A keystone of our commitment to leading change in establishing circular economies for PLFs was our sustainability task force, which was announced in 2021 and had its first meeting in January 2022.
We convened a group that includes representatives from Afton Chemical, BASF, Croda, Crown Paints, Dow, Northumbrian Water, Scott Bader, Unilever, United Utilities and Walgreens Boots Alliance, to establish clear industry leadership across the markets that PLFs are so integral to.
They came together in three 'mission lab' workshops to examine the challenges and opportunities facing PLFs. These invaluable insights shaped our roadmap for sustainable PLFs by 2040. Having fulfilled its aim, the task force is now at an end, and we would like to thank all members for their contributions.
Polymers are important building-blocks for a myriad of everyday products, but unlike plastics they’re hidden from ‘sustainability view’. We need to change this. We need a concerted multi-sector and supply chain effort to look for technical innovation that reduces polymer impact and we need to drive a clear strategy action. I am excited to be leading this group to achieve these aims.
I am Immediate Past President of the Royal Society of Chemistry Industry and Technology Division Council. I have worked extensively on regional economic development and was founding chair of the North East England Innovation Board. I currently chair Northern Accelerator, the research commercialisation programme for five universities in the north-east of England. I previously held global R&D positions with Procter and Gamble.
I joined Afton Chemical in 2008, where I held several R&D Leadership roles and am now Senior R&D Director. This is a global role responsible for product development and all application research, additive, polymer and fundamental development across the business. I am also responsible for all long-term chemical engineering and physical science research for the corporation.
Prior to Afton, I had over two decades of experience in the lubricant industry, having worked for Exxon Chemical, Infineum and BP, leading commercial development of lubricant additives and holding several formulation, customer and OEM-facing roles and specific roles on strategy and planning.
I am a native of northern Scotland, gaining Honours degree and PhD in Chemistry from the University of Edinburgh, and a MBA at Oxford Brookes University. During this time, I was also accepted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. I am active in the RSC management committees and boards, with a passion for capability development in schools and universities and the support of chemistry in our Industries. I also an Honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh, where a primary focus is Outreach initiatives.
Afton Chemical is one of four major global companies that focus on the development of petroleum additives, delivering enhanced performance for fuels, lubricants and speciality fluids in the automotive sector. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Afton has R&D, commercial and manufacturing facilities in all continents.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Sustainable Polymers in Liquid Formulation task force, providing a strong consolidated platform for positive change. Formulated products play a critical part in our daily life, with many polymeric materials central to those technologies and the value they bring to society. In overlaying the environmental challenges we face, it is critical for society that we create new and sustainable solutions that enable value from PLFs in the future.
I studied biology at the Philipps University Marburg and received my PhD in 1998 at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology. Afterwards I started my BASF career within the central R&D department, followed by marketing positions for fine chemicals and ecoflex® & ecovio® with a focus on strategy and new business development.
Since 2010 I have been head of biodegradable and biobased polymer research at BASF. The focus of this research is the fundamental understanding of the biodegradation process in different environments and the development of new biodegradable and biobased materials for different applications. I am also teaching at the University of Marburg.
A scientific-based constructive dialogue of all stakeholders is needed to retain the advantages of PLFs and adapt this important material class to achieve a circular economy and a reduced carbon footprint. The Royal Society of Chemistry initiative will be a good catalyst for this process.
I hold a BSc in chemistry, an MSc in surface science and catalysis and a PhD in tribology from the University of Cambridge. I joined Croda as a graduate in 2001 and over the past 20 years I have held several positions across different Croda markets, divisions and functions including personal care sales in Latin America, performance technologies Business Development Manager for North America and life sciences Vice President for Europe with both technical and commercial responsibility.
I am currently the Vice President of Innovation and Technology Development across all Croda sectors, with responsibility for developing and sourcing new innovation including via acquisition and licensing of new technologies. The biodegradability of new chemistry is of vital importance today and therefore the RSC PLFs task force is of critical importance and I have with me the full support of Croda and its resources to help the Task Force achieve its ambitions.
I obtained a degree in pharmacy at the University of Brussels in 1985 and continued my studies with a PhD in toxicology and cellular biology at Université de Rennes, a post-doctoral degree in Molecular Toxicology from Perth, Australia, and a master's degree in sustainability from the University of Stockholm.
I started my professional career in 1991 as a toxicologist in the pharmaceutical industry at Eli Lilly, Belgium, and then joined Dow in 1994 in Philadelphia, US, before moving with Dow to France. I have since held several technical and commercial roles in Dow’s coatings and consumer solutions business, and in January 2020 I was appointed as Sustainability Director.
Creating the Sustainable Polymers in Liquid Formulation task force is a critical milestone in support of the usage of polymers across industry application and for the innovation of next generation sustainable polymers. Dow is proud member of this Royal Society of Chemistry task force and will be a supportive and active contributor to reach its objectives.
I am a physical chemist with a passion for innovation. I have been working with Northumbrian Water for over three years, where I have been embedding a culture of innovation by creating effective processes and strategies that result in purpose-driven and tangible output. Leveraging my cross-sector expertise, I have a track record of business-building product and commercial innovations across multiple fast-moving consumer goods categories including managing the front-end innovation pipeline of a billion-dollar franchise. I am a strategic thinker who thinks ‘out of the box’ to create novel solutions collaboratively and by providing focus by making the complex simple.
From spending almost three decades with Scott Bader I have gained experience as a technical manager with strong commercial awareness in the composites, adhesives and polymer industry. My numerous roles within the group have involved managing large technical teams and the implementation of Stage Gate project and portfolio management tools.
I am currently particularly interested in managing business development activity to identify new business and new technology opportunities. My background in education includes Masters degrees at both the University of Cambridge and The Open University, where I completed an MBA in business administration.
I lead Unilever’s research and development campus in the US, and am also Global Vice President for both our Prestige division and Skin Care R&D. In this latter role, I am responsible for delivery from innovation to market in 89 countries and across several billion euros of turnover. In my 20 years with Unilever, I have been site leader for a new R&D facility in Shanghai and have headed Unilever’s research organisation in China.
I have previously been on the Faculty of Health and Beauty America, a Beauty Disruptor with the CEW network, a member of the Board of Judges for the RSC Emerging Technologies Initiative and a co-convenor of the Unilever Asian Dermatological Forum. Prior to Unilever I graduated from Cambridge University and the University of Leeds, where I completed my PhD in polymer physics. I have also worked as a scientist for the UK Ministry of Defense, and have been an adjunct Professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
I completed my PhD in Microbiology of Drinking Water at Manchester University before joining what was then North West Water in 1998, later becoming United Utilities. I have worked in a number of technical and scientific roles focused on securing and providing safe clean drinking water, including time as a research scientist optimising water treatment processes.
I am a Chartered Biologist and currently Chief Scientific Officer at United Utilities, heading up the Laboratory, overseeing the relationship with the drinking water quality regulator - Drinking Water Inspectorate and I have a keen interest in making science more accessible to the younger generation.
I am currently Global Research and Innovation Director at Walgreens Boots Alliance supporting its global brands business. My career as a business leader and scientific expert has included leadership roles across research & development, innovation, packaging, consumer testing and regulatory affairs in the beauty, personal care and healthcare sectors for CPG and retail businesses.
In addition, I was Chair of CTPA, the UK Cosmetics industry trade association, for 4 years and have held a number of strategic advisory positions with universities and regional government agencies in the UK. I have a PhD in Physical Chemistry from Imperial College and I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
I hold a Masters degree from the Indian Institute of Technology and won a Jawaharlal Nehru Trust scholarship to study for my PhD in organometallic chemistry at the University of Cambridge. I am a professional technologist and business leader with 28 years’ experience in the fast-moving consumer goods sector. This involved leading product and technology innovation programmes impacting several billion dollars of sales around the world and enabled Procter and Gamble’s expansion into new markets. I have been awarded multiple innovation awards and I am an inventor on over 50 patents, with over 20 peer-reviewed publications.
I have coordinated several high-impact industry-academia collaboration programmes, and am an immediate past member of the EPSRC strategic advisory team for the physical sciences and also for the circular economy. Since retiring in May 2021, I have been appointed to several honorary positions including Professor in Practice at Durham University, Senior Research Fellow at University of Birmingham, equality and inclusion advisor to EPSRC and have been appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
If you would like to get involved with our work to make PLFs more sustainable, you may be interested in our Synergy programme, which brings together businesses from different industries to tackle complex chemistry topics.