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On his sixth visit to Deakin University in two years, Associate Professor Jeffrey Wiggins is becoming a familiar face around IFM. This time he is here for four weeks as Thinker in Residence, primarily to provide assessment and advice on Carbon Nexus.
Director of the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials at the University of Southern Mississippi, Jeff’s connection with Deakin began with a fortuitous meeting with Bronwyn Fox and Lee Astheimer in Salt Lake City in October 2010. Since then he and A/Prof Fox have collaborated on many projects in the field of composites research.
Jeff’s busy schedule at IFM includes presenting a course in polymer chemistry to undergraduate honours students and a keynote address at a Composites Australia technology seminar. Before returning to the US, he will also present two papers at the Australasian Polymer Symposium in Darwin in July.
An expert in composites fabrication and materials science, Jeff has extensive industry experience, including six years as a senior research manager for Bayer Corporation and six years as general manager of in-house manufacturing at Nike Inc, where he oversaw thermoplastic and composite material, engineering and manufacturing development programs.
He is excited about being involved in the early stages of Carbon Nexus and believes the main benefits of the facility will be to place Australia in a strong position for developing the next generation of carbon fibres.
“Internationally, the composites group at IFM is well and truly on the radar with global giants like Boeing and Cytec,” says Jeff.
“As Carbon Nexus comes on line, I believe those relationships will grow very quickly into partnerships.”