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Industry backing for new suite of Teesside University polymer and composites in-work training programmes

26 January 2017 @TeesUniNews


Teesside University has joined forces with the Rubber and Plastics Research Association (RAPRA), the UK’s leading non-profit membership association for those working in the polymer industry, to offer a suite of new bespoke professional development courses.

Dr David Hughes
Dr David Hughes

The partnership has been created by Dr David Hughes, a materials engineer based in the University’s School of Science and Engineering, and will see RAPRA refer its members to Teesside University for the training packages.

Dr Hughes has already provided a number of training opportunities for in-work professionals in the North East and this development is expected to propel the University’s offer to polymer and composites professionals nationally and internationally, with courses also being lined up to run virtually with organisations overseas.

Four courses are now available for booking:

• Introduction to Polymeric Materials – a one-day course which provides a basic understanding of how polymeric materials are formed and how that influences and dictates their mechanical and chemical properties.

• Polymer Processing – a three-day course which builds on the introductory course and provides a general understanding of polymers and their properties, looks at processing methods, additives and fillers. The final day delves deeper into polymer rheology (flow) which is critical to understanding a number of the common settings or problems encountered when processing polymers.

• Designing Composite Parts – a one-day course giving the basic tools needed for designing for and working with composite materials for improved performance.

• Introduction to Theromplastic Composites – a one-day course which provides an introduction to thermoplastic composite materials, how they are formed and how they can be used to improve part efficiency and sustainability. Thermoplastic composites are a rapidly growing industrial sector because of the significant mechanical and economic possibilities they offer.

Dr Hughes said: 'The partnership with RAPRA is hugely significant for the University because it represents a badge of quality for our work. These courses are geared towards practising engineers, technicians, process engineers and shop floor workers, and for all polymer processing sectors including extrusion and injection moulding, and RAPRA will help us to share our expertise with a wider industry audience.

The course prepared me with the foundation knowledge and software skills that the industry requires, which has proven to be valuable in my career development.

Catherine Xiao, Pre-Sales Consultant at Siemens Industry Software

'We also see this as an important step towards achieving our ambition to be the ‘go to’ institution for polymer processing and composites support in the North East. That includes bringing companies into the University for training, research and utilising our facilities.'

Catherine Xiao, a Pre-Sales Consultant at Siemens Industry Software, completed a tailored industry course with Teesside University in composites design and manufacture and advised other companies to take up the Teesside training. 'The training was very practical,' she explained.

'I had access to composites theory books and also did composites layup to learn it in a practical way. Additionally, I had access to relevant CAD software that top companies within the industry are using, which has allowed me to stay updated with the innovative technologies in the industry.

'The course prepared me with the foundation knowledge and software skills that the industry requires, which has proven to be valuable in my career development. I would definitely recommend the training to others. The composites industry is relatively young compared with metals; having training and access to top software will greatly reduce the risks, cost and product time to market.'

Steve Shaw, RAPRA Executive Director, added: 'RAPRA is extremely pleased to welcome Teesside University into its network of only the very best technical facilities. In order to commercially exploit the latest in materials technology, there is an ongoing, acute need for this type of high quality training that enables a diverse range of industry sectors maximize the potential of their valuable staff.'

In the News

RAPRA gives backing to new polymer courses at Teeside University
British Plastics and Rubber, online, 27/01/2017
Teesside University has joined forces with RAPRA to offer a suite of new bespoke professional development courses.