Dr. Amar K. Mohanty, Professor

Dr. John Vlachopoulos
Professor Emeritus, Centre for Advanced Polymer Processing and Design, Department of Chemical Engineering, McMaster University, Hamilton Ontario


Computer simulation software developed by A-Team member, Dr. John Vlachopoulos and his co-workers has been licenced to about 500 companies in 27 countries for polymer processing analysis and equipment design. Dr. Vlachopoulos is a rheologist, someone who studies the science of deformation and flow of materials. He specializes not in the production of polymers, but rather in the conversion of polymers into useful plastic products, more specifically the flow, shaping and forming of polymeric materials.

He describes his work as ensuring that a plastic is processed in such a way as to provide an end-product with the desired characteristics in geometry and properties. By looking at the rheological and physical properties of polymers, his lab can understand what raw material characteristics are needed, before the process or product are actually developed.

Dr. Vlachopoulos has a strong interest in biomaterials. He is curious as to their properties in comparison to existing plastics. “Working with biomaterials is very difficult,” he says. Corn, soybeans, switch grass and sugar beets all have different characteristics and they are likely to yield polymer products of different properties. For example, – does biodiesel react the same way on plastic fuel tanks as regular diesel? How would the reaction change with a bioplastic tank? Since car fuel tanks are made with multi-layered plastic to provide strength and fume barriers, how would the plastic change if biobased fuel was used instead?” Similar questions are raised about the use of bioplastics in the food packaging industry and in the medical field.

A team player, Dr. Vlachopoulos is well-known for his development and design of software. His spin-off company, Polydynamics Inc., sells at least 10 different software packages for extruder screw design, die design, calendering, and rheology .

Around the world, Vlachopoulos is well known for his intensive short course on Polymer Rheology and Processing, which has been offered over 67 times in about 20 different countries to over 1,800 polymer professionals.

He is also a very active consultant to industry worldwide and he has served also as an expert witness internationally in legal disputes involving plastic products and processes and patent infringement cases.

Vlachopoulos was born in Volos, Greece and studied Chemical Engineering at the Technical University of Athens before receiving his M.S. and D.Sc at Washington University in St. Louis.Mo (USA). He has been with McMaster University since 1968 and he is the founder of McMaster’s Centre for Advanced Polymer Processing and Design (CAPPA-D) and member of the McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute (MMRI). Over the years he has supervised 18 PhDs and 35 Masters, 15 post-doctoral fellows and several other research engineers and research assistants. From his students he has produced 8 Professors who serve now in several Universities.

Dr. Vlachopoulos has published more than 126 papers in refereed journals, around 100 papers in refereed conference proceedings, has contributed chapters to 14 books and he is the author/co-editor of 6 books and lecture notes. He has written over 100 confidential consulting / research reports for corporations and has presented several hundred lectures at conferences around the world in seven languages (English, French, German, Greek, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian)

John Vlachopoulos received the Outstanding Achievements in Education Award of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) in 2001, the Distinguished Achievement Award of the Extrusion Division of SPE in 2004 and the S.G. Mason Award of the Canadian Society of Rheology in 2007. He has served as President of the Polymer Processing Society (PPS)during 2005-2007.

The new Ontario Biomaterials “A-Team”, assembled by Ontario Agri-Food Technologies and the Ontario Centres of Excellence is a consortium of leading scientists each with unique skills, expertise and world-class equipment in the development, processing and optimization of biomaterials. They’re the best choice for developing and processing novel and customized biomaterials.
“A-Team” members are eager to work cooperatively with each other and with industry. They are all globally recognized for their scientific expertise. They understand corporate needs - including speed of service, confidentiality and respect for corporate ownership or exclusive access to intellectual property.

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