The BioComposites Centre have three KESS 2 researchers at Bangor University. Read more about two of our participants mentioned in the Annual Report below.
“Carlo, Jenny and Josh are a fantastic addition to the research community here at the Centre.” said Dr Morwenna Spear, one of their supervisors. “The KESS 2 programme is an excellent way to engage with Welsh companies and help exchange ideas and research techniques to help solve their specific problems”.
“The KESS 2 funded PhD and Research Masters opportunities we have been able to offer support Postgraduate Research designed and delivered in collaboration with a company partner, to meet an identified company need” said Penny Dowdney, KESS 2 Wales Manager. “This type of funded research project is a perfect fit with the BioComposites Center (BC). Over the years we have funded many collaborative research projects with BC through KESS 2 and we hope to continue to work together.”
Carlo Kupfernagel is in the third year of his PhD studying the chemical modification of wood with a low molecular weight thermosetting resin. The treatment renders low grade plantation timber dimensionally stable and imparts the ability to withstand wood destroying fungi and insects.
Carlo studies the effect of different wood species and different processing conditions in this treatment. The project has allowed him to work with a broad selection of methods ranging from microscopy to thermoanalytical characterisations like dynamic scanning calorimetry (DSC).
Carlo has presented his work at several national and international conferences winning an award for the best student presentation at one of them. So far, he has published one journal paper and submitted another one. “I very much enjoy working with my supervisors and fellow students here at the BioComposites Centre” said Carlo.
Jenny recently graduated from Bangor University with a BSc in Environmental Conservation and joined the BioComposites Centre in July 2022. She is undertaking an MScRes under KESS 2 East, and is working on a collaborative project with Wipak, a packaging company based in Welshpool.
The project is looking at finding bio-based coatings for application onto paper packaging to replace the currently used synthetic polymers and to reduce issues related to accidental release of these polymers as packaging into the environment. Like many in the packaging industry, Wipak are striving to move away from plastic-based packaging towards sustainable paper materials.
Since joining [The BioComposites Centre], Jenny has been able to create a bio-based solution and coat several paper substrates using the Centre’s coating technology. Jenny is looking forward to the next six months of the project, working within the BioComposites Centre and is excited to see what might be next after completing the MScRes.
For original text, see page 23 in the Annual Report: KESS 2 Scholarships go From Strength to Strength.Carlo Kupfernagel Presenting at Northern European Network for Wood Science and Engineering Jenny applying beeswax to coat paper