New management for the Polymer Centre

Posted on Sunday, September 21st, 2008 in News| Share this article
Malcolm Butler

After five years at the helm of Sheffield’s Polymer Centre, Dr Malcolm Butler has been appointed Faculty Director of Operations for the University’s Faculty of Engineering.

When Malcolm returned to the University of Sheffield after 12 years with Corus, the Polymer Centre looked very different. A group of primarily polymer chemists under the direction of Prof John Ebdon and Prof Tony Ryan with a modest database of 300 contacts has since grown to a network of 40 Sheffield research groups in science, engineering and medicine communicating with outside contacts numbering over 2000.

The Polymer Centre now offers an extensive range of training and education courses via the Polymer IRC modular course, bespoke training courses for companies and Sheffield’s taught MSc in Polymers for Advanced Technologies. The team further applies its event management expertise in running conferences and seminars for academic groups across the University.

The team now provides a comprehensive business liaison service, mapping client needs onto the expertise and facilities available across the academic network, recommending project formats and assisting in project management where necessary.

One of Malcolm’s most significant achievements was the foundation in 2005 of FaraPack Polymers Ltd (FPP), Sheffield’s spin-out contract polymer R&D company, which delivers the short– and medium-term research projects that clients often want but which can be difficult to manage through university systems.

Malcolm has now stepped down as Polymer Centre Manager and Managing Director of FPP. Dr Liam Sutton, Business Research Fellow responsible for technical liaison operations since April 2006, becomes the new Polymer Centre Manager and Director of FPP.