TPE Forum: Ines Kühnert and Stefan Zepnik are the new speakers
At its virtual plenary session on 1 December 2020, the TPE-Forum elected Dr. Ines Kühnert, Institute of Polymer Materials of the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden e. V. (IPF Dresden), and Dr. Stefan Zepnik, Mocom Compounds GmbH & Co. KG, as new speakers. They succeed Jürgen Hättig, Covestro, and Dr. Günter Scholz, BASF, who have successfully led and represented the association of key players in the TPE industry since its beginnings in 2016.
Kühnert, who heads the Processing Technology Department at the IPF, has been actively involved with the TPE-Forum for a long time. Among other things, she hosted the TPE-Forum meeting in February 2019 at the IPF in Dresden and is actively shaping the further establishment of TPEs in the market in various bodies and committees. Looking ahead to her new role, she said:
"As spokesperson for the TPE Forum, I would very much like to contribute to the further expansion of the visibility of thermoplastic elastomers as a separate product class, which has been successfully shaped to date. I have come to know the TPE Forum as an open and productive platform whose members have already achieved a lot, especially in standardisation and further education. For the work in the TPE Forum, I consider topics such as raw material availability and protection of the material design as well as data management and digitalisation along the TPE value chain to be relevant in the future. In addition to the previous goals of the TPE Forum, I additionally hope that we will use the potential of the interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral industry and science network to strengthen the TPE family in sustainability and meaningful circular economy."
Zepnik is Director Technical Service Center at Mocom, which builds on the 50-year tradition of the former Technical Compounds Division of Albis Plastic GmbH. He has also been involved in the TPE-Forum for years and has made a name for himself as an expert in the industry with numerous publications and conference contributions, among other things. On his new role as speaker for the TPE-Forum, he said:
"I hope to be able to consistently continue the path the TPE-Forum has taken so far. Strengthening interdisciplinarity in the field of thermoplastic elastomers is also an important concern for me, i.e. the interlocking and exchange between industry and science in the field of TPE materials but also within the individual TPE product classes. The further advancement of appropriate standardisation for the TPE family is also important because it further improves the marketability of these products. Last but not least, the topic of sustainability is also of high importance for TPEs, which is why this will certainly also be a focus within the TPE Forum."
The minutes of the plenary session can be viewed and downloaded from the TPE-Forum website (www.tpe-forum.de). More information about the TPE-Forum and its new speakers will follow in the next issue of TPE Magazine.
The next TPE-Forum meeting is scheduled to take place in March 2021.
About the IPF
The Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden e. V. (IPF) is one of the largest polymer research institutions in Germany. It conducts holistic polymer materials research from synthesis and modification of polymer materials, their characterisation to processing and testing.
Mocom is one of the world's leading compounders with a comprehensive portfolio of technical compounds. Formerly the Technical Compounds Division of Albis GmbH, Mocom builds on a 50-year tradition.