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Quadrant Present First Composites Award For Composite Graduates

04 November 2005

Quadrant, the Swiss manufacturer of high performance thermoplastics and composites, presented the Quadrant Award to composite industry graduates earlier this week.

The launch of the Quadrant Award is intended to foster talent and facilitate access to industry for plastics scientists and engineers after completion of their academic training.

The scientific award with a prize of EUR 15 000 was won by Laurence Mathieu of France, who wrote her thesis at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland.

The winners of other awards, with a prize of EUR 5 000 each, were Juan P. Hernández-Ortiz from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, and Jan K. W. Sandler from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

The international invitation to submit entries for the award was addressed to graduates who had produced a thesis work in the subject field ofMaterials and processes related to engineering and high-performance plastics and composites between August 1, 2004, and July 31, 2005. Prior to the awards presentation ceremony, the jury had nominated six candidates from the entries received, who then had the opportunity to present their work to the jury of experts in Lenzburg, Switzerland.

The jury selected Laurence Mathieu as winner of the first prize for her thesis entitledProcessing of porous polymer composites for bone tissue engineering because “she was driving innovative ideas into an impressive realisation in the highly complex and transdisciplinary field of biomaterials, and this by understanding both the theoretical possibilities and the practical limitations involved in the creation of these emerging materials”.

The two second prizes were conferred for the theses entitledBoundary integral equations for viscous flows – non-Newtonian behaviour and solid inclusions by Juan P. Hernández-Ortiz andStructure-property-relationships of carbon nanotubes/nanofibres and their polymer composites by Jan K. W. Sandler. Juan P. Hernández-Ortiz was praised by the jury “for an excellent contribution to the theoretical developments in computational rheology, and for an exciting visualisation of complex phenomena in polymer and composites processing”, whereas Jan K. W. Sandler was acclaimed “for bringing clarity and structure in the fast evolving field of carbon nanotube based composites, and for scaling the process-property relationships up to the level of commercial manufacturing techniques”.

The members of the academic jury are on the staff of internationally acclaimed universities or institutions, have many years of experience in the field of plastics sciences, and supervise numerous master's graduates and doctoral candidates annually.

The award presented was designed by the Swiss artist Beat Zoderer. The original artist's multiple (in an edition of 3/3) is based on the artist's idea that thermoplastics can be worked in the liquid state. Liquid plastic dripping on to an object such as paper or sheeting produces drops of different sizes, which are also related to the emergence of innovative ideas in the form of drops of imagination. Beat Zoderer has translated this idea into a relief landscape of circles. The base material used was a plastic sheet produced from Ertacetal C blue 50 at Quadrant's plant in Tielt, Belgium.