On becoming a member of the committee of the Formulation Science and Technology Group (FSTG) after having spent nearly 30 years working on formulation in many diverse forms - from paints to foods, from cement to non-stick coatings - I thought I knew a lot, but I soon found out there was a lot I din't know. So now as chair of the committee I have realised that I probably never will know everything, so doing the second best thing trying to enable other people to share their knowledge on formulation.
The rapid rate of product obscelence, ingredient replacement and sustainability means that formulation is now more important for the UK than ever before, and so being chair of the FSTG means I am to help progress formulation in a small way.
What qualifies me to be chair of the FSTG is probably the fact that I was foolish enough to take on the job. Some of my past experience also helps me as well (see below), but really helps are all the professionals on the committee and then many other people who help with our activities.
I am putting together a corrosion protection community of practice (CorProCOP) across AkzoNobel. Corrosion protection is key to our use of materials and a key part of producing a sustainable future for the global economy, AkzoNobel is a major player in corrosion protection across the globe. CorProCOP provides an understanding of AkzoNobel's wide range of product offerings into corrosion proteciton, is custodian of the large body of expertise within AkzoNobel - putting faces to this expertise, provide the network for the people and provides the window to external organisations working on corrosion protection.
I was a member of the Centre of Excellence in High Throughput Science – running programmes implementing, a) methodologies and software which optimise R&D efficiency and effectiveness and b) a series of automated sample preparation and measurement systems for a range of Akzo Nobel's difficult to handle materials. Measurements have included - formulation stability, optical properties, image analysis, chemical analysis, mechanical strength, moisture uptake. Informatics has involved robot control through data collection to development of data analysis tools. Previously I have worked on projects where colloid science was the key enabling science used across the entire range of ICI's historic businesses and more recently with Akzo Nobel businesses – latex polymer, sunscreens, surfactants, foods, catalysts, cement, gypsum, zeolites, chemical/plasma/flame/corona polymer surface modification/characterisation/energetics, wetting, rheology, PTFE.
Management and technical leadership of a team carrying out the analysis, design, prototyping, construction and delivery of high throughput systems for the preparation, processing, measurement and characterisation of formulated material products. Implementation of ICI's strategic objective to introduce high throughput experimentation (HTE / HTT) within its businesses. The involved the conception of whole laboratory replacement systems, the solution of difficult material handling problems, design of replacement automated test procedures which mimic standard manual tests and the management of both preparation and characterisation information.
Management of team providing long term colloid science support across all the businesses within ICI - Dulux and Gliden Paints, Quest (fragrances and food flavours), Uniqema (surfactants), Crossfield (silicas), National Starch Adhesives, National Starch Engineering and Electronic Materials, National Starch Food Innovation, Melinex & Propafilm (polymer films), Tioxide (titanium dioxide pigments), Synetix (catalysts), Fluon (PTFE and fluoropolymer compounds).
Development of novel mechanisms to achieve adhesion between polymer films and coatings. Developed systems to apply corona, flame and plasma treatments to films, both at laboratory and commercial scale. Mechanistic understanding of the effect of electrical treatments on surface chemistry were used to optimise surface properties.