Polymer Engineering International

an international network of leading polymer engineering researchers


What is Polymer Engineering International?

We are a relatively informal consortium of leading polymer-related research groups around the world. Initially these groups have been associated with UK Polymer IRC collaborations, where we have a connections between the leaders and research teams, but we aim to reach beyond that.

The aim is mutual benefit, to promote collaborative activities,with practical outcomes for all who participate actively – in particular with researcher exchanges and other early career researcher opportunities. Our experience in the Polymer IRC of such interactions with leading Chinese groups in our Science Bridges China / UK-China Advanced Materials Research Institute platform over the past decade has been so positive, we feel that it is timely to develop this further, to form, in effect Science Bridges International! It would also feed positively into the other structures (such as the PPS in particular, and our professional institutions) to which we are committed. It is not intended to compete against any of these, but provide additional benefit.

Soon after we launched Polymer Engineering International we were all in the challenging times of Covid-19 lockdowns, which stopped our proposed researcher exchanges; these have been able to commence again in the past several months, so please consider these again.

What value is Polymer Engineering International to you and your laboratory?

We aim to assist collaborations across different groups and discipline boundaries to meet needs in modern day polymer engineering topics – products are reflecting convergence of technologies and functionality, so increasingly there is need for cross-group collaborations.

We aim to develop Research Exchanges (e.g. one month duration), especially early career researchers – we have found this to be a most successful route to develop collaborations; shorter inter-laboratory visits for awareness could also be arranged.

We aim for dialogues which open up opportunities for:

  • new joint bids for research funding, or for 
  • formation of teams for UK or international bids, and perhaps in due course, 
  • setting up joint laboratories for targeted areas (the Polymer IRC has formed 4 joint laboratories in China since 2010)

Which groups can be members?

  • We aim initially to have leading polymer-related research groups (not individuals) join the consortium to help develop its value and credibility.  
  • We start with invited members from the UK and abroad.

What is the cost of membership?

There is currently no cost to be a member.  


It could take some of your/ your team’s time, to help us develop representative information and collaborative activities.

If, in due course, requirements for some resources become apparent then we would have to consider how members could help with this.

What are members expected to do?

  • All members will need to complete a simple template, which will give basic information about your group for inclusion on this dedicated web site.
  • Members will share information with each other to help promote collaborations, including identifying specific areas in which you would like to find research collaboration partners.
  • When a Research Exchange is agreed between two laboratories, the partners will need to fund the Exchange costs (travel, subsistence, materials etc) in an agreed share of costs. (We have a lot of experience of this with Chinese partners)
  • Inter-laboratory short visits could be arranged e.g. for early career researchers - this has proven to be very helpful to develop co-operations.

Who operates this venture?

Initially this network will be co-ordinated from the Polymer IRC at Bradford.  

We will then aim to have a representative group of leaders from the membership to develop the venture, but avoid building suctures requiring heavy administration.

How will this relate to existing activities?

We aim to be complementary to and fully supportive of existing, excellent international societies such as the Polymer Processing Society, SPE, the IoMMM Polymer Society, EPF - certainly not attempting to duplicate their functions (such as the international annual meetings or regional meetings of the PPS). Such Societies have personal membership. We aim for Laboratories/ Groups to be members and to generate activities which are not promoted in practise via PPS and other societies – namely Research Exchanges, joint publications, forming teams for bids and setting up Joint Laboratories. 

We look forward to developing what could be called a Science Bridges International venture - building science, technology and people bridges - and crossing them!

‍                                                                                                            Newton Early Career Researcher Workshop, Chengdu Dec 2016

Professor Phil Coates FREng

Director, Polymer IRC

September 2018, updated February 2024

© Polymer IRC 2024