Ron Swart

Knowledge Transfer Manager for University of Southampton

Ron Swart is a Knowledge Transfer Manager at the KCMC working closely with the Chemistry department at the University of Southampton. He holds a BSc in Chemistry and a MSc in Molecular Enzymology and has over 30 years industrial R&D experience both in the UK and Belgium.

What do you do at the KCMC?

My role is to link the idea generators at the university with commercial needs in industry. In fact the ideas and needs flow both ways – my academic colleagues are always interested in where their research can be applied and industry frequently comes up with challenges which are academically very challenging.

What are your strengths?

My background is almost entirely industry based – but covering a multitude of areas. I spent many years working in colloid science particularly of biological systems before broadening my interest to polymer interfaces and liquid-liquid interfaces. Just before joining the KCMC I worked in resins coatings and analytical science. This very broad background has given me experience in a wide range of techno-commercial challenges. It also means that I am rarely phased by a new technical area.

Why do you enjoy working at the KCMC?

The opportunity to meet with some outstanding academics, discuss their work and collaborate with them in applying their technology to industrial challenges. The KCMC Team also brings years of experience and contacts at other great universities for solutions to industrial challenges – and now with the CPI and High Value Manufacturing Catapult we can provide access to key equipment and expertise in product development and scale up.

What area of materials science excites you?

The breadth of the technology and applications material science covers seems to be increasing all the time. The developments in one field often find applications elsewhere. For example from an academic standpoint, 2D materials mostly exemplified by graphene are now being extended into inorganic chemistry with new properties and potential applications. From an industrial standpoint, the developments needed in battery technology present challenges for electrochemistry, electrolyte and electrode materials.

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Ron Swart