Composites UK manager wins materials prize

Composites UK says that its operations manager, Dr Sue Halliwell, has won the Institute of Mate-rials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) 2022 Leslie Holliday prize.

The Leslie Holliday Prize recognizes a significant or technological contribution to composites and has been awarded since 1984, with past winners including Professor Ivana Partridge, Professor Andrew Long and Composites UK’s Vice Chair, Dr Faye Smith OBE.

Dr Halliwell was nominated for the award by her team at Composites UK to celebrate “her exceptional contribution to the composites industry, striving to further the use of fiber-reinforced polymer composites (FRPs) across multiple sectors” according to a press release.

She graduated in chemistry from Reading University in 1987 and joined the plastics section at the Building Research Establishment (BRE), researching the durability of plastics for use in buildings. Studying part time for an MSc in Polymer Technology at Loughborough University in 1990, Dr Halliwell then undertook her PhD, successfully completing it in 1996. At the same time, she became involved in durability issues relating to the use of FRP materials for buildings.

In 2000, Dr Halliwell founded the Network Group for Composites in Construction (NGCC) and held the role of knowledge transfer manager at NetComposites Ltd. NGCC later became the Composites UK Construction Sub-Group.

While at Composites UK she has secured the dissemination contract for the Composites Innovation Cluster (AMSCI funded project); supported the Composites Leadership Forum as secretary; built a thorough health and safety audit tool where companies can self-audit their HSE practices; stopped a standard (EN 124) that unfairly limited composite manhole covers from being accepted by the EU; and co-ordinated a Bridge Design Guide to increase the uptake of FRPs in bridge applications. Sue also represents the UK at the board meetings for the European Industry Composites Association (EuCIA).

“I am absolutely delighted and honoured to receive this prize, if not slightly overwhelmed given those that have won it before me,” said Dr Halliwell. “I am passionate about supporting the safe and effective use of FRP materials across all sectors and truly believe they have a critical role to play in the future delivery of NetZero targets.”