2019 Speakers

The following experts presented at the 2019 conference:

  • Anas Mujtaba

    Application Development, Specialty Polymers Technology ExxonMobil Chemical Europe Inc.

    Anas, at his current position, is actively involved in product as well application development relating to Butyl rubber and Thermoplastic Vulcanizate (TPV) primarily in the automotive sector. He has master’s degree in Polymer Science and PhD in rubber science and technology from University of Halle, Germany. Anas started his career as polymer material design engineer at Fraunhofer institute, Germany. His primary focus was optimizing rubber compounds for tire tread application. In 2018, he joined ExxonMobil as an application development technologist in European Technology Center, Brussels.

  • Dietmar Becker

    Head of Process Engineering Twin-Screw Extruder KraussMaffei Berstorff GmbH


  • Dr. Cristina Bergmann

    Global Product Manager Mineral Oil and Bio-based Products Hansen & Rosenthal KG

    Dr. Cristina Bergmann finished her dissertation studies in 2004 at the German Institute of Rubber Technology (DIK) and University of Hannover under the supervision of Professor Dr. Robert Schuster.

    She worked for Continental Tires and Rhein Chemie Additives (today LANXESS Deutschland GmbH) in several positions in Applications Technology / Rubber Division until 2009, when she started as Head of R&D Laboratory for the mineral oil manufacturer Hansen & Rosenthal in Hamburg, Germany. From 2015 she is Head of R&D Process Oils and Global Product Manager Mineral Oils and Bio-Based Products for Rubber and Thermoplastics.

    Since 2015 is member of the Board of The German Rubber Society (Deutsche Kautschuk-Gesellschaft – DKG) and since 2018 First Deputy Chairman. 

  • Felicia Bokel

    Product Development Specialist BASF Polyurethanes GmbH

    Felicia Bokel is a product developer for thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) at BASF. She obtained her PhD at University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Polymer Science and Engineering. After completing her post-doctoral studies at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in conductive polymers, she joined the BASF R&D at their location in Wyandotte, MI and is currently on assignment at the Lemförde, Germany location.

  • Aizeti Burgoa Beitia

    Researcher Leartiker

    Aizeti is a researcher currently working on polymer research and development projects within the Lightweight Unit at Leartiker Polymer Research Institute. Her work is mainly focused on compounding, characterization and simulation of Thermoplastic Elastomer materials.

  • Klas Dannäs

    Global R&D Manager HEXPOL TPE AB

    Klas Dannäs has worked in the TPE industry for more than 20 years. In his role as Global R&D Manager for HEXPOL TPE he works with their international technical sales and R&D teams on the development of progressive TPE compounds that meet new and emerging market demands. Klas is leading the project team working with biobased technologies and sustainable solutions.

  • Rapra Logo

    Patrick Ellis

    Consultant Smithers

    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).

  • Markus Fiedler

    Senior Process Engineer Coperion


  • Dr. Pierre Furtwengler

    Materials and fluids engineer Groupe Renault, France

      Dr. Pierre Furtwengler joined Renault engineering team in 2018 and is in charge of polymer material development and prescription for under bonnet applications. He obtained his PhD at ECPM (Strasbourg) in the BioTeam in renewable polyol synthesis from sorbitol and PU foams formulation. He received the 2018 best PhD award from French Plastic Engineer Society (SFIP).

  • Dr.-Ing. Martin Giersbeck

    Vice President Plastics Engineering, Corporate Sector Research and Advance Engineering Robert Bosch GmbH

    Martin Giersbeck was born in Recklinghausen/Germany in 1967. He studied Mechanical Engineering at Bochum University and at Aachen Technical University. From 1995 until 1999, he was a scientific research assistant at the Institute for Plastics Processing (IKV) at Aachen. 

    In 1999, Martin Giersbeck joined Bosch. Entering as a trainee, he held several leadership positions at the Bosch subsidiary Blaupunkt at Hildesheim for a period of 10 years. Within the field of navigation systems, his scope moved from mechanical design via project management and customer acquisition to a general responsibility for aftermarket products. 

    In 2009, Martin Giersbeck changed position to join Corporate Research and Advance Engineering of Bosch. Within this organization, he has been responsible for Plastics Engineering from April 2010 on. The department used to be located in Waiblingen, but is now part of the Research Campus of Bosch at Renningen. 

  • 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.

  • Jan Utas

    Senior Scientific Advisor, Business Development Wellspect Healthcare

    Jan Utas has been responsible for R&D for LoFric for 30 years, then been working with Innovation Office at Wellspect for a couple of years and since 2018 the technical questions within Business Development.

  • Frank Kynast

    Manager Additive Manufacturing ARBURG GmbH + Co KG

    Professions: Modelmaker, CNC specialist, State-certified mechanical engineer, State-certified IT scientist

    Professional career:
    10.1987 - 1.1991 - Training as modelmaker at the company Modellbau Steigerwald
    1.1991 - Examination as modelmaker (specialising in production model making)
    2.1991 - 4.1994  - Model construction and manufacturing with the following main focuses: manufacturing of production master models, test gauges
    5.1994 - 1.1997 - Modelmaker at Funk 3D; with the field of activity:
                            - Architecture, design and design model construction
                            - Production of prototypes, functional and kinematic models for product development via various manufacturing processes
    2.997 - 12.1999 - Design engineer in the CAD CAM toolmaking department at Funk 3D
    1.2000 to 7.2005 - Head of CAM Toolmaking Department
    since 5.2000 - working as state-certified mechanical engineering technician
    8.2005 to 6.2009 - Design engineer at Herrmann Ultraschalltechnik Project planning of sonotrodes, mechanical vibration > ultrasonoitronic technology, FEM calculation, sales and application support activities
    7.2009 until 06.2013 - Project Manager MIM at the company Ohnmacht & Baumgärtner.               Range MIM-plus. Quotation preparation, technical coordination, product responsibility, technical and economic, monitoring of TCQ specifications.
    7.2013 to 12.2014 - Project manager and process optimization at the company Ohnmacht & Baumgärtner in the field of mould making and production MIM-plus. Preparation of quotations, technical coordination, product responsibility technical and economic, monitoring of TCQ specifications.
    1.2015 - present - Manager Additive Manufacturing at the company ARBURG GmbH + Co. KG >>> Additive Manufacturing

  • Wolfgang Leitner

    Film Maker iVersteh e.U.

    Wolfgang Leitner studied Automation Engineering at the university of applied sciences in Wels, Austria and received his engineer diploma in 1999. He started his professional career at TGW Logistics Group and from 2006 to 2007 he lived in Barcelona, Spain to lead the operations department. 2013 he joined ELMET where he was the sales and marketing manager and also responsible for the subsidiary in Lansing, Michigan. 2017 he founded his own company iVersteh (Austrian for “I got it”) and now helps companies to explain products and services to their customers by using animated videos.

  • 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.

  • Paul Shipton

    Consultancy Director Smithers

    Paul manages Smithers European plastics and rubber consultancy operation.  He has 25 years’ experience in plastic materials formulation, product manufacture and product development. 

    He has led the technical development of a number of successful plastics consumer and industrial products. Paul specialises in problem solving, product manufacturing process improvement and adding “know how” to clients’ businesses. Paul has built up a specialised consultancy practices in medical devices, automotive component and construction related polymer applications.

    He practises as an expert witness in litigation and criminal cases involving polymer technology.

    Before working at Smithers he ran his own Plastics and Management Consultancy businesses.

  • Wouter Vogel

    Applications Scientist Croda

    Wouter Vogel is an applications scientist within Croda, with a focus on plastics and self-healing materials. He likes dividing his time between the lab and the office: designing new polymer systems, unravelling healing mechanisms and tuning material properties by molecular design.

    He studied organic chemistry, obtaining his master’s degree from the VU University in Amsterdam. Before starting at Croda, he did a PhD in polymer chemistry at the Delft University of Technology, within the Novel Aerospace Materials research group. During his PhD, he spent half a year abroad at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to broaden the scope of his thesis on all-aromatic hyperbranched polymers.