Declan Devine- Director, Materials Research, AIT

  • Presentation Title:

    Polymer research and its importance to the Irish manufacturing industry.

    Presentation Synopsis:

    Polymer and plastics materials are of critical importance to the Irish economy. The plastics sector in Ireland accounts for 179 firms which employs 6,500 people which is 4% of the total Irish manufacturing workforce. However, these figures do not include the medical device sector which itself is heavily reliant on the polymer sector as up to 80% of all medical devices are made of or contain polymer components. This sector consists of 400+ companies, employing 27,000 people. The combined exports for these sectors if ca 10 Billion annually.
    Athlone Institute of Technology has been training polymer graduates since the 1970’s and has conducted research in this field since the 1980’s. Its current research activities are undertaken by the Materials Research Institute (MRI) and its industry focused research centres, the Enterprise Ireland funded Technology Gateway Centre ‘Applied Polymer Technologies (APT) and the Centre for Industrial Services and design. Combined the MRI contribute to ca 100 research projects with Industry annually while offering assistance and advice to many more.
    The MRI has a core focus on polymer materials, drug delivery technologies, thermoplastic composites, product design, additive manufacturing, construction and renewable materials and biomedical polymers in addition to providing contract and bespoke testing for industrial partners. During the symposium these core competences will be illustrated with reference to industrial cases studies and the use of additive manufacturing to produce mid volume parts will be explored.

    Speaker Bio:

    Dr Devine holds a PhD in Biopolymer Engineering (2006) from AIT, where you also completed undergraduate studies in polymer engineering. Following his PhD studies he worked on an industry based post-doctoral fellowship which enabled the development, patenting and licencing of orientated polymeric films for use in the ophthalmic industry to Transitions Optical Ltd. He subsequently gained international research experience as a Senior Project Leader in the Preclinical Services Programme at the AO Research Institute in Switzerland, Institute where he was responsible for managing preclinical studies for a variety of industrial and academic collaborators. Dr Devine was awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship in 2012 and was named an Irish champion of EU research (Sept 2012) and the Marie Curie Fellow of the week (Oct 2014). This work enabled Dr Devine to receive training in world leading research centres namely; Harvard Medical Schools Center for Advanced Orthopaedic Studies and the Mayo Clinic’s Rehabilitation Medicine Center in the field of bone tissue engineering.
    Dr Devine’s current research interests centres on the development of materials for biomedical applications such as bone regenerations and biodegradable polymer stents, and structural thermoplastic composites. Dr Devine has published in the fields of controlled release from medical device coatings, 3D printing scaffolds and bone regeneration. He also currently supervises students in the area of material formulations and biodegradable stents. Dr Devine maintains several collaborations in these fields across the EU and at international centres located in the USA, Canada, Brazil and Switzerland.
    To view Dr Devine’s publication record please follow the link below.

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