ideal place to carry out this project.  These facilities include the Polymer Processing Research Centre (PPRC), a market driven research centre which has been collaborating with industry since 1996.

“The outcome of the research carried out here at Queen’s is to create a sustainable and resilient plastics circular economy that will change how we deal with plastic waste, with the ultimate goal of creating a sustainable environment for future generations.”

Queen’s is one of only eight universities that has been awarded a share of the £8 million grant by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to work on projects that will re-think plastics production and use. 

The announcement was made by the Science Minister, Chris Skidmore on the same day that the government unveiled its Resources and Waste Strategy. The Strategy puts the legal onus on producers of damaging waste, introduces a consistent set of recyclable materials collected from all households and businesses, and introduces a deposit return scheme, subject to consultation, to increase the recycling of single-use drinks containers.

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Northern Ireland Polymers Association Breakfast Meeting
Dr. Peter Martin

PPRC was pleased to welcome members of the Northern Ireland Polymers Association to the Ashby on Wednesday 12th September for a technical meeting in advance of the Association’s Annual General Meeting.  Speakers included Mazin Abdulamir and Ahmed Al Maawali from Omani national oil company Orpic, Lorraine Acheson from Innovate UK and Trevor Breadon from South Eastern Regional College.   Colm Higgins, Head of the Northern Ireland Technology Centre, also gave a presentation before conducting a tour of the NITC laboratories.

Speaking after the event, PPRC Director, Dr Peter Martin remarked “PPRC has always enjoyed a close working relationship with NIPA and its members and we are delighted to have hosted this meeting which, as well as sharing information of interest to the members, provided such an excellent opportunity for networking”.

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ORPIC Staff Complete Bespoke Training Course
ORPIC Staff

Having spent 6 months at the PPRC, staff from OPRIC attending a bespoke training programme in the PPRC, were recently presented with their certificates of attendance by Centre Director, Dr Peter Martin.  The group has now returned to Oman and will be putting into practice the knowledge and skills learned in PPRC which included characterisation and processing of polymers in which they gained hands-on experience using the Centre’s extensive suite of industrial scale equipment.  In the course of the training programme, the group undertook industrial visits to companies across Northern Ireland to gain an understanding of manufacturing processes and PPRC is indebted to the companies for facilitating the visits and to the staff therein for sharing their time and expertise.  It has been a pleasure to have had the opportunity to work so closely with Orpic over such an extended period and the Centre looks forward to further engagement.

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Fusion Graduate takes up Full Time Post
Pictured left to right are: Sean Reilly, Bronagh Millar, Brendan McBarron, Oonagh Monahan and Mark Billham
Pictured left to right are: Sean Reilly, Bronagh Millar, Brendan McBarron, Oonagh Monahan and Mark Billham

PPRC recently completed a Fusion Project with Ballytherm on the development of isocyanurate based foam insulation.  Brendan McBarron, Fusion Graduate, has now taken up a permanent position with the company as an Industrial Chemist.

 

 

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Sohar University and Orpic Visit PPRC
Pictured left to right are: Mr Cristian Hedesiu, Marketing Manager, Orpic; Ms Denise Price, PPRC Business Manager, Queen’s University Belfast; Professor Stan Scott, Dean of Internationalisation, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast; Professor Mark Price, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast; Professor James McElnay, Acting Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University Belfast; Professor Barry Winn, Vice-Chancellor of Sohar University, Oman; Mr Khalid Al-Qatiti, Manager of the Centre of Continuous Education, Sohar University; Mr Mundhir Al Rawahi, Product Development Manager, Orpic; Dr Peter Martin, PPRC Director, Queen’s University Belfast.

PPRC was delighted to welcome Prof Barry Winn, Vice Chancellor, and Mr Khalid Al-Qatiti, Manager of the Centre of Continuous Education, from Sohar University, Oman on their first visit to Belfast.  They were accompanied by Mr Mundhir Al Rawahi and Mr Cristian Hedesiu from Orpic, which is Oman’s national petrochemicals company, who were visiting a group of their staff presently undergoing training within the PPRC.

The group were welcomed to Queen’s by Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor James McElnay, and held discussions during their 2 day visit with senior staff from the University.  These focussed on potential future collaborations between the two universities and the polymer sectors in Oman and Northern Ireland.

Pictured left to right are: Mr Cristian Hedesiu, Marketing Manager, Orpic; Ms Denise Price, PPRC Business Manager, Queen’s University Belfast; Professor Stan Scott, Dean of Internationalisation, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast; Professor Mark Price, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast; Professor James McElnay, Acting Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University Belfast; Professor Barry Winn, Vice-Chancellor of Sohar University, Oman; Mr Khalid Al-Qatiti, Manager of the Centre of Continuous Education, Sohar University; Mr Mundhir Al Rawahi, Product Development Manager, Orpic; Dr Peter Martin, PPRC Director, Queen’s University Belfast.

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Professor Barry Winn with two engineering graduates from Sohar University undertaking training in the PPRC Processing Laboratory.

Professor Barry Winn with two engineering graduates from Sohar University undertaking training in the PPRC Processing Laboratory.

Pictured with the visitors from Sohar University and Orpic are the Orpic trainees and PPRC Director, Dr Peter Martin, and PPRC staff.

Pictured with the visitors from Sohar University and Orpic are the Orpic trainees and PPRC Director, Dr Peter Martin, and PPRC staff.

PPRC Hosts the British Plastics Federation (BPF) Rotational Moulding Conference 2018
Industry Presentations
Industry Presentations
Technical Workshop
Technical Workshop

The Polymer Processing Research Centre, School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering hosted the British Plastics Federation (BPF) Rotational Moulding Conference in the Ashby Building, Stranmillis Road on 16th May 2018.  Attended by over 100 delegates from over 30 companies and 6 countries, the day began with a series of industry presentations and table-top exhibitions, followed in the afternoon by three Queen’s University technical workshops highlighting the rotational moulding research and development taking place in the School.  Delegates got a chance to hear and see the latest trends in Rotomoulding Industry 4.0, material and process developments as well as a summary of the work to date on EU Interreg ‘Renewable Engine’ projects.   

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PPRC Collaboration with Orpic
Visitors from Oman with Professor Brian Falzon (Head of School), Dr Bronagh Millar, Mr Alan Clarke and Mr Mark Kearns (PPRC Technical Managers) and Dr Peter Martin (PPRC Director).
Naema Al Hamadani receiving her Certificate of Attendance on the month long “Introduction to Polymer Processes, Products & Markets” from Dr Peter Martin (PPRC Director).

The School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering’s Polymer Processing Research Centre is delighted to be working in close collaboration with Orpic, the Oman state oil company, on the development and delivery of a bespoke, tailored training programme for a number of its technical and commercial members of staff. 

Pictured right with the visitors from Oman are Professor Brian Falzon (Head of School), Dr Bronagh Millar, Mr Alan Clarke and Mr Mark Kearns (PPRC Technical Managers) and Dr Peter Martin (PPRC Director).

The course, which commenced in mid-April, covers a range of subjects including polymer chemistry, material processing and characterisation and world marketsand high-end applications of polymeric materials at introductory, intermediate and advanced levels.  During the course, participants will undertake classes and practical work in the Centre’s extensive suite of laboratories as well as make industrial visits to a number of local manufacturing companies.

Pictured right is Naema Al Hamadani receiving her Certificate of Attendance on the month long “Introduction to Polymer Processes, Products & Markets” from Dr Peter Martin (PPRC Director).

For information on PPRC run training courses, please contact the PPRC Business Manager, Ms Denise Price by email to d.price@qub.ac.uk or by telephone to 028 9097 4700.

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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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