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Plastics Faculty, Alums Get Together

Meet at the World's Largest Plastics Show in Germany

Plastics Engineering faculty got together with about 20 of its alumni for an informal dinner at Brauerei Schumacher in DÜsseldorf, Germany, in October. Shown clockwise from left are German Laverde MS ’97, Angelo Vissas, Bill Hellmuth BS ’77, Prof. Stephen Orroth, Prof. Nick Schott and Dan Hazen MS ’06.

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K 2007, the largest plastics trade show in the world, was held this past October in DÜsseldorf, Germany. The event attracted nearly 245,000 plastics industry professionals from Europe, Asia, and the Americas, and featured about 3,100 companies in 17 huge exhibit halls. On hand to promote UMass Lowell’s Plastics Engineering Department were Profs. Stephen Orroth, Nick Schott and department Chair Robert Malloy.

“Attending a show like this also gives us a chance to see our alumni,” says Malloy. “We ran into as many as 100 graduates of our program at K 2007.” Some of the alumni were attending the show while others work for companies that exhibited at the show. Most of them reside and work in the United States, but many are from other countries, including Germany.

“Over the years, we’ve had probably about 20 plastics engineering students from Germany,” he says. “We ran into at least six of them at the show. The Plastics Engineering Department prides itself on its strong relationship with the alumni. This is a key to our success because this network allows us to keep up to date with the latest lab equipment and lifelong job placement for our graduates.”

“The education I received at UMass Lowell ߝ then known as the Lowell Technological Institute ߝ from 1970 to 1974 was top-notch and very affordable at the time, approximately 15 percent of the cost of attending MIT,” says Richard Boisjoly BS ’74, who attended the show and the UML alumni dinner with his wife, Karen. Boisjoly is now a senior R&D manager at NP Medical, Inc., based in Clinton.

“I loved the hands-on focus of the plastics engineering program to reinforce the theories taught in the classroom, and it has served me well for 33-plus years,” he says. “The strong foundation of the program has allowed me to solve many difficult industrial problems, while mentoring many young engineers and technicians to continue to build a strong plastics industry. It’s always a pleasure to see my former professors and fellow graduates, and we had a great visit with them at the K 2007 show.”