Instructors

Seminars are taught by world-renowned faculty and industry leaders

Dr. Amir Ameli is a faculty member in the Plastics Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He previously taught at the University of Washington and has extensive experience with microcellular foams. His research focus is foaming, additive manufacturing and 3D printing, and injection molding, particularly for multifunctional polymer nanocomposites, bio-based polymers and composites, and advanced polymeric foams.

Dr. Carol Barry is a Professor and the Chair of the Department of Plastics Engineering. After 12 years in industry, she returned to school to earn a D.Eng. Plastics Engineering. She then joined the Plastics Engineering faculty. Her research focus is plastics processing, including extrusion, injection molding, and novel processing techniques. Recent work has focused on nanomanufacturing with polymers, including compounding and forming of polymer and rubber nanocomposites, coextrusion of multilayer films, injection molding and embossing of micro and nanostructured surfaces, and template-directed assembly and transfer of nanoelements, 3D printing, specifically development of new materials for substrates and 3D printing. She has over 100 publications.

Thomas Bezigian is a consultant to the film and sheet extrusion and converting industries, serving many major clients around the world. He is a graduate of UMass Lowell's Plastics Engineering program, where he now serves as an Adjunct Professor teaching extrusion, extrusion coating, polymer chemistry and other related subjects. He has more than 40 years of experience in the industry, and has worked in various capacities for companies such as Cryovac, Mobil Chemical, James River Corp. and Felix Schoeller GmbH. He founded his own specialty film and extrusion laminating business, Great Lakes Technologies, which he operated in Syracuse, New York, until he sold it to begin full-time consulting. He has extensive experience in screw design, materials, processing, single- and twin-screw extrusion process engineering, product development, packaging, quality management and manufacturing management in many different aspects of extrusion.

Dr. Wan-Ting (Grace) Chen was a postdoc research associate in the School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University prior to joining the faculty at UMass Lowell. She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the National Taiwan University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from the University of Illinois. Her Ph.D. research work focused on developing a synergistically integrated waste-to-fuel system that simultaneously produces biofuel and treats wet biowaste via algae growth and hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL). In particular, her work contributes to the area of upgrading complex HTL biocrude oil converted from biowaste to transportation fuels by distillation, esterification and catalytic treatments. Her ongoing work focuses on valorization of plastic waste into useful products, including pristine polymers, fuels, specialty chemicals and monomers.

Dr. Bridgette M. Budhlall is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Doctoral Programs in the department of Plastics Engineering at UMass Lowell. After graduating from Lehigh University with a Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering in 2000, she spent six years in industry at AirProducts and Chemicals, Inc., where she conducted research on the synthesis of latexes forcoatings and developed photoresist polymers and immersion fluids for microlithography applications. She worked briefly with Professor Orlin D. Velev at the department of Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University before joining the NSF Center for High Rate Nanomanufacturing at UMass Lowell. Her lab at UMass Lowell currently conducts research on the synthesis of nanostructured polymers with controlled morphologies specifically designed to trigger and control motility and assembly with external stimuli. She has received over $2.2 million in funding from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development & Engineering Center and various industrial collaborations. She has published more than 25 peer-reviewed journal articles, and has three U.S. and European patents.

Professor Stephen Burke Driscoll has been a faculty member in UMass Lowell's Plastics Engineering Department for almost 40 years. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in polymeric materials, additives and modifiers for plastics materials, testing/characterization with an emphasis on dynamic mechanical rheological testing, and marketing. Professor Driscoll was Chair of the ASTM D20 Committee on Plastics Sections on Long-Term Properties and Dynamic Mechanical Properties, the D20 Advisory Subcommittee, a member of the D20 Executive Subcommittee, an appointed member of ASTM International COTCO, and an elected member of the ASTM International Board of Directors. He is a Fellow of ASTM International, as well as The Society of Plastics Engineers. One of very few SPE members who has also been awarded the Honored Service Member recognition, he received the SPE International Education Award in 2004. He has presented and published more than 100 technical articles, organized several plastics conferences, consulted for many international plastics-oriented companies, and is a United Nations Consulting Fellow for Rheology.

Dr. Stephen Johnston came to UMass Lowell in 2003 to pursue his M.S. degree and subsequently his Ph.D. in Plastics Engineering. His expertise is in the area of instrumentation, analysis, and simulation of the injection molding process. Dr. Johnston has worked at Lord Corp., Moldflow Corp., Bausch & Lomb Inc., and does research and consulting for numerous other companies. In the fall of 2007, he started teaching courses at UMass Lowell. His course offerings focus on mold design, product design and processing.

Dr. Akshay Kokil is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Plastics Engineering Department at University of Massachusetts Lowell. He received a Ph.D. in Macromolecular Science and Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, and a Bachelors in Polymer Engineering from University of Poona, India. Prior to his academic appointment he worked in the industry and was a post-doctoral fellow at Virginia Tech and University of Massachusetts Lowell. He has extensive experience in Polymer Materials and Characterization. He currently teaches courses and laboratory classes in Polymer Materials, Polymer Synthesis, Additives, and Characterization of Plastics.

Suhas Kulkarni is the president of FimmTech Inc., a firm that specializes in services and training related to Plastic Injection Molding. Suhas earned his Masters in Plastics Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and a Bachelors in Polymer Engineering from the University of Poona, India. He has 28 years of experience as a process engineer. He is the author of the top selling book 'Robust Process Development and Scientific Molding' published by Hanser Publications, now in its second edition. He is also the author of several papers and articles.

Dr. Davide Masato received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2011), an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2014) and a Ph.D. (2018) from the University of Padova in Italy. In 2016, he was a visiting researcher at the University of Bradford (UK), where he worked at the Centre for Polymer Micro and Nano Technology (Polymer MNT). Prior to joining the faculty at UMass Lowell, he was a post-doc researcher at the University of Padova, where he worked at the Te.Si. Laboratory for Precision Engineering and Manufacturing. Beginning in 2015, he was a teaching assistant at the University of Padova for courses pertaining to engineering of plastics processes and injection molding process simulation.

Dr. Ramaswamy Nagarajan is a professor in the Plastics Engineering Department and Faculty Director of HEROES at UMass Lowell. Dr. Nagarajan's research is in the area of "greener" routes to the synthesis and processing of polymeric materials. Dr. Nagarajan has developed enzymatic/biomimetic routes for synthesizing electrically conductive and photoresponsive polymers. His teaching interests include polymers from renewable resources, rubber technology, thermal and morphological characterization of materials. He has authored roughly 30 papers published in peer-reviewed journals and is named co-inventor in seven patents related to enzyme catalysis.

Michael Paloian is president of Integrated Design Systems, Inc. (IDS), located in Great Neck, New York. Since its inception almost 30 years ago, IDS has developed hundreds of products ranging from MRI machines to pool chlorinators for companies worldwide. Mr. Paloian received his undergraduate degree in Plastics Engineering from Lowell Technological Institute (which merged with Lowell State College in 1975 to form the University of Lowell) in 1972 and his Master's of Industrial Design from Rhode Island School of Design in 1976. His unique education as an industrial designer and plastics engineer has enabled him to design products from concept to production. Mr. Paloian has more than 30 years experience designing products in numerous materials, including plastics, metals and composites. Mr. Paloian's extensive experience in numerous markets as both an industrial designer and engineer provides him with a distinctive advantage in optimizing designs based on materials, process and cost.

Mr. Paloian holds more than 30 patents, has been committee chairman for the SPE and frequently lectures for numerous professional organizations internationally. Michael has also written numerous articles concerning design for publications such as Machine Design, Design News, Innovation, Rotation and Plastics Design Forum.

Dr. Jay Park is an Assistant Professor of Plastics Engineering at UMass Lowell. He received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from Cornell University. He subsequently held postdoctoral appointments at MIT and U.S. Army Research Lab, where he gained expertise in processing-structure properties of high-performance fiber and plastics. He has expertise in multiple processing techniques in fiber and filament formation for high-performance applications.

Dr. Anne Soucy is an Assistant Teaching Professor and the Associate Chair for the Plastics Engineering undergraduate degree program at UMass Lowell, where she earned a bachelor's degree and a doctoral degree in Plastics Engineering. Prior to joining the UMass Lowell faculty, she was a faculty member in the departments of Plastics & Polymer Engineering Technology and Engineering Design Technology at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. Courses she has taught include blow molding, rotational molding, product and mold design for injection molding, Moldflow®, 2D CAD applications, print reading, and 3D parametric solid modeling. She has also taught injection molding and product design for injection molding industrial seminars.

Steve Thibeault is the President of Poly-Ject Inc., a small custom injection molder and mold maker located in Amherst, NH. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Plastics Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He has designed and built over 200 injection molds for products ranging from tight tolerance military connectors to sporting goods, medical devices and everything in between. He also does all of the part designs at Poly-Ject for a wide range of customers and applications.