Highly effective seminars and hands-on workshops held several times throughout the year


Seminars are taught by world-renowned faculty and industry leaders

Dr. Carol Barry is a faculty member of the Plastics Engineering Department at UMass Lowell. As well as teaching courses in plastics processing and computer-aided engineering, she coordinates the undergraduate plastics processing laboratories. Dr. Barry is also an active researcher in these areas.

Thomas Bezigian is a consultant in film extrusion, extrusion coating, packaging, and converting. He has specialized in process troubleshooting, product development and design, and quality management. He received a B.S. in Plastics Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and an M.B.A. from Bryant College and has written extensively in his areas of expertise.

Professor Stephen Burke Driscoll has been a faculty member in the Plastics Engineering Department for almost 40 years. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in polymeric materials, additives and modifiers for plastics materials, testing / characterization with an emphasis on dynamic mechanical rheological testing, and marketing. Professor Driscoll was past Chair of the ASTM D20 Committee on Plastics Sections on Long-Term Properties and Dynamic Mechanical Properties, the D20 Advisory Subcommittee, a member of the D20 Executive Subcommittee, an appointed member of ASTM International COTCO, and an elected member of the ASTM International Board of Directors. He is a Fellow of ASTM International as well as a Fellow of The Society of Plastics Engineers. He is one of very few SPE members also awarded the Honored Service Member recognition. He received the SPE International Education Award in 2004. He has presented / published more than 100 technical articles, has organized several plastics conferences, consulted for many international plastics-oriented companies, and is a United Nations Consulting Fellow for Rheology.

Dr. Stephen Johnston came to UMass Lowell in 2003 to pursue his M.S. degree and subsequently his Ph.D. in Plastics Engineering. His expertise is in the area of instrumentation, analysis, and simulation of the injection molding process. Dr. Johnston has worked at Lord Corp., Moldflow Corp., Bausch & Lomb Inc., and does research and consulting for numerous other companies. In the fall of 2007, he started teaching courses at UMass Lowell. His course offerings focus on mold design, product design and processing.

Vijay Kudchadkar is a polymer engineer who has become an expert in analyzing and troubleshooting problems in extrusion, injection molding, thermoforming and blow molding. Kudchadkar graduated from the University of Pune in 2003 with a Bachelor's Degree in Polymer Engineering and from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2005 with a Master's Degree in Plastics Engineering. Since joining COMPUPLAST®, Kudchadkar has designed and troubleshooted numerous dies and screws for applications in profile, multi-lumen, sheet, cast film, and blown film extrusion. Kudchadkar has numerous publications and four patents in the field of polymer processing, and presents at COMPUPLAST seminars around the world.

Suhas Kulkarni is the President of FIMMTECH, a consulting firm that specializes in services related to injection molding. He earned his Master's in Plastics Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and a Bachelor's in Polymer Engineering from the University of Poona in India. He has 20 years of experience as a process engineer. His main area of expertise is Scientific Processing for Injection Molding. Based on his experience, he has developed a custom software called Nautilus, that aids the complete process development routine to production release. He has given numerous presentations on injection molding related topics and written several articles. He is also an author of the book Robust Process Development and Scientific Molding published by Hanser Publications.

Dr. Francis Lai is a professor in the Plastics Engineering Department at UMass Lowell. He holds a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering. His interests are mainly in plastics processing and computer-aided engineering. He has more than 40 years of academic and industrial experience in plastics materials and manufacturing research and development. His current research focuses on the applications of micro engineering, extrusion and injection molding in medical devices.

Dr. Ramaswamy Nagarajan is an assistant professor in the Plastics Engineering Department at UMass Lowell. Dr. Nagarajan's research is in the area of "greener" routes to the synthesis and processing of polymeric materials. Dr. Nagarajan has developed enzymatic/biomimetic routes for synthesizing electrically conductive and photoresponsive polymers. His teaching interests include polymers from renewable resources, rubber technology, thermal and morphological characterization of materials. He has authored roughly 30 papers published in peer-reviewed journals and is named co-inventor in seven patents related to enzyme catalysis.

Michael Paloian is president of Integrated Design Systems, Inc. (IDS), located in Great Neck, New York. Since its inception almost 30 years ago, IDS has developed hundreds of products ranging from MRI machines to pool chlorinators for companies worldwide. Mr. Paloian received his undergraduate degree in Plastics Engineering from Lowell Technological Institute in 1972 and his Master's of Industrial Design from Rhode Island School of Design in 1976. His unique education as an industrial designer and plastics engineer has enabled him to design products from concept to production. Mr. Paloian has more than 30 years experience designing products in numerous materials, including plastics, metals and composites. Mr. Paloian's extensive experience in numerous markets as both an industrial designer and engineer provides him with a distinctive advantage in optimizing designs based on materials, process and cost.

Mr. Paloian holds more than 30 patents, has been committee chairman for the SPE and frequently lectures for numerous professional organizations internationally. Michael has also written numerous articles concerning design for publications such as Machine Design, Design News, Innovation, Rotation and Plastics Design Forum.

Dr. John Perdikoulias is a licensed Professional Engineer with 20 years of experience in the plastics industry. He has a Master's Degree in Engineering from McMaster University and a Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo in Ontario. He has designed numerous screws and over 200 dies for the tubular (blown) film process including the world's first commercially available 8- and 9-layer blown film dies. Mr. Perdikoulias has also designed many dies for profile pipe, tubing, blow molding and coating applications. In 1990, he co-founded Compuplast International Inc., a company that provides engineering services, product development assistance and specialty flow simulation software specifically designed for the polymer processing industry.

Dr. Alex Shakhnovich received his M.S. in Chemistry in 1972 from Moscow State University and his Ph.D. in Heterocyclic Chemistry in 1979 from Institute of Dyes and Intermediates in Moscow. After working at different academic and industrial institutions in the Soviet Union, he joined the research team of Clariant (SANDOZ) in Charlotte, NC in 1991, where he developed dyes for the automotive industry, non-tendering Sulfur Black and porphyrine catalysts. From 1996 to 2002, Dr. Shakhnovich worked at GE Plastics and GE Corporate R&D in Niskayuna, NY. The focus of his work ranged from weather-able colorant gamuts for Geloy, PC, PBT and Ultem to coloration of self-healing polymers. Since 2002, he has worked in the R&D center of Cabot Corporation in Billerica, MA, holding the position of Cabot Research Fellow in Industrial Organic Chemistry. His research interests include synthesis, surface modification and application of organic colorants for non-impact printing. He is the author of multiple research articles and 15 US and European patents and an inventor of four organic colorants, listed in Colour Index.

Steve Thibeault is the President of Poly-Ject Inc., a small custom injection molder and mold maker located in Amherst, NH. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Plastics Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He has designed and built over 200 injection molds for products ranging from tight tolerance military connectors to sporting goods, medical devices and everything in between. He also does all of the part designs at Poly-Ject for a wide range of customers and applications.

Dr. Javier Vera-Sorroche is Assistant Professor at UMass Lowell. He earned his M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Murcia University in Spain, and Ph.D. from the IRC Polymer Engineering Research Group at the University of Bradford, UK. He is an author of 14 publications. Before UMass Lowell, Javier worked in Smithers Rapra (UK) as Senior Technologist for two years and has been involved on both long term EU research projects and much shorter scale client projects. This covers a wide range of polymers and processing techniques. He has also been Manager of rheological services. His teaching and research are in the areas of control engineering, greener manufacturing processes, recycling, pharmaceutical and reactive extrusion and rheology.