2016 Speakers

  • Michael Brook

    Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology McMaster University

    Michael Brook is a Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. His research is interdisciplinary: he collaborates with scientists and chemical engineers in academia and industry on a variety of subjects. Brook is an expert in silicon, silica and silicone chemistry. He wrote the solely authored book Silicon in Organic, Organometallic and Polymer Chemistry (Wiley) in 2000 and was Americas editor of Silicon Chemistry. He has published over 230 papers, has 7 patents granted and several submitted patents. His main interests revolve around the application of silicon chemistry to materials science, particularly in interfacial control for biomedical applications. Currently, his research has three main axes: manipulation of silicone elastomers for improved biocompatibility (particularly surface properties), developing silicone surfactants to structure growth of silicone hydrogels and make wettable biomaterials, and developing synthetic strategies to create high molecular weight silicones with explicit structural control.

    Brook won the Frederic Stanley Kipping Award for Silicon Chemistry (administered by the American Chemical Society) in 2016, and was a Canadian Killam Research Fellow (one of 17 such awards in all disciplines in Canada) in 2003-2004. With Mark McDermott (McMaster University), he won the Synergy Prize for Industrial Collaboration (Partner: Aventis, then Pasteur Mérieux Connaught) from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Conference Board of Canada (one of 4 such awards given nationally per annum, 1996). Brook won the President’s Award for Instruction at McMaster University in 2003.

    Brook consults extensively, and has served on Expert Advisory Panels on Breast Implants for the Therapeutic Products Directorate of the Health Canada (the approximate equivalent of the Food and Drug Administration FDA in the United States) in 2002 and 2005, and was an External expert reviewer for Environment Canada. 

  • Vivian Christogianni

    Formulation Chemist Sugru Inc.

    Vivian is a Formulation Chemist at FormFormForm Ltd, involved in the development of formulations and processes for silicone elastomer putties and new products, ranging from special campaign formulations to paradigm-shifting innovation, years in the making. She completed her PhD at the Centre for Defence Chemistry at Cranfield University (UK) where she investigated the mechanical and self-healing properties of composites enhanced by photosensitive polymers. She graduated from the University of Patras (Greece) with a Diploma in Chemical Engineering and completed her MSc degree through research at the Technical University of Munich (Germany).

  • Patrick Ellis

    Associate Consultant Smithers Rapra

    Patrick Ellis qualified at the Borough polytechnic as a Plastics Technologist in 1959. He worked for Shell Chemicals first in the field of epoxy resins and later in the development of expanded polystyrene. He left Shell in 1963 to join Borg-Warner Chemicals, where he was responsible for the development of wide ABS sheet, particularly for small marine craft. In 1970 he joined GEP as Area Sales Manager and in 1972 he moved Monsanto to develop their position in the European automotive industry. In 1976 he joined Hercules Europe as Technical Manager responsible for injection and blow moulding PP business.

    When Hercules and Montedison formed Himont, he was appointed European Market Development Manager. Later Neste Chemicals bought the Himont Belgium operation, when was asked to become part of Neste Polypropylene as Business Development Manager. In 1991, he left Nest to set up his own consultancy business, where he has carried out numerous single and multi-clients’ studies on polyolefins processes and catalysts, compounding of polyolefins and thermoplastics elastomers, as well as a number of global elastomer studies. He has recently finished a global elastomer study for Smithers and as well as one on global thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) and another on the European market for fibre reinforced thermoplastics (FRT).

    • France
  • Jan Geboers

    Advanced Scientist Momentive Performance Materials GmbH

    Dr.-Ing. Jan Geboers obtained his Master’s degree in Bio-Science Engineering with a specialization in interface chemistry and catalysis at the University of Leuven, Belgium. After receiving his PhD in heterogeneous catalysis from the same institute in 2011, he moved to the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research  in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany, in the framework of an Alexander von Humboldt research grant. In 2014 he joined the Silicone Elastomers division of Momentive Performance Materials as an advanced scientist, where he has focused on the development of UV curing silicone elastomers.

  • Pierre Germain

    CES - Silicones Europe CES Secretary General

    Pierre GERMAIN (pge@cefic.be), CES – Silicones Europe’s Secretary-General, holds a PhD in Chemistry from UCL (Université Catholique de Louvain). He started his carrier as an assistant at the UCL, then joined Dow Corning in 1988 where he occupied different positions in Research & Development and as a Process Engineer in Belgium and the USA.  In 2002 he joined Dequachim, a Chemical SME active in the aluminum Chemistry, as General Manager. He has been working since 2007 at Cefic (European Chemical Industry Council), where he is currently managing the CES – Silicone Europe Council. He is also the Technical Manager of ReconSile (REACH consortium of the silicone industry), the manager of Cefic Resins Cluster and a member of the CTP (Centre Terre et Pierre) board on the behalf of the UCL.

  • Ralf-Urs Giesen

    Managing Director UNIpace

    Mr graduate engineer Ralf-Urs Giesen studied Mechanical Engineering specialized in polymer process engineering at University of Paderborn/Germany. In 2009 he took up employment as scientific assistant in the Institute for Materials Technology, Department Polymer Technology at University of Kassel/Germany. Currently Mr Giesen is the managing director of the Polymer Application Center (UNIPace) of the University of Kassel and also the head of the division Polymer Process Engineering  in  the department of Polymer Technology.

  • Ekaterina Gorbunova

    Managing Director of Product Development - Elastomers OCSiAL

    Based in Novosibirsk, Russia. Ms.Gorbunova is responsible for global product development activities in Elastomers including silicones, rubber polymers & latexes. 

    Prior to OCSiAl, Ekaterina has experience in business and product development of oil, gas & mining corporations, including international trade. She is a graduate in Applied Economics at the Siberian Federal University and Moscow Business School.

  • Michael Hartung

    Scientific Assistant UNIpace

    Mr Michael Hartung, M.Sc. studied Mechanical Engineering at University of Kassel/Germany. In 2015 he took up employment as scientific assistant in the Institute for Materials Technology, Department Polymer Technology at University of Kassel/Germany. Currently Mr Hartung has different projects in LSR-molding and two-shot injection molding at the Polymer Application Center (UNIpace) of the University of Kassel.

  • Lauren Ianni

    Program Manager ROLI Ltd.

    Lauren is the Program Manager for New Product Development at ROLI. She also works as a design researcher. ROLI is a design-led technology company which makes integrated hardware and software products and services designed to expand the bandwidth of interaction between people and technology. Lauren previously served as fellow and designer for the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Harvard Global Health Institute. She holds an A.B. from Harvard University.

  • Markus Landl

    Head of International Business Development Rico Group

    Markus Landl is Head of International Business Development at the RICO GROUP, a network of professional suppliers for injection molding tools, automation and the production of parts made of elastomers and multi-shot applications. Since November 2015 he is responsible for developing global strategies and he coordinates the development of markets and innovation potentials for the RICO GROUP locations in Austria, Switzerland and the United States. Previously Mr. Landl worked for global acting companies in the areas of tool-making, automation and the development of complete production solutions. He started working as an engineer with focus on parts machining and tool-making and then he became a project manager for worldwide activities in the plastics business. From February 2004 to October 2015 he was employed as an Area Sales Manager and as a Sales Director. Through his national and international experience, he has a broad network in the industry. Mr. Landl received his Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Applied Science in Steyr, Austria

  • Matthias Loster

    Scientist OSRAM

    Matthias Loster studied physics at the Technical University of Munich, continued his work in physical chemistry and graduated with a Ph.D. from the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research in Ulm. After a postdoctoral research position at the University of California at Berkeley, he started to work for OSRAM as a scientist in 2011.

  • Kurt Manigatter

    Kurt Manigatter

    CEO ELMET Elastomere Produktions- und Dienstleistungs-GmbH

    Kurt holds a Master of Engineering degree and is graduate of Höhere Technische Lehr- u. Versuchsanstalt in Waidhofen an der Ybbs, Austria.

    He began his career developing molds and special devices to manufacture ships and ship parts. Kurt moved into sales and marketing, which led him to a leading toolmaker/molder where he was sales and marketing director. In 1996 he started with ELMET Produktions- und Dienstleistungs Gmbh in Oftering, Austria, specializing in liquid silicone rubber tooling. Here he is co-owner and president.

    • Austria
  • Robert Maxwell

    Materials Science Division Leader Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    Dr. Maxwell is currently the Materials Science Division Leader at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. The Materials Science Division  conducts cutting-edge research at the intersection of chemistry, material science, and condensed-matter physics. Our mission: Innovating Materials Solutions to complex problems in the national and energy security arenas.  Dr. Maxwell earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California at Santa Barbara and maintains active research in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, polymer composites, materials aging, and interfacial chemistry. He has over 100 peer-reviewed publications.

  • Gareth Mills

    Director of Operations ROLI

    Biographical information to follow...

  • Caroline Moine

    R&D Engineer – Skin Adhesives Technical Manager Bluestar Silicones International

    2010 - 2016: Bluestar Silicones International - R&D Engineer – Skin Adhesives Technical Manager
    2008 - 2009: Bluestar Silicones International - R&D Engineer – Textile Coating Application  

  • Bernd Pachaly

    Vice President of the Innovation Silicones Service Unit ACEO - A Wacker Brand

    Dr. Bernd Pachaly was born in Berlin in 1956. After obtaining a degree in Chemistry and a doctorate at the Technical University of Berlin, he carried out postdoctoral research at the University of Wisconsin in 1984. His career at Wacker Chemie AG started in 1985. After spending several years each in silicones research, in production-specific monomers development and as director of the coproducer business team, he took charge of a research group at Corporate Research and became research head at WACKER SILICONES. From 2004 until 2013, he was first a business team director and then vice president of the Engineering Silicones business unit. In 2013, Bernd Pachaly became vice president of the Innovation Silicones service unit and, since 2014, has also headed the Silicones 3D Printing project.

  • Florian Pelzl

    Business Development Manager 3D ViscoTec

    Florian Pelzl is working as Business Development Manager at ViscoTec Pumpen- u. Dosiertechnik GmbH in Töging / Germany.

    He studied Plastic Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences in Rosenheim and completed with the diploma in 2007.

    For over 7 years he worked in the development and application engineering in the medical sector.

    Florian Pelzl joined ViscoTec on March 1st 2015.

    His responsibility is the implementation of a specific pump technology for high viscous pastes in 3d printers as well as all associated marketing and commercial activities.

  • Wojciech Pisula

    Head of Applied Technology Silicone Evonik Industries

    Prof. Dr. Wojciech Pisula is Head of Applied Technology Silicone at the Business Line Silica at Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH. He has started his professional career in chemical industry at the Chemical Engineering Center of Evonik Industries AG in 2006. Between 2011 and 2016 he worked as Senior Business Development Manager at the business unit of Acrylic Polymers. Prof. Dr. Wojciech Pisula gained his Master of Science in chemical engineering at the University of Wales, Swansea, in 2002. In 2005, he completed his PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz and in 2015 his habilitation at the Technical University of Darmstadt. In the same year, he became an Associate Professor at the Lodz University of Technology, Poland. 

  • Leopold Praher

    Global Sales Manager Elast/LIM ENGEL

    Leopold Praher studied mechanical engineering at the Technical High School in Waidhofen/Ybbs and received his engineering degree in 1986. He started his professional carrier 1986 at Strabag AG as project engineer for designing asphalt mixing plants. In 1988 he changed to ENGEL Austria to take over the responsibility for spare parts for large machines. Since 1994 he is with the Rubber / LIM Department stating as a sales engineer and in 2000 he took over the responsibility as a world wide Sales Director for this segment.

  • Raphael Reiffel

    German RepRap Sales Manager

    November 2015 - Present: Sales Manager at German RepRap
    December 2014 - November 2015: Channel Manager at German RepRap
    January 2014 - July 2014: Freelancer at The Box Office

  • Stephen Clarson

    Stephen J. Clarson

    Professor of Chemical and Materials Engineering SEEBME University of Cincinnati

    Stephen J. Clarson was born and educated in England but currently resides in Cincinnati with his wife, their two daughters and one son. He obtained his doctoral degree in Chemistry at the University of York, England in 1985 where he studied with the late Tony Semlyen. He then spent the summer of 1985 at the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry in Prague, Czechoslovakia before taking up a postdoctoral appointment with James Mark. In 1988 he joined the faculty of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. During the period 1992-1998  he was  the Associate Director and then Director of the Polymer Research Center. From 1995-2000

    Dr. Clarson served a five year term as Assistant Dean for Educational Development in  the College of Engineering. He is currently Professor of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Cincinnati and Director of the NSF I/UCRC Membrane Science and Technology Center. He is the Editor-in-Chief of SILICON (Springer) and has served on several journal editorial boards.


    In January, 2000 Dr. Clarson was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC). In February, 2010 the American Chemical Society Cincinnati section named him "Chemist of the Year". He has received numerous award for his teaching including the Neil Wandmacher Excellence in Teaching Award in 1993 for 'Most Outstanding Teacher in the College of Engineering', the TEXNIKOI  Award in 1992 for 'Outstanding Teaching and Service  to  the  College  of  Engineering'  and  the   Engineering  Tribunal  Award,   for

    'Outstanding Teacher of the Quarter', Spring Term, 1992 and Spring Term, 1995. He was nominated by the UC student chapter to membership of the engineering honors society Tau Beta Pi in 1999. Dr. Clarson has published over two hundred technical articles and co-authored five books: 'Siloxane Polymers' (1993); 'Silicones and Silicone-Modified Materials' (2000); 'Synthesis and Properties of Silicones and Silicone-Modified Materials' (2003); ‘The  Science  and  Technology  of  Silicones  and  Silicone-Modified  Materials’ (2007) and ‘Advances in Silicones and Silicone-Modified Materials’ (2010). The research carried out in his group has led to a number of inventions and he holds five US patents and two Japanese patents. He has been PI or Co-PI of research awards totaling over $4M in the past ten years and his current scientific research interests include materials chemistry, polymer synthesis, silicon-based chemistry, biomaterials, biomineralization, biocatalysis, optoelectronic materials, thin films and surface science.

    • USA
  • Nicolina Topic

    Development Engineer Krauss Maffei

    Nicolina Topic studied Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Munich. Her Bacheor's and Master's programme Design and Construction was mainly focused on part design and FEM simulations. During her studies Ms Topic gained experience in the design and conception of plastic parts as a working student in a leading company for automotive development services. She completed her studies with a Master's thesis about a further development of the injection molding process at KraussMaffei Technologies GmbH. Since January 2016 Ms Topic works as a R&D Engineer for KrausMaffei Technologies GmbH and focuses on the development of process controls for thermoset and silicone injection molding. 

  • Hans Peter Wolf

    Dr. Hans Peter Wolf

    Manager Research & Development, Silicone Rubber Dow Corning GmbH

    Dr. Hans Peter Wolf studied Chemistry at the University Frankfurt and completed his Ph-D. in inorganic Chemistry 1988 with the dissertation work about „Gasphase reactions on Raney Nickel and with shock cooled zinc“.

    He started his career at Dow Corning in November 1988 and worked as research and TS&D chemist for direct process and automotive market until 1991. From 1992 -1996 he worked in the supply chain organization as Upgrade Engineer and later as Elastomer Production Leader in Wiesbaden. Between 1997- 2007 he was Manager of the application technology and technical service team for silicone rubber in Europe.

    Since 2008 he is Global Research and Development Manager for Silicone Rubber.

    • Germany
  • Rick Ziebell

    Vice President of Technology R.D.Abbott Company, Inc.

    Rick A. Ziebell, is a Graduate of Chemical and Materials Engineering from California Polytechnic University with advanced studies in Polymer Science and is a multiple patentee in silicone rubber technology. With over thirty years of experience in both rubber fabrication and raw material technologies, he lectures the accredited Two-Semester Basic Rubber Technology Course for The Los Angeles Rubber Group (TLARGI) and the Advanced Rubber Technology courses for ACS Rubber Division. He holds the position of Vice President of Technology & Innovation at R.D. Abbott Company, a leading supplier of rubber polymers and chemicals in North America.