Prof. Dr. Yuko Ikeda

Director, Center for Rubber Science and Technology, Kyoto Institute of Technology.

Prof Yuko Ikeda hails from Kyoto, Japan is attached to the Faculty of Molecular Chemistry and Engineering, Kyoto Institute of Technology (KIT) where she is also the Director of the Center for Rubber Science and Technology. She reached her notable career landmark in 1995 when she was appointed as a professor at KIT, after obtaining her Doctorate Degree in Engineering from Kyoto University (1994). She was also the recipient of the international 29th Oenslager Award in 2014. Prof Ikeda’s R&D work focuses on rubber and elastomer science and technology. Her current research topics are fundamental studies on sulphur cross-linking and reinforcement of rubbers by using new analytical methods. Characterization of natural rubbers is also studied by using synchrotron X-ray analyses. Her expertise and active R&D work in manifested in more than 66 publications in high-impact journals, the latest being in reinforcing biofiller “lignin” for high- performance green NR nanocomposites in RSC Advances.

Prof Yuko Ikeda is expected to give a critical review, including new insights, of the mechanism of sulphur crosslinking.

The chemistry of sulfur cross-linking and the reinforcement by filler are the two most important issues governing the vulcanizate properties of rubber. Even though various and lots of studies have been carried out to gain better understanding of the two, the findings are yet to enlighten rubber industry practitioners as well as rubber researchers. This keynote address will provide them with a modern insight on the two, which is effective in this century.

Prof. Dr. Ahmad Fauzi Bin Ismail

Professor at Faculty of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

Prof Ahmad Fauzi Ismail is attached to the Faculty of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). He is currently the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research and Innovation, UTM. His R&D work is centred on the development of polymeric, inorganic and novel mixed matrix membranes for water desalination, wastewater treatment, gas separation processes, a membrane for palm oil refining, a photocatalytic membrane for removal of emerging contaminants, development of haemodialysis membrane and polymer electrolyte membrane for fuel cell applications. He obtained his PhD in Chemical and Process Engineering in 1997 from the University of Strathclyde (UK) and has published more than 500 journal articles, authored six books, 45 book chapters, edited four books, four patents granted and 16 pending. Prof Fauzi won more than 120 national and international awards: the most prestigious is the Merdeka Award in 2014. He is involved extensively in R&D&C for national and multi-national companies related to membrane-based processes for industrial application and currently, has two spin-off companies.

Prof Ahmad Fauzi Ismail will speak on purification of waste water using membrane purification technology . The rubber industry , upstream as well as downstream (latex products), are heavy users of water. Prof. Fauzi has developed a working model to recover waste water for re-use.

Sustainable Water Management for the Rubber Industry - A.F. Ismail, D. Veerasamy and J. Jaafar
Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre, University Technology of Malaysia, Skudai Johore, Malaysia & Suraaj Mahir Consultancy, Rawang, Selangor, Malaysia

Escalation of operating cost in processing and products manufacturing in the NR industry contributed by increased water tariff and the frequently interrupted supply of processing water, are resolved via treated wastewater recycling. In this Keynote Address the successful formula is the utilization of membrane separation process as the tertiary polishing process, which enables recycling of the treated wastewater. Attaining sustainability in water management in the rubber industry is discussed. The highlight is the reduction of 30% in the operating cost shown in a recent case-study done in a latex products manufacturing factory utilizing this technology.

Mr Denis Low Jau Foo

President, Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (MARGMA)

Mr Denis Low Jau Foo, an MBA graduate from the Preston University, USA also holds a Graduate Diploma in Management from the International Professional Managers Association, London. He is currently handling the Corporate Affairs of Supermax Corporation Berhad (a world-class international manufacturer, distributor, and marketer of high-quality medical gloves) and since he has a passion for sales and marketing, he is also actively involved in it and is a Director of the Group. In line with the glove business, Denis Low is also the President of the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (MARGMA). He is also a Board Member of the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB/LGM) and a trustee of the Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council (MREPC). He is a well-known strategist and is regularly inducted into many think-tank sessions for the Malaysian government and numerous institutions.

Malaysia is the world leading producer and exporter of natural rubber (latex) and synthetic rubber gloves. Mr. Low is expected to talk about the challenges facing the glove industry and opportunities for continued growth, not just of the glove industry but also of the broader Malaysian rubber products manufacturing sector.

Dr. Alan Muhr

Former Head of Engineering Research & Design, Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre (TARRC)

Dr. Alan Muhr graduated in mathematics at the University of Cambridge in 1975 and went on to do a PhD and post-doctoral research at the University of Nottingham on polysaccharides.

He was recruited in 1983 by the Malaysian Rubber Producers’ Research Association (now TARRC) to work with Prof Alan Thomas on abrasion of rubber and its relationship to crack-growth characteristics, but involving also stress-strain behaviour, ageing, friction and lubrication, and the effects of rate and temperature on all of these.

Later he worked on the design principles of rubber engineering components, especially load-deflection behaviour and failure.

He became Leader of the Engineering Research & Design Unit at TARRC in 1999. Laminated rubber isolators, marine fenders, automotive mounts and bushings and structural energy dissipation systems have all featured in his research and publications on applications of rubber in engineering.

He co-founded the biennial European Conferences on Constitutive Models for Rubber.

He received the Melvin Mooney Distinguished Technology Award of the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society in 2015 - the most prestigious award available to a rubber professional.

He has published papers on a wide range of rubber engineering and applications topics

Dr. Alan Muhr will speak on “Rubber-to-metal bonded components: attributes and challenges” - The failure of rubber products in service and methods to prolong the service life of same.