Malloy Has More Than Four Decades of Experience as Plastics Engineering Educator and Researcher

Prof. Emeritus Robert Malloy
Prof. Emeritus Robert Malloy ’79, ’87

By Edwin L. Aguirre

Dedicated. Knowledgeable. Caring.
These are some of the qualities that Marcela Linares ’12, ’13 ascribes to her former professor, Robert Malloy.
“Bob really cared about his students, and he made sure we stayed on track to succeed,” says Linares, who earned master’s degrees in innovation and technological entrepreneurship as well as plastics engineering from UMass Lowell. “For me, Bob was more than an academic mentor. He helped guide me toward my career path after graduation and gave me valuable advice regarding industry.”
In recognition of his achievements, Malloy is being honored with this year’s Russell W. Ehlers Lifetime Achievement Award. Named after the professor who started the plastics program at the Lowell Technological Institute in 1954, the award is the department’s most prestigious accolade and is presented to plastics engineering alumni who have long, distinguished and noteworthy careers in the field.
Prof. Malloy and Marcela Linares
Malloy with his former student Marcela Linares '12, '13.
Malloy has more than four decades of experience as a plastics engineering educator and researcher. He taught more than a hundred undergraduate, graduate and corporate education courses, serving as thesis advisor for more than 90 graduate students. For his exemplary teaching and service, he received the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Educator of the Year award in 2009, and he was inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame in 2012.
He is also a consultant in the areas of injection molding, polymer processing, product design and recycling of thermoplastics for companies and organizations, including P&G Gillette, Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Dell, Motorola, S.C. Johnson, Ford Motor, Delphi, Boston Scientific and many more. 
Malloy started his career as a plastics technology instructor and lab director at the Algerian Petroleum Institute in Annaba, Algeria. He earned a bachelor’s degree in plastics engineering in 1979 and a doctorate in polymer science in 1987, both from the University of Lowell. He joined the UML faculty in 1988 and served as department chair for 14 years before retiring in 2016.
He holds 25 U.S. and European patents, has been the principal or co-principal investigator for more than 70 funded research projects or grants and has authored or co-authored more than 75 technical papers. He was also founding editor of SPE’s Journal of Injection Molding Technology and is the author of the books “Plastic Part Design for Injection Molding” (published in 2010) and “Thermoplastic Injection Molding” (due to come out this year).
“Bob’s 2010 book is the bible on product design, which we continue to use to teach courses on the subject,” says Prof. Carol Barry, the current department chair.   
Barry says Malloy was instrumental in getting laboratories upgraded. 
“Our lab facilities were always very functional, but they were beginning to look tired,” Malloy says. “I worked with other faculty, especially Prof. Steve Orroth, and the Advancement Office to meet with alumni and corporations that could help with the renovation effort. This led to a number of ‘named’ or sponsored plastics design, processing and testing labs in both Ball Hall and the Saab Center.”
Malloy also helped to increase the Plastics Engineering Department’s scholarship endowment. In 2011, along with his colleagues Steven Grossman and John Davis, he established the Malloy-Grossman-Davis New Hampshire Engineering Endowed Scholarship Fund to support plastics engineering students from New Hampshire. 
“Thanks to so many generous alumni and friends, Plastics Engineering now has one of the largest scholarship endowments of any academic department at UMass Lowell,” Malloy says.
Malloy fully embraced the university’s goal of creating a formal co-op program. 
“Prof. Steve Driscoll had always managed an ‘informal’ co-op program within the department, but when the university hired full-time co-op staff, the program really took off,” Malloy says. “I’m grateful to Diane Hewitt, the director of cooperative education, who is now retired. Diane worked closely with the department in those early years. I’m also thankful to all of the companies across the country that hired our co-op students.”
Linares, who now works for the Michigan-based engineering resin manufacturer Polyplastics USA, says that Malloy made it a priority to get students involved with industry organizations to expand their knowledge—and their professional connections. 
“He made sure that students had plenty of opportunities to interact with industry alumni and create a strong network, which are essential to professional success,” she says.
Engineering Dean James Sherwood says Malloy’s contributions set the stage for the further advancement of plastics engineering at UMass Lowell.
“Congratulations to Bob for his Russ Ehlers Lifetime Achievement Award,” Sherwood says. “It is a well-deserved recognition. Bob is a very good leader who has made valuable contributions to the growth and success of the Plastics Engineering Department.”