TARRC appoints new Director of Research – Dr Stuart Cook

Dr Andrew Tinker retires TARRC appoints new Director of Research – Dr Stuart Cook

Dr Stuart Cook has been appointed Director of Research at the Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre (TARRC), the UK-based laboratory of the Malaysian Rubber Board, with effect from 1 st July 2009. The appointment has been made following the retirement of Dr Andrew Tinker in June. Dr Cook will be responsible for the research activities of the 80 plus scientific and supporting staff working in the extensive laboratories at Hertford, just north of London.

Dr Cook, 51, joined TARRC in 1987 after a three-year spell teaching general science and chemistry to A-level standard. Dr Cook received his first degree in Chemistry from the University of East Anglia and continued studying there for his MSc and Doctorate on the chemical synthesis of prostacyclin analogues.

Dr Cook started at TARRC as a senior scientist investigating the susceptibility to autoxidation of natural and epoxidised natural rubber. He developed techniques to measure the comparative rates of autoxidation of NR and epoxidised natural rubber (ENR) polymers using free radical initiators.

In 1990 he joined the Advanced Materials and Product Development Unit and became its head in 1998. During this time he made significant developments in the fields of rubber blends, rubber-filler interactions, reactive mixing of polymers, new techniques to analyse vulcanisates and in the prevention of electrochemical degradation of automotive coolant hose compounds. A major focus of attention has been the development and commercialisation of NR based thermoplastic vulcanisate materials (TPVs).

Dr Cook became Head of the Materials R&D Division at TARRC in 2002 with responsibility for technical research and development in support of the Malaysian rubber manufacturers and biotechnology sectors.

More recently, Dr Cook’s efforts have centred on the promotion of Ekoprena (ENR) for use in tyre applications, the development of passenger tyre compounds based on ENR-25 and providing assistance to the development of a new production process for ENR at the Rubber Technology Centre in Malaysia.

Dr Cook is widely known and respected in the rubber industry through his many publications and presentations to international conferences. Alongside his R&D activities, he has also coordinated TARRC’s consultancy management team since 2006 with responsibility for its day-to-day operation. Under his direction, TARRC will continue to play an essential role in the development of the Malaysian rubber industry through the Malaysian Rubber Board.
© Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre 2005
July 2009