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Annual Polymer Conference
Thursday, 20th April 2023

Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, Ireland

Stay Ahead of the Industry


Conference Schedule


Keynote: ‘Building the Factory of the Future- Semi-Conductor Fab’, Hugh O’Hara, MCIOB, Project Manager, Intel
‘The Role of Renewable Energy Systems (RES) in the decarbonisation of industry’ Diana Vaz - Renewable Research Technologist, IMR
’ The Application of Data Analytics to deliver value in manufacturing, Dr. Fergus Quilligan - Director of Digitisation & Analytics, IMR
Coffee Break
‘Delivering sustainable growth; navigating environmental and labour constraints’ Fergal O’Brien, Director of Lobbying and Influence, IBEC
‘Female Leaders in the Polymer Industry’ Panel Discussion facilitated by Dr. Sinead Keogh, Director of the Irish MedTech Association. Joined by Jessica Whyte, Johnson & Johnson, Liga Grzibovska, West Pharmaceutical Services and Lorna O Gara, Ultrapolymers
Circvet – EU Project on the Circular Economy of Plastics Update- resources to support our industry.
Polymer Technology Ireland Update – Mark McAuley
Controlling Energy Use in Plastics Processing’ Dr Robin Kent, Tangram Technology
Polymer Research at the Technological University of the Shannon - Dr Sean Lyons, TUS
‘Increasing uptime due to modular automation systems’, Giuliano Pappalardo, Product Account Manager, Waldorf Technik GmbH
Summary and Close


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TUS Research & Education Marquee will be available throughout the conference.

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The Venue

Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone, Co. Westmeath

Hodson Bay Hotel has proudly hosted thousands of conferences throughout the years and is known nationally for its warm welcome and attention to detail.  The Hodson Bay Hotel has hosted the annual polymer seminar for over twenty years !

  • Central location just one hour from Dublin or Galway
  • Complimentary WiFi and car parking

Ph: (090) 644 2005

TUS will be sponsoring a Research and Education Marquee at the event which will be available for viewing for the duration of the conference

Our Sponsors

Leading in the Industry



Meet The Speakers

Our List of Conference Speakers


Polymer Conference Speaker

Dr Robin Kent

Dr Robin Kent has a B.Eng. (Hons.) in Materials Engineering from Monash University (Australia) and a Ph.D. in Polymer Physics from the University of Surrey (UK). Robin has been involved with plastics processing since 1971 in sectors ranging from extrusion to injection moulding. Since 1995 he has specialised in energy and sustainability management for plastics processors and has carried out energy surveys and assessments on over 500 companies.

Polymer Conference Speaker

Jacqueline Tyrell

Jacqueline is co-owner of Embankment Plastics, one of Ireland’s largest and leading injection moulding specialists. She worked in global tourism marketing before joining Barry Armstrong at Embankment Plastics in 2007. Since then, their team has grown to 45 staff who sustain 24hour manufacturing, satisfying international clients across production areas of injection moulding, blow moulding and assembly.

Polymer Conference Speaker

Giuliano Pappalardo

Drawing from more than 30 years of automation expertise at Waldorf Technik, Giuliano has been the Product Account Manager for Pharmaceutical-, Eyecare- and Oralcare – disposable polymer products for the last three years, which all demand sophisticated demolding automations. He is established as an expert for COC/COP Prefilled Syringe based automation processes and is constantly developing efficient and reliable automation concepts matching the trends in the polymer industry.

Polymer Conference Speaker

Lorna O’Gara

After graduating with a B.Sc. in Polymer Technology, Lorna started her career working with Irish Customer Extruders, then spent time working in the UK and Europe in Technical sales roles for Polyurethane systems and Conductive Coatings for plastics. She then worked for Trend Technologies as Key Account manager before joining the Ultrapolymers team in 2015. Her current role is European Business Development Manager for Healthcare.

Polymer Conference Speaker

Mark McAuley

Mark McAuley is Director of Polymer Technology Ireland. PTI is the national representative organisation for the polymer industry within Ibec. PTI supports the entire polymer supply chain and polymer converters. It runs the polymer technology apprenticeship and the First Polymer Skillnet in Athlone. Ibec is Ireland’s largest lobby and business representative group. Our purpose is to help build a better, sustainable future by influencing, supporting and delivering for business success.

Polymer Conference Speaker

Tânia Mendes

Tânia Mendes has a MSc Chemical Engineering degree from University of Coimbra and a postgraduate degree in Lean Six Sigma at Black Belt Level by IPLeiria. Working at the Innovation & Prospective area at CENTIMFE, she manages national and international projects, cooperates in R&D projects and supports companies, mainly SMEs, in the gathering of national and international funding opportunities.

Polymer Conference Speaker

Dr Seán Lyons

Dr Seán Lyons is the Dean of Faculty of Engineering & Informatics on the Midlands campus of the Technological University of the Shannon.  The Faculty provides polymer programmes spanning NFQ levels 7-10 encompassing apprenticeship, undergraduate & postgraduate taught programmes and significant applied Research activities through the PRISM Institute and APT Gateway.  Dr Lyons is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of Engineers Ireland.

Polymer Conference Speaker

Dr Sinead Keogh

Sinead is the Director of the Ibec’s Medtech and Engineering Sectors , which includes the Irish Medtech Association. A number of Government Funded Skills Networks (Skillnets, Apprenticeships and Springboards) fall under her remit. Sinead currently sits on a number of boards including the Advisory Industry Board for BioInnovate Ireland and the Governance Board for the Irish Photonic Integration Centre (IPIC). She is a member of the National Executive Committee at Medtech Europe.

Polymer Conference Speaker

Dr Fergus Quilligan

Fergus is a Director of Digitisation & Analytics at Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR). Fergus received a PhD in astrophysics in 2001, and spent time working onsite in NASA. He then spent 14 years working in Intel in California and Ireland in data analytics before transitioning to IMR, where as well as participating in research, he engages with companies of all shapes and sizes on their data analytics journeys.

Polymer Conference Speaker

Diana Vaz

Diana is a Renewable Research Technologist at Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR). She applies her experience in renewable energy engineering, energy efficiency and sustainability to guide companies on their path to decarbonization. Her background on applied research and consultancy equips her to attain the best technical solution for each setting.

Polymer Conference Speaker

Fergal O’Brien

Fergal O’Brien is Director of Lobbying & Influence with Ibec. He leads and coordinates the organisation’s activity across a range of business policy issues and public affairs activity. He represents Irish business on a number of areas at both national and EU level and is currently the Chair of Business Europe’s Economic Policy Committee; a member of the National Competitiveness Council and a council member of the Foundation for Fiscal Studies.

Polymer Conference Speaker

Liga Grzibovska

Liga started her career in Injection moulding in 2014 when she joined Tool & Plastic. She joined West in 2016, as a Production Operator moving to an Injection Moulding Process Technician role in 2017. She graduated from IT Sligo in 2021, with a BEng in Polymer Processing. Subsequently moving to a Process Engineers role in West. She received Green Belt Certification in 2021 and is currently undertaking BSc in Manufacturing Management with ATU.

Polymer Conference Speaker

Jessica Whyte

In 2019 Jessica commenced her career in plastics through a Polymer Processing Technologist apprenticeship in Johnson and Johnson Vison Care. Specialising in injection moulding and graduating from TUS with a B.Sc. in Polymer Processing Technology in 2022. The apprenticeship programme gave Jessica confidence to pursue further education and she is now completing her Master’s degree in Process Validation & Regulatory Affairs in TUS. Jessica was appointed as a Process Engineer in January 2023


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