TARRC's Dr Pamela Martin wins 2019 Sparks-Thomas Award

Dr Pamela Martin Sparks-Thomas Award 2019

TARRC's Dr Pamela Martin, Advanced Materials and Product Development Unit, is the winner of the 2019 Sparks-Thomas Award from the ACS, Rubber Division in the US. The award is sponsored by ExxonMobil, and recognises and encourages outstanding scientific contributions and innovations in the field of elastomers by younger scientists, technologists and engineers.

Dr Martin's research in the area of tyre tread compounds has been directed towards developing a better understanding of how fillers (particularly silica filler) influence the factors that control the process behaviour of tyre compounds and, in the finished product, control tyre rolling resistance, wet grip and wear performance.

Dr Martin's work is said to be groundbreaking and set to become a major contribution in the understanding of the processes that take place within the tyre tread compound at the tyre to road interface during the lifetime of the tyre.

During the time Dr Martin has been working at TARRC she has contributed to the development of a new mixing procedure suitable for the use of silica filler in polar rubbers, such as epoxidised natural rubber. Tyre rubbers, modified with polar functionality, are beginning to find increased utility in tread applications. However, new understanding is required as to how such elastomers differ from those more established tyre rubbers, and how such polymers interact with both traditional fillers, as well as the new, more environmentally friendly, polar fillers that are beginning to enter the market.

Dr Martin has also led research into developing a better understanding of the effectiveness of a mixed silanes in silica filled natural rubber tread compounds to achieve improved filler dispersion and more effective cross-linking, and give better fuel economy, and enhanced wet grip and good wear. More recently, Dr Martin has developed a new procedure for imaging and analysing the surface layers of tyres subjected to real in-service conditions, and has shown how this contrasts with the relatively simple wear behaviour and non-predictive nature of many of the laboratory wear tests in use today.

Dr Martin graduated with a master of chemistry from the University of Exeter, UK in 2003. She earned her PhD from the University of York in the UK in 2008 on the synthesis and properties of liquid crystals. Since joining TARRC in 2008 Dr Martin has been involved in the work of the Advanced Materials and Product Development Unit primarily with epoxidised natural rubber in tyre compounds.

On receiving the news of her award (announced on the first day of the International Elastomer Conference 2018 in Louisville, KY) Pamela tweeted to her followers; 'I’m overjoyed to be the recipient of the Sparks-Thomas Award @RubberDivision #RubberIEC. I am thankful to the sponsors ExxonMobil and would like to thank my nominator for supporting my career development, plus all my colleagues involved in my work over the years @tarrcuk #TARRC.'

Pamela will receive her award at the ACS, Rubber Division Spring Meeting next year in Independence, Ohio.

Congratulations to Dr Pamela Martin on her achievement!


Tuesday 16th October 2018
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