Edwin L. Aguirre
Plastics Engineering Prof. Stephen McCarthy was recently invited by India’s Central Institute of Plastics Engineering Technology (CIPET) to give a lecture at an international plastics conference held in the country.
McCarthy, who co-directs the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2), gave his talk on biodegradable and bio-based polymer blends during the International Conference on Advancements in Polymeric Materials; APM 2010 Trends & Technology, held in February in Bhubaneswar.
The conference was attended by ranking government officials, including Dr. Shri Bijoy Chatterjee, secretary of the Government of India’s Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals and president of the CIPET governing council and Dr. S. K. Nayak, the institute’s director general and head of all 16 CIPET campuses in India, as well as senior officials from the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers.
In 2009, UMass Lowell signed an agreement for education and research cooperation with CIPET, which is a premier national institution in India devoted to academic and technology support and research for the country’s plastics and allied industries.
The agreement came about because of Chatterjee’s vision of forming formal alliances between CIPET and leading institutions in the United States. University Provost Ahmed Abdelal has endorsed the forging and expansion of formal international partnerships since coming to UMass Lowell.
“The timing was perfect for a formal partnership between the leading plastics engineering institutes in India and the United States,” says McCarthy, who serves as technical contact for UMass Lowell.
Following his presentation, McCarthy was given a tour of CIPET’s research facilities.
“I was extremely impressed with the LARPM facility at CIPET,” he says. “Its state-of-the-art R&D labs have outstanding mechanical, electrical, thermal optical and flammability equipment, enabling research and commercial development of the next generation of cost-effective, high-performance polymeric materials.”
He adds that the faculty, staff and students there are conducting exceptional research on biopolymers, fuel cells, polymer composites and nanocomposites.
“Specifically, I would like to praise the research being conducted by CIPET on green plastics, biofiber hybrid composites and renewable resources,” he says.