APT Solutions

APT is providing solutions for companies using plastic materials across the medical, composite, recycling and pharmaceutical sectors.

Research Staff

Dr Valerie Barron – Senior Research Scientist


Dr. Barron is a Materials Scientist with over 20 years’ experience in the development and characterisation of polymeric biomaterials for medical applications.  At present, she is leading the peripheral nerve repair programme in AIT.  Dr. Barron has extensive experience in biomedical polymers having worked in the University of Delaware, Newark, USA, Trinity College Dublin and the Regenerative Medicine Institute at the National University of Ireland in Galway.  She has successfully obtained research funding from Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the European Union. She has over 40 peer reviewed publications, 90 conference proceedings and is a member of a number of scientific committees. Dr. Barron also has an established track record with Irish industry, having facilitated technology transfer agreements, joint patent applications, co-authored publications, in addition to providing education and training for M.Sc. and Ph.D. students who gained high value employment in both indigenous companies and multinational organisations.

See Valerie’s Publications Here

Alan Mannion – Senior Technologist

Alan is APTs Senior technologist who is responsible for the maintenance and the on-going continual improvements to the APT facility. Alan has a First class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering and is currently working towards an MSc in polymer Engineering. In the past 2 years Alan has helped a numbers of companies secure both funding and patent`s in the polymer and food industries in Ireland. Alan also carries out testing and characterisation work on behalf of APT.

Michael Hopkins Jnr – Research Engineer

Michael is currently involved in developing a valuable resource material from Mixed Plastic Waste as a part of an   EI funded Commercialisation Project. He is a graduate from AIT with a first class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering with polymer electives and is currently working towards a transfer from an MSc to PhD in polymer science. His studies involve the innovative reaction extrusion of PET for a possible use as a thermoplastic composite. Michael’s role as a research engineer within APT has seen him work with some of Europe’s leading suppliers of polymer processing equipment in the areas of extrusion and injection moulding.  Over the past year, his primary focus has been in the area of polymer recycling and is currently working with several established Irish based polymer processing companies in their struggle to meet new European directives in terms of recycling.

Dr Joshua Yoon – Research Engineer


Position:Development of the next generation of easy to use Extended Release supplement/antiparasitic agent delivery technologies

  • Development of easy to use controlled delivery system for use in cattle

Paddy Doran – Technologist

Paddy has a BEng Mechanical Engineering and a BEng (Hons) in Sustainable Engineering. He is currently completing his MSc in Polymer Engineering based on nanocomposite packaging material. His current duties in APT are Processing and Testing on Industry led projects.

Dr Ian Major – Research Engineer


Dr Ian Major is developing a PET based continuous fibre thermoplastic composite for an EI funded Commercialisation Fund project (STRUCCO). He has a BEng in Chemical with Polymer Engineering and PhD in Polymer Engineering from The Queen’s University of Belfast. Previously, he was a R&D Engineer in the Polymer Processing Research Centre (UK) developing chemical protective materials for the Defence industry.  Dr Major has a broad experience working on thermoplastic composite projects, including nanocomposite and PVC composite materials. Over the last several years he has also developed an expertise in the compound extrusion and injection moulding of biocompatible composites for implants and medical devices.

See Ian’s publications Here

Dr. Declan Devine – Director Materials Research Institute

Dr Declan Devine  is the Director of the Materials Research Institute at Athlone Institute of Technology. Dr Devine is a graduate of the Polymer Engineering programme at AIT where he also completed his PhD studies. Following his PhD studies he worked on an industry based post-doctoral fellowship which enabled the development and licencing of orientated polymeric films for use in the ophthalmic industry. He subsequently gained international research experience as a Senior Project Leader in the Preclinical Services Programme at the AO Research Institute in Switzerland, after which he completed a prestigious Marie Curie Research fellowship at Harvard University’s Center for Advanced Orthopaedic Studies and the Mayo Clinic’s Rehabilitation Medicine Center in the field of bone tissue engineering.

Dr. Michael Nugent – Lecturer

Dr. Michael Nugent is a lecturer and principal investigator in AIT. He joined AIT after working in industry and academia for a number of years. He has a MSc degree in research (MPhil) from Bradford University on development of a polymer process and a Ph.D. from AIT. He is currently supervising 3 researchers in the areas of drug delivery systems and biomedical applications of polymers. He has worked extensively with industry on applied research and process improvement projects.