On the 27th of April 2023 a workshop will be held titled: Polymer Analysis meets Industry.

In this workshop, undergraduate and postgraduate students will have the opportunity to meet polymer scientists from industry. Our aim is to inspire more students to register for a degree in polymer science, thus promoting the continuity of polymer science research.

Our speakers:
Dr. John Mellor (Sasol)

After qualifying with a PhD in heterogeneous catalysis from the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa) in 1992, John Mellor accepted a position at Anglo American Research Laboratories as a scientist where he was part of a small research team investigating industrial applications in gold which included the development of catalysts for use in various fuel cell applications, automotive exhausts and air purification systems.

In 2000 he joined POLIFIN (a joint venture polymer company formed by Sasol and AECI) and was appointed Technology Manager of Sasol Polymers in 2006 after POLIFIN was fully incorporated into Sasol. In 2014, his portfolio expanded in the position of Senior Manager R&D and Product Stewardship, to include the nitrates portfolios as well as Quality Assurance and Product Stewardship in Sasol Base Chemicals. Today he is the Technical Product Development Manager for Sasol Chemicals, Africa.

Throughout his working life at Sasol, John has been integrally involved in many interesting polymer initiatives and has also had the privilege of working closely with various Universities and Institutions, not least of all the Polymer Institute at Stellenbosch University!


Dr. Andreas Albrecht (Borealis Polyolefine GmbH)

Dr. Andreas Albrecht studied polymer chemistry at the Technical University of Braunschweig and Darmstadt.

He received his PhD from Technical University of Darmstadt in 2009 on the characterisation of polyolefins and polyolefin copolymer with HT-HPLC and HT-HPLC-FTIR. He joined Borealis Polyolefine GmbH (Linz, Austria) 2009 and he is actually working in the Advanced Analytical Laboratories as Senior Scientist in the area of fractionation and extraction. His main research interests is the characterisation of microstructural of polyolefins but also polyolefin based recyclates. He was a big experience in the application and use of hyphenated fractionation techniques like GPC-FTIR, a-TREF-GPC and combination of various fractionation techniques to obtain a more in-depth knowledge about the polymeric structure of polyolefins and compounds containing polyolefins. 


Dr. Mubasher Bashir (DOW Chemical Company)

Dr. Mubasher Bashir is a Research Scientist in Analytical Sciences, Corporate Research and Development, at Dow Chemical Company in The Netherlands.

He received his PhD in Chemistry in 2007 from Technical University Darmstadt (German Institute of Plastics), Germany, where he combined theory and experiments to develop virtual chromatography approaches for the effective method development in polymer chromatography. Soon after he Joined Dow, where he has worked on wide-ranging projects in area of online process GCs, high throughput experimentation for polymer and metal nanoparticle synthesis, and technology scouting and instrumentation development for nano-/ultra-filtration. His current work focuses on the characterization of complex polymer materials by hyphenated separation techniques, such as AF4, SEC, 2DLC with light scattering and viscometry to study structure-property relationships and to facilitate new product/process development. He also leads the global polymer separation technology network in Dow Analytical Sciences focusing on company-wide technical connectivity and strategy implementation in polymer separations.

Dr. Anthony Ndiripo (SABIC)

Anthony is working at SABIC in the Netherlands as a scientist. He is responsible for competency development in the area of molecular characterization of polyolefins and works on various topics in collaboration with product and catalyst developers. Anthony did his undergraduate studies at National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and his MSc. and Ph.D. studies in Polymer Science under the supervision of Professor Harald Pasch at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Before his move to industry, Anthony had a postdoctoral fellowship at the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research (IPF) in Dresden, Germany under the supervision of Professor Albena Lederer. 

Nonhlanhla Sithole (BASF, South Africa)

Nonhlanhla Sithole is the Senior Account Manager at BASF. She has had many career opportunities and experiences that have shaped her into the woman she is today. She started her career as a paint lab technician in 2011 after completing her M.Sc. at Stellenbosch University, where her research focus was on the HPLC analysis of complex natural materials (tannins). It's interesting that she started this journey over 10 years ago, where her topic was related to sustainability.  She recently graduated from the GIBS Program for Management Development (PMD) and now serves as the Chair of Women in BASF Program, which promotes the development and advancement of women.