2018 Speakers

  • Dr Claudia Mourran

    Senior Scientist Biological and Biochemical Affairs Abiomed Europe

    Dr Claudia Mourran is Senior Scientist Biological and Biochemical Affairs at Abiomed Europe. 

  • Christopher Ellingford

    PhD Researcher University of Warwick

    Christopher Ellingford is currently a PhD researcher in the International Institute for Nanocomposites Manufacturing (IINM) in WMG at the University of Warwick, UK. His expertise is on multifunctional dielectric elastomers for their use in energy generators in automotive applications.

  • Patrick Ellis

    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).

  • Lorenza Gardella

    R&D Manager XLANCE s.r.l.

    Lorenza Gardella got her PhD in Chemical Sciences and Technologies at University of Genova, specialising in polymer science. Since 2016 she has been in charge of the technical and product developments of XLANCETM elastic yarn.

  • Hiroyuki Ichino

    R&D Team Leader Asahi Kasei Corporation

    Hiroyuki Ichino joined Asahi Kasei Corporation in 2012. His activities include R&D of hydrogenated styrenic thermoplastic elastomer, technical service and application developments. He received his master’s degree in Agricultural Science from The University of Tokyo, Japan in 2012.

  • Stefan Knoll

    Vice President Engineering HARRY´s Feintechnik GmbH Eisfeld

    Stefan Knoll is Vice President of Product Development at Harry's Grooming. He has more than 25 years experience in the automotive, industry, household appliances, computer input devices and razors.Educational background: Dipl. Ing. Mechanical engineering.

    He worked for different global companies in different industries Dr. Schneider GmbH, Cherry GmbH, ZF Friedrichshafen AG and since January 2016 for Harry´s. Long-term experience in developing innovative products in different positons, crossfunctional project management, production.

  • Thomas Koeppl

    Group Product Manager HEXPOL TPE

    Dr.-Ing. Thomas Koeppl studied Material Science at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and did his PhD at University Bayreuth where he followed up with plastics engineering.
    He worked in the polymer foam industry before joining the HEXPOL TPE group in 2015. He is based in Germany and responsible for the Product Management of the global TPE business.

  • Dr Marc Kreye

    Materials Technology Polymers, Deputy Groupleader Group Powertrain and Chassis Volkswagen

    2006-2010 at Continental AG - Chemist, Compound Development, Material Development Tires (R&D tires). 2010-2012 Portfolio Manager (truck tires), Product Development, 20112-2016 at Volkswagen AG, Senior Specialist in Materials Technology Polymer, Group Powertrain and Chassis (Quality Volkswagen Brand), 2016-today Sub-Department Leader (Deputy) Materials Technology Polymers. 

  • Sebastien Merzlic

    Market Development Engineer Arkema Technical Polymers

    Sebastien Merzlic obtained his Master’s degree in polymer science and engineering from Chimie ParisTech and Pierre et Marie Curie university in 2015. Then he joined Arkema, first in the King of Prussia Research center (Pennsylvania, USA), focusing on Kynar® PVDF resins for the photovoltaic industry, then he moved back to France to be appointed Market Development Engineer in Cerdato Research Center (Normandy area) taking care of Specialty Polyamides for consumer and industrial applications.

  • Nobuhiro Miwa

    Technical Service Manager Kuraray

    Nobuhiro Miwa joined Kuraray Co., Ltd. in 2001.  He worked for Kuraray America, Inc. in 2015-2017 and then joined Kuraray Europe GmbH as a Technical Service Manager in 2017. His activities include of Application Development, Technical Service. He represents the company’s Styrenic (SEPTON™ and HYBRAR™) and Acrylic based TPEs (KURARITY™). He received his B.S. and M.S. in Polymer chemistry from Kyoto University, Japan in 2001

  • Xuesong Peng

    Senior Consultant Nexant Energy & Chemicals Advisory

    Xuesong Peng is a Senior Consultant in Nexant Energy & Chemicals Advisory, focusing on chemicals, elastomers and plastics for Europe, Middle East and Asia Region.  He has 12 years consulting experience in the chemicals and polymers sector, leading a wide range of engagements from strategic review, market analysis, feasibility studies, technology and cost benchmarking, to technical and commercial due diligence supporting project finance and M&A transactions.  Most recently, he led a detailed global market analysis on TPU, and a synthetic rubber cost benchmarking study for Europe and beyond.

    Xuesong holds MSc with Distinction in Technology Management from Queen Mary, University of London and BSc in Materials Science and Engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

  • Dr Stefan Roth

    Professor of Product Development/Design & Head of Material Innovation University of Applied Sciences Schmalkalden

    Professor of Product Development/Design University of Applied Sciences Schmalkalden

    University degree in Plastics Technology at Chemnitz University of Technology, Chemnitz (Germany)

    PhD Chemnitz University of Technology, thesis "Electromagnetic Shielding by steel fibre filled compounds"

    First knowledge in automotive industry at Mann+Hummel, Ludwigsburg (Germany): R&D, field of work FEM, injection molding simulation of air intake and filter systems

    He gained broad experience in the field of plastics in medical for more than 10 years with B.Braun Melsungen AG, Melsungen (Germany), i.e. development of pump devices for infusion therapy, project management. He was heading a group of material science experts, working in the field  material selection for medical disposables and pumps, formula development and refinement and polymer analysis.

    Since 2017 he is professor for product development and design. Together with his colleague, Prof. Thomas Seul, he heads the Laboratory of Applied Polymer Technology at the University of Applied Sciences Schmalkalden, Germany, with focus on polymer science and plastics processing, additive manufacturing and validation in medical application.

  • Guenter Scholz

    Product Development Elastomers BASF Polyurethanes

    Guenter is a polymer chemist by education. After his thesis at University in Hannover about Natural Rubber he joined BASF in Lemfoerde, Northern Germany, on TPU business in 1988. Since then he is in charge of Product Development mainly, in between for manufacturing as well. After a three-year delegation in 2012 to Detroit, Michigan, he is back in Lemfoerde on the same job in leading TPU Product Development.

  • Suresh Swaminathan

    Executive Vice President Teknor Apex

    Suresh Swaminathan currently serves as the Executive Vice President and member of the Senior Executive Management Team at Teknor Apex Company, a global independent compounder of thermoplastics headquartered in the United States. Mr. Swaminathan holds a key leadership role in enabling the establishment of a strategic blueprint and executing the strategic initiatives to grow the company's business globally. He joined Teknor Apex in 1987 as Process Engineer and has held various positions in technology, operations, new business development, marketing and business management with increasing levels of responsibility over the years. Mr. Swaminathan has 30+ years of experience in the plastics industry, becoming highly skilled in multi-site team management, business acquisition, organizational restructuring, business development, and P&L management. He holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Chemical Engineering, a master’s degree in Polymer Engineering and an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Marketing.

  • Marcus Taylor

    CEO Silent Sensors

    Marcus Taylor, CEO of Silent Sensors Ltd, has a broad experience in the IT and telecoms sector and its application in sectors including automotive, payments, media, health and travel. He has worked for both start-ups and blue chip companies and has strong understanding of company management, project management, product management, human factors and product/service lifecycles. As CEO, he drove Erlang Solutions to become the world leader in Erlang/OTP and provider of scalable systems, embedded automotive systems and IOT.

  • Dr Krishna Venkataswamy

    Vice President, Business Development and Technical Marketing Star Thermoplastic Alloys & Rubbers, Inc.

    Dr. Krishna Venkataswamy is the Vice President of Business Development and Technical Marketing at Star Thermoplastics, a leading TPE solution provider in North America.  Krishna is an independent member of Board of Directors of Zylog ElastoComp, a Pune based TPE company.  Krishna served as a Sr. Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Interface (Lydall)Performance Materials.  Prior to that he has held senior global technology leadership positions at PolyOne/GLS, GAF Corporation and Advanced Elastomer Systems (Santoprene), JV of Monsanto and Exxon. His global responsibilities include organizational and business responsibilities spanning North America, Europe and Asia. 

    Krishna has been in the Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) industry for thirty years.  He has worked in consumer, medical, industrial and automotive applications and his efforts have led to several commercial products.  He is considered one of the most successful industry leaders in commercializing technologies. He has over fifty patents and technical papers to his credit.

    Dr. Venkataswamy was honored with “2012 Annual Award in Research and Engineering Technology” from the Society of Plastic Engineers, an international society of polymer and plastics professionals, for his technical innovations leading to commercial success in plastics.  Prior to this, he has honored with “2006 Fellow Award” from the SPE for his technical contributions and commercial successes in the Thermoplastic Elastomer Industry.  Only 300 SPE members (1% of the total membership globally) counting 2006 awardees are elected to this prestigious status since the Fellow program inception.

    Krishna has been the recipient of the “Outstanding Achievement Award for Leadership in 1999”, from Society of Plastics Engineers for his outstanding contributions as the Chairman of Board of Directors of Engineering Properties and Structures Division (EPSDIV) for 1997-1998.   He served as a Director on the EPSDIV Board for ten years. He was a Director of the Distinguished Alumni Board at the University of Florida for a decade. He was the Chairman for the New Technology Forum” which is focused on conducting symposiums on future trends in technology treat the SPE national meetings and currently serving as a member. He is an elected member of American Chemical Society.

    Dr. Venkataswamy was awarded the Sherwin-Williams/ICI award in Applied Polymer Science in 1986 from Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering, of American Chemical Society.  This was for a paper from his doctoral dissertation which was among nearly one hundred papers considered for this award that year. 

    Dr. Venkataswamy has chaired or co-chaired many American and international conferences on Thermoplastic Elastomers.  He has delivered several invited plenary /key note speeches on TPEs in international conferences in US, Europe and Asia.  Krishna has delivered  invited lectures in international conferences organized by American Chemical Society, Society of Plastics Engineers and European RAPRA as well as in academic and research institutions such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Akron, University of Florida, SPE (Mumbai @ UDCT), Indian Institute of Technology and National Chemical Laboratories (Pune, India). 

    Krishna was awarded a PhD in Polymer Science and Engineering from Case Western University in 1985.  He has a master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

    Krishna has been married for 34 years.  He has a son and a daughter and lives in Crystal Lake, Illinois

    He enjoys classical music and loves sports.  He actively contributes and supports an orphanage in his birth place.

  • Dr Frieder Vielsack

    Head of Advance Development KRAIBURG TPE GmbH

    Studies of Chemistry at the KIT (Karlsruher Institut für Technologie)
    1998 PhD in Chemistry KIT (Karlsruher Institut für Technologie)
    1999 Development Manager (KRAIBURG TPE)
    2001 Team Manager International Key Accounts (KRAIBURG TPE)
    2004 Head of Product Management  (KRAIBURG TPE)
    2011 Head of Advance Development (KRAIBURG TPE)

    • Germany
  • Dirk von Falkenhayn

    Senior Technology Manager Europe PolyOne Corporation

    Dirk von Falkenhayn is the Application Development and Technical Manager for PolyOne´s TPE division EU and responsible for product development, application development, process development and technical service. He graduated from Aachen University in 1992 with a Master of Mechanical Engineering degree, after which he began working in Th. Bergmann / PolyOne production site at Gaggenau as Technical Service Engineer for TPE and engineering thermoplastics. After fully specializing in TPE he was holding increasingly responsible positions in development and product management, and now leads the European part of the GLS R&D and Technical Service group.


  • Christoph Zimmermann

    Material Technology Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV), Aachen University

    Christoph Zimmermann studied mechanical engineering at the RWTH Aachen University with focus on plastics technology (Bachelor and Master). He wrote his master thesis at the IKV in the field of elastomer design.

    Career (2016 until now)

    Since August 2016, he has been working as a research assistant at the Institute of Plastics Processing at the RWTH Aachen University. He is employed in the department of part design and material technology, where he is involved in the modelling and design of elastomers as well as thermoplastic elastomers

    Current research focus

    Modelling of the mechanical material behaviour of thermoplastic elastomers under complex stress conditions.