Interplas 75 @ 75

Congratulations to the 75!

The Interplas 75 @ 75, a collection of 75 influential people in the UK plastics industry from the 75 years of Interplas have been unveiled today, on the eve of Interplas, the UK’s leading plastics industry event, which is set to open its doors at the NEC, Birmingham.

As part of the Interplas 75th birthday celebrations, the occasion has been marked by honouring 75 individuals deemed worthy by the industry itself, based on their significant contribution to advancing the UK plastics sector during the 75 years of the show. 

Nominations were collected via a survey released earlier this year, and out of hundreds of nominations, the 75 individuals below are considered to have made a significant impact to the industry during this period.

Duncan Wood, CEO, Rapid News Group, said: “Interplas has been a focal point for the UK plastics industry for seventy-five years and as we reflect on that history it is a timely point to recognise those individuals who have played their part in driving the UK industry forward during that period. I congratulate all of those who made the final list, their contributions are appreciated and valued by everyone across the industry

The Interplas 75 @ 75


Don Ansell
Don Ansell was a trained toolmaker having worked in the Munitions factories in Leicester during WWII. Never one to stop learning, he was heavily involved in electrofusion development and was awarded with a patent for his work in the 1980s. His passion for toolmaking, plastic injection moulding and British Manufacturing is still held by his grandchildren who continue his legacy at Rutland Plastics.
Adisa Azapagic
Adisa has made an outstanding contribution to the understanding of Environmental and sustainable development of polymers.
Sally Bailey
Over decades in the industry, Sally has become one of the sector's most influential voices and flag-fliers on social media, in the press and at live events.
Nigel Baker
Nigel has succeeded in keeping Austrian moulding technology at the forefront of British manufacturing, and his passion for the industry
David Bargery
Carrying on the family business, David has an unrivalled dedication to serving Britain's extruders and compounders.
Matt Barber
Matt's passion for the industry is reflected in his approach to the Plastics Industry Awards and his other associate events and media brand work.
Mike Bate
Mike has been essential in bringing the latest precision injection moulding and extrusion technology to some of the UK's high-value sectors, including automotive and medical, contributing to British competitiveness.
Sally Beken
Sally brings people together in a powerful way, inspiring greater collaboration within the plastics industry and within supply chains. She makes things happen by signposting people to the right organisations and right collaborative partners.
Gerald Bloom
Gerald has dedicated his life to the plastics industry, bringing new technologies and new manufacturing processes to UK over a long and entirely self-made career. He founded Midland Industrial Plastics from scratch, building his first moulding machines himself.
Mike Boswell
Mike has been essential in bringing the latest precision injection moulding and extrusion technology to some of the UK's high-value sectors, including automotive and medical, contributing to British competitiveness.
Richard Brown
A legend of the industry. One of the best-connected individuals you could hope to meet if you're starting out, and his power is his commitment to bringing young people of all backgrounds into the sector, promoting plastics as an exciting, limitless material.
Terry Cooper
Dr Cooper is responsible for work recognised in over 40 patents and applications and over 80 publications and presentations, and has extensive international experience in the United States, Europe and Japan.
Peter Cox
Peter assisted the supply of lateral flow tests for Covid-19 by advising on the polymers and the manufacturing process.
Peter Davis
At the BPF, he carried the profile of the organisation to great political heights. It was during his time in office that the BPF managed to secure a Climate Change Agreement and set up BPF Energy which has brought enormous cost savings to our industry.
Karen Drinkwater
As former president of the BPF, Karen fought passionately to defend the industry at a time of widespread media criticism
Paul Edwards
Paul has successfully overseen a period of growth and expansion into ever-more technical applications at Pentagon, and is to be lauded for his achievements.
Justyna Elliott
A great pioneer for spreading the positive message around the use and responsible re-use of plastic
Glen Eves
Following in the footsteps of Paul Goodhew was never going to be an easy task, but Glen is an outspoken champion, not just for plastics for but engineering skills and talent also. His support for innovation and education is vital to our industry.
Eric Fawcett
Eric Fawcett, in collaboration with Reginald Gibson, was an eminent chemist who worked on the study of the role of high pressure in chemical reactions, leading to the game-changing discovery of polyethylene.
Isy Ferguson
Isy is one of those individuals in the industry whose focus is not just on her own company, but on the betterment of the sector as a whole. Her work around the plastics community at events and associations is testament to this.
Nigel Flowers
Nigel has been a vocal supporter of our industry, not just through the brand he's represented for several years, but through his words and actions, culminating in his appointment to the role of President of the BPF.
Nick Fox
Nick offers more than just technology to UK processors: his knowledge and dedicated to good service are the reasons why Piovan continues to enjoy a strong UK presence.
Carl Futcher
Carl has been in the industry for almost 40 years, since he was 21. Always championing reshoring and UK manufacturing, and always trying to think of new ways to innovate to help the industry.
Reginald Gibson
Reginald Gibson, in collaboration with Eric Fawcett, was a pioneer of chemistry who worked on the study of the role of high pressure in chemical reactions, leading to the crucial discovery of polyethylene.
John Goff
John served as a brilliant plastics industry educator, mentor to many, and author of numerous seminal books on injection moulding technology.
Paul Goodhew
Paul enjoyed a distinguished career in the plastics industry, with 50 years in total, 24 of which he spent at Sepro UK, bringing cutting-edge automation to the UK.
Ken Grace
Ken learned his craft through his passion for the material of the future. He went on to become one of the UK's great authorities on plastic and rubber processing. British Plastics & Rubber magazine remains his legacy to this day.
Garrick Grove
Garrick dedicated 50 years of work at the forefront of flexible plastic packaging
Mark Guyett
Mark works relentlessly to educate the ndustry and to provide economically affordable solutions. As an ambassador for UK moulding, he engages with different manufacturers and customers, always trying to meet their needs.
Fergus Hardie
Taking over from Donald Hardie and leading the business with an eye on growth, continued longevity while looking after the customers of Hardie Polymers and remaining an all round gentleman at all times, makes Fergus an icon of our industry.
Graeme Herlihy
Under Graeme’s watch, Engel became the largest machine supplier in the UK in terms of both the number and the value of machines delivered.
James R. W. Hendry
James Hendry was perhaps the most prolific inventor of plastics processing technologies with over 80 patents in that area.
Richard Hird
Richard's long service to the indsutry, and willingness to help any processor with technical requirements, has made him a staple at any gathering worth attending. He's a much-respected voice in his field.
Stephen Hunt
During his years with the BPF, Stephen has demonstrated huge passion and drive to influence government and companies to embrace plastics.
Andy Jewell
Andy is constantly striving to help plastic injection moulding manufacturers to increase efficiencies and become more profitable - helping the UK to become the world leaders in our industry.
Mike Jordan
Mike has been a constant face at the forefront of the industry, having worked in the trade for almost 40 years. A highly respected and successful plastics ancillary equipment supplier, Mike established Summit Systems in 1989 and has continued to develop the company, concurrently supporting the industry, and maintaining a distinguished reputation amongst his peers.
Robin Kent
The UK's leading authority on energy management and sustainability, Robin's work has transformed operations at countless mouldshops around the country and overseas.
Hardeep Khera
Hardeep identified a gap in the market for a new option in IMMs that would challenge perceptions of Asian technology. In a short time, he's introduced several new energy-saving IMMs into the UK's fleet of machines.
Pete Kirkham
Pete's work in the industry, connecting process engineers with the latest in IMM technology, is a great legacy, and many still benefit from his wealth of knowledge.
Ed Kosior
Professor Kosior’s unique combination of technical expertise in the plastics recycling sector and understanding of global and domestic markets and infrastructure spans 48 years, split between 23 years as an academic and 25 years working in plastic packaging recycling. Reducing the world’s polymer waste and carbon footprint by developing new innovations is the driving force to his founding the science-based sustaintech organisation, Nextek.
Philip Law
Philip has served as a true advocate for the industry for most of his career... he is tirelessly dedicated to plastics, and serving our industry.
Stephen Mancey
Stephen has dedicated his career to supporting companies in the plastics industry. His advise on all matters concerning packaging and machine selection has proven invaluable to many
Ron Marsh
Ron built up the the UK’s largest rigid plastics company, RPC Group PLC, from a management buyout. He has remained active in the industry since then as a Director and Advisor to a range of businesses across the plastics industry.
Dean Meynell
Dean treats moulding as a passion, not a job. His Facebook community serves as a great platform for injection moulders to get together and learn from one another.
Karl Miller
Learning his craft in Germany with some of the industry's leading suppliers of machinery and ancillaries, Karl has brought his expertise back to the UK, boosting efficiencies for British processors with his delivery of cutting edge ancillary tech.
Pravin S Mistry
Pravin is a recognised technical expert in many fields of plastics processing, and has made a great impact to the world of engineering recruitment.
Andy Nicholls
Andy is a superb trainer and is well regarded internationally for his work in closing down the skills gap
Richard Orme
Richard has been an enthusiastic and passionate advocate for the UK (and wider) plastics industry since he first started in the sector when he was 18 years old. Fast forward 37 years, and he is now the MD of one of the leading distribution and plastics specialist companies in Europe.
Alexander Parkes
Alexander Parkes is credited as one of the founders of plastic materials. He created the very first man-made plastic material, Parkesine, in 1862. He exhibited his new cellulose-based material at the 1862 Great International Exposition in London, receiving a bronze medal for “Excellence of Product.” Parkes patented Parkesine in 1865 and exhibited the new material at the Royal Society of Arts in London.
Darren Parsons
Darren is an incredible innovator who has done justice to the UK plastics industry in terms of what we are capable of designing
Terry Pearson
Karl Perry
A unique figure in the plastics machinery industry in the UK, Karl shook up a very stuffy UK industry sector with revolutionary approach and ideas towards sales, servicing and supply, with an often off the wall approach to advertising and customer service. Many current industry figures owe their start to Perry.
Richard Perry
Richard has stepped up to the plate and is following in his late father Karl's footsteps, dedicating his life to serving the plastics industry.
Gary Probert
With 25 years of delivering high value turnkey solutions to automate injection moulding, Gary has delivered hundreds of added value 6 axis solutions to industry, and shown that UK manufacturing can compete with the global pressures facing UK moulders.
David Raine
Dedicating his working life to our industry working from shop floor to heading up Sumitomo (SH) Demag with so many customer focused roles on the way. A great advertisement for our industry.
Carl Reeve
Carl has worked tirelessly to illuminate moulders on the importance of energy saving, not just via capex, but through culture-change, best practise and more.
Colin Robinson
Known to many as 'Mr Interplas', Colin's role in bringing the trade show back to its former glory was massive. More importantly, he is a well-known, well-loved character among his friends and peers.
Simon Scholes
Simon is a leader in post consumer reclaim and recycling, who worked with the construction and demolition sector as well as the public/private waste sector and plastics industry to achieve a truly sustainable recycling program
Richard Stamps
Richard was 'one of the good guys' who worked hard and always remained professional, but did it with a smile on his face, and never took himself (or anything) too seriously. He was instrumental in the creation of PlastikCity and PlastikMedia, and was known for his infectious presence at trade shows such as Interplas throughout his 30+ years in the industry.
John C. Swallow
John C. Swallow established an international reputation as a creative polymer scientist and his interests in plastics received additional stimulus through his wife Irene, a member of the DuPont family. This family link and his reputation in the world of science allowed him to learn details of the work of Carrothers, which led to the discovery of nylon and a fascination with the field of elastomers and synthetic rubbers.
Islyn Thomas O.B.E.
Sir Islyn Thomas was a leader in the plastics molding and mold industry, and a successful manufacturer and businessman. His Thomas Manufacturing Company helped popularize injection moulded thermoplastic toys and housewares in the post-War War II era. In 1975, at the request of Queen Elizabeth II, Thomas was appointed an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his contributions to the advancement of plastics throughout the free world.
Lee Thomas
Lee brings his energy and enthusiasm for the industry to the forefront of his work, helping some of Britain's leading processors achieve their targets.
Ricky Thompson
From low cost, value engineered automation solutions for shelf ready consumer goods, through to high-value fully validated medical manufacturing solutions, Ricky continues to develop solutions that exceed customer expectations, whilst maintaining a clear focus on high reliability and easy to maintain solutions.
Colin Tirel
Colin has been a true inspiration and even a mentor for many in the field, continuing to bring the best in European machine technology to the UK
Barry Turner
Barry's long tenure in the packaging sector has seen him push the boundaries of the field towards a more sustainable future, particularly for plastic packaging during his time with the BPF.
Juraj Ulik
Juraj has made a huge impact on the inclusion of PCR resins into world-renowned brands. His background work in qualifying and developing these resins for some of the world's biggest brands has led to them being adopted as portfolio standards with many of the UK's biggest converters.
Darren Vater-Hutchinson
Darren is a world-class process engineer who has developed a throughly successful training programme at Sumitomo Demag UK. Darren’s patient personality and teaching capability has shone at his various positions across his career.
Craig Ward
Craig continues to deliver excellent customer service and more importantly, a faithful command of up-to-date processing methods, a valuable member of the UK industry.
Daniel Williams
Dan's secret is his approachability, coupled with a superb command of plastic moulding techniques, which add so much value to the Wittmann brand's presence in the UK.
David Williams
David must be the most influential person in the plastics industry that I have worked with, always a pleasure.
Nikki Williams
Nikki works tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure the UK's association for plastic machinery manufacturers achieves its aims and more.
Bob Wilson
Bob has been instrumental in offering some of the best European IMM tech to Britain's moulders for a number of years.
Duncan Wood
Duncan took the helm of Interplas in 2010 when Rapid News Group acquired the event from Reed Exhibitions, overseeing a return to form culminating in the largest Interplas for 21 years in 2023
Michael Wood
From an apprentice to a CEO, Michael has dedicated his life to the plastics industry, and continues to adapt to change and create opportunity for sustainable solutions.
Simon Wrighton
Having served for 25 years at Arburg, Simon was universally respected for his engineering know-how and well-liked by his peers. He is sorely missed.
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