SCI Fire and Materials Group: Young Researchers’ Forum

5 Sep 2014

The Young Researchers' Forum which was held at the University of Bolton on 22 July was intended to give young researchers, both students and newly graduated, an opportunity to showcase their work. Speakers from Industry were invited to discuss the challenges that young researchers experience when starting out in a career in research. Twenty seven delegates attended who were welcomed by Prof Dick Horrocks and listened to two industrial speakers, five student presentations and eight student poster presentations.

The speakers from industry were Willem Hofland of ICL-IP Europe BV and Andrew Taylor from Sherwin Williams Protective & Marine Coatings.

Willem's talk on: An Industry Perspective: Flame retardants contribution to fire safety discussed the role of the flame retardant industry in EFRA and proceeded to cover the use of flame retardants, regulation and safety. He concluded by telling the forum some of the facts around commonly held myths about the flame retardant industry.

Andrew's talk on: Challenges in the development of Fire Protection Products in 2014 informed us about Sherwin Williams' place in the market and how the need for intumescent coatings for steel reinforcement for construction has grown over the years. He went on to talk about the challenges faced by industry today in a competitive market.

Both speakers gave us good insights into the industrial sector that many young researchers will ultimately hope to be employed in.

The student presentations and posters were of a very high quality and the judges had a difficult task accessing the best for the prizes that were on offer. The presentations are listed below;

Wiwat PornwannachaiStudent presentations were given by;
B. Prieur, R2Fire group/UMET; Lignin materials as innovative renewable flame retardant for ABS
A Holdswoth, University of Bolton; Novel multifunctional fire and smoke retardants for engineering polymers       
L Krishnan, University of Bolton; Methacrylated phenolic novalac –unsaturated polyester resin blends for flame retardant composite applications
B. Girardin, R2Fire group/UMET; Pyrolysis modelling of EVA/ATH formulation,
W Pornwannachai, University of Bolton (pictured right); Flammability behaviour of biodegradable natural fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites.

Student posters presented were;
katherine WilliamsCuring behaviour and fire performance of blended resins; A Hamacek and
P Luangtriritana
Mechanical properties of polyamide 6 nanocomposites reinforced with montmorillonite; Tomasz M. Majka*, Agnieszka Leszczyńska, Krzysztof Pielichowski
A methodology for mechanistic Study of Synergism of Zinc Stannates with Flame Retardants; Nima Esmaeili ,B. Kandola
Self-sensing composites, Corentin Boucher and Emmanuel Mattei
Thermal protection of flax reinforced thermoplastic composites using sol-gel coating; Etienne Caminade and Wiwat Pornwannachai
Protection of Fire Retardant Vinyl Phosphonic Acid Coating on PMMA using Hexamethyldisiloxane; Katherine Williams (pictured right), John R Ebdon, Baljinder Kandola
Environmentally Sustainable Back-Coatings for Textiles: Current and Future Status; A.R.Horrocks, B.K.Kandola and Sara Eivazi
The effects of environmental conditions on fire performance of intumescent coated glass fibre-reinforced epoxy (GRE) composites; Piyanuch Luangtriratana and Baljinder K. Kandola

The quality and variety of all presentations was commended by the judges, Dr Brian Iddon, SCI trustee and Andrew Gesh, Sales Director, Avocet Dyes, and  three cash prizes to be awarded to:

1st prize of £100        Benjamin Prieur (pictured top)
2nd prize of £50         Katherine Williams
3rd prize of £25         Wiwat Pornannachai

Thanks were given to the judges for their hard work in deciding the winners.

The Fire and Materials Group also held their AGM during the course of the event and are pleased to say that Dr Brian Iddon was elected as Treasurer of the Group. Dick Horrocks and Gill Smart continue their terms as Chair and Secretary respectively.

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