UML Plastics 2015


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.

Kristina Hansen is a consultant working with global clients in the plastics recycling industry and focuses on best practices to help companies make good package design choices. Hansen is a graduate of Wentworth Institute of Technology (2002), and began her career in project management with Weyerhaeuser. In 2010, Hansen joined the Plastics Forming Enterprises (PFE). She works closely with clients to understand the recycle community and the challenges product selection and design have on the recycle stream quality. She also manages projects for PFE's independent full service testing analytical lab and recycle pilot facility. The goal is to provide tools and data to support the research and development for the plastics, packaging, recycling and consumer products industries. As technology and materials applications have evolved, PFE has continuously adjusted to support the ongoing research and engineering through the commercial development of recycling technologies. PFE continues to lead development efforts for the next generation of plastics recycling pilot facilities and the processing of materials from new sources of plastics.

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.

Ana Maria Marin holds a Master of Science degree in Plastics Engineering from UMass Lowell, a Bachelor of Science degree in Materials Engineering, Major in Polymers from Universidad Simón Bolívar in Caracas- Venezuela and is Autodesk® Moldflow® Silver Certified. She is also an adjunct faculty member for the Department of Plastics Engineering at UMass Lowell, where she teaches a "Computer Aided Design" course.

Throughout her 12 years of professional experience with CAD and CAE products, she has assumed different roles that allowed her to expand her knowledge and experience. Her roles include Technical Instructor & Information Designer, Training Content Manager, Application Engineer and Technical Support Engineer. Her bilingual skills of English & Spanish have helped her service customers internationally including within the US, Latin-America and Europe. She is the founder of A-Z Sophisticated Solutions, LLC offering services for technical training and information design in English and Spanish.

Dr. Joey L. Mead is the Freudenberg-NOK Associate Professor of Plastics Engineering. She has over 10 years industrial and research experience in elastomers. She is actively involved in developing the elastomers concentration for the master's program in plastics, including teaching courses in rubber technology, thermoplastic elastomers, design with elastomers and processing of elastomers. Her research interests include properties and processing of thermoplastic elastomers.

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 has 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. Emmanuelle Reynaud graduated from the National Institute of Applied Sciences Lyon (INSA-Lyon) with an Engineering Diploma and a M.S. in Physics and Materials Engineering (1997). She earned her Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering at the same institute (2000) under the direction of Prof. C. Gauthier and G. Vigier on the subject of thermoplastic nanocomposites. She was a post-doc at Cornell University in the group of Prof. Emmanuel Giannelis, where she studied dispersion issues in clay nanocomposites. She joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2006, where she has pursued work on polymer nanocomposites, sustainable materials and service-learning.

Andy Routsis is an alumnus of and adjunct professor for the University of Massachusetts Lowell's Plastics Engineering Department. He has worked hand-in-hand with all levels of processing, tooling, and design personnel. A. Routsis Associates (a division of RJG), founded by Andy Routsis in 1982, has provided training and plastics engineering support to over 2,000 companies worldwide and over 70 educational training institutions. As well as providing onsite training and technical support for all aspects of plastics part design and production, A. Routsis Associates has also produced over 60 video-training programs, 20 DVDs, and over 190 interactive training programs for the plastics industry. They have pioneered the use of 3-D animation and CD-ROM technology for training in the plastics industry.

Dr. Daniel F. Schmidt graduated with University Honors from Carnegie Mellon University (1998) with a B.S. in Materials Science & Engineering and a B.S. in Chemistry following research experience with the CMU Buckyball Project. He earned his Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering at Cornell University (2003) under the direction of Prof. Emmanuel P. Giannelis on the subject of silicone nanocomposites. He was a post-doc in the first BASF group to locate in Nobel Laureate Jean-Marie Lehn’s Institut de Science et d'Ingénierie Supramoléculaires (ISIS) in Strasbourg France, where he developed nanoporous materials for thermal insulation (tradenamed ISITECT®, scale-up in progress). He joined the Department of Plastics Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2005, where he has pursued work on polymer nanocomposites, polymer networks, pre-ceramic polymers and sustainable materials. In 2012, he was recognized at the Massachusetts State House as University Research Champion by the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI).

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.

Louis Tacito is an international consultant and technical expert in the plastics recycling industry. Tacito is one of the original inventors and developers of the plastics recycling processes used globally. Tacito graduated from UMass Lowell in Plastics Engineering (1974), and began his career in management and leadership positions at Graham (formally Continental PET Technologies), DuPont Teijin Films (formally ICI) and Monsanto Chemical Company. His experience working on the original PET bottles led to his interest in focusing on plastics recycling. In 1984, Tacito founded Plastics Forming Enterprises (PFE). PFE is an independent full service testing analytical lab and recycle pilot facility, providing tools and data to support the research and development for the plastics, packaging, recycling and consumer products industries. PFE played a pioneering role in the development of many aspects of large scale PET recycling. Tacito's expertise and contributions to the plastics recycling industry includes serving as Chairperson of the SPE Recycle Division, assisting the APR in many of its committees and developing globally adopted testing protocols.

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.