Annual Polymer Day 2013. Photo: Stefan Mogensen

9th Annual Polymer Day

Monday 25 Nov 13


Ole Hassager
DTU Chemical Engineering
+4545 25 29 73
The Annual Polymer Day is arranged by the Danish Polymer Centre (DPC) at DTU Chemical Engineering. The day brings together industry and researchers to exchange new knowledge and ideas on polymer chemistry and technology.

Professor Ole Hassager opened the day and introduced the programme, which “includes a range of presentations by our wonderful PhD students and postdocs”, as he proudly put it. Professor Hassager also introduced the day’s key guest speaker, Professor Patrick Anderson of the Eindhoven University of Technology, who is heading a group of researchers doing leading research on polymer technology.

The presentations by PhDs and postdocs spanned a wide range of subjects including material studies and improvements, processing and application in various industrial products. The presentations were well-received by the audience and gave rise to many questions from both industrial partners and fellow researchers.

The day really has a good structure

"I like that so many PhD students get to present their work – this is really a positive feature."
Professor Patrick Anderson, TU/e

I met Professor Anderson who was very satisfied with the day, “The day really has a good structure – many relatively short presentations. And then I like that so many PhD students get to present their work – this is really a positive feature. Also, I am happy to see representatives from the industry.”

Professor Patrick Andersson. Photo: Stefan MogensenWhen asked about his research interests, Professor Anderson focuses on the practical application of research, “I want to work with real problems – and come up with real solutions”. On the future of polymers, he sees a great application of polymers, “for example in energy – in particular in areas like fuel cells and solar cells. With solar cells, the material is very important – we want the solar cells to be as productive as possible, and not take up too much space – here an improved product is very important.” “And polymers are really interesting – they have such complex behaviour, and we still find it difficult to fully understand them.”

Professor Anderson is leading a group of 25 scientists at the department of Mechanical Engineering, Materials Technology at Eindhoven. The primary goal of his group is to study and improve the process of producing polymers to obtain the desired mechanical and optical properties. Eindhoven has a large polymer community with around 100 PhD students.

One word: plastics!

Patrick Anderson has a background in applied mathematics and when I ask him what made him change to polymers his answer is “coincidence”. When I am not entirely satisfied with that answer, he suggests the 1967 film, “The Graduate”, in which Mr. Mcguire gives a young Dustin Hoffmann one word of career advice at his graduation party: “Plastics!”