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Artis | Our Experts

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Combining the best academic and industry knowledge to give you solutions that deliver results

Our Experts

With over 200 years of combined experience in rubber and polymer technology, backed up by over 100 years of industry knowledge, we're confident we can provide you with the answers.


Martyn Bennett - Chief Scientist

Martyn was instrumental in the establishment of Avon Rubber's Materials Development Centre in 1998 and launched ARTIS in 2007.

He brings a depth of specialist technical knowledge of physics, metallurgy, polymer science, food processing, rheology, test development, statistical analysis and data management to our team.

Having graduated from Sheffield Hallam University he joined Bristol University as part of their Teaching Company leaving to join Avon Rubber in 1991 to run their New Projects division. He later became the R&D Manager at Avon Rubber and was invited to lead the establishment of ARTIS in 2007.

Martyn has recently been awarded the Hancock Medal by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.

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Dr Chris Norris - Analytical Services Manager

Chris joined ARTIS in 2012 having received his doctorate in Self-Healing Composite Systems from the University of Bristol.

His experience in route cause analysis of elastomer compounds, pyrolysis processes and his keen interest in the environmental factors supports the team and our clients in the development of new recovery processes.

He joined Columbian Chemicals Company in 2002, during his time there he worked on various research programs aimed at developing new carbon black products.

Chris was awarded the Alan Glanvill Award from IOM3 together with Martyn Bennett and Mike Hale in 2015.

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Dr Ahmed Farid - Development Scientist

Following varied career in the rubber industry Dr Farid joined ARTIS in 2012.

He has a wealth of experience in the formulation of rubber compounds and a detailed knowledge on cure chemistry. He brings significant knowledge of the application of materials, such as elastomers, plastics, lattices and textiles to our team.

Starting his career working for Dunlop Footwear during which time he received a BSc in Polymer Science and Technology as part time study. He then went on to join London Metropolitan University working as a research assistant pursing a PhD financed by British Gas developing elastomeric materials for seals and other fittings for use in gas-distribution systems.  Working for Leyland Medical International before his appointment as senior lecturer at London Metropolitan University.

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Steve Millington - Development Scientist

Following a long and varied career in MOD, Steve joined ARTIS in 2011. His knowledge and expertise in bonding, surface treatments and materials testing, as well as his background working on large scale projects with Airbus, Boeing and academia, bring a strong commercial capability to the team.

Having graduated from Kingston Polytechnic with a BSc in Applied Chemistry, Stephen began his career at Woolwich Arsenal in 1980. He held a number of scientific roles in MOD before joining QinetiQ when it was formed in 2001, where his final role was as a Senior Technical Consultant in polymers and adhesives.

Stephen was appointed Vice-Chairman of the Society for Adhesion and Adhesives in 2015 and will be in tenure in this position for three years.

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Leah Ritchens - Development Scientist

Leah trained with Avon Rubber plc achieving a first class BSc in Applied Chemical Sciences at The University of West England in 2007.

Leah brings a strong background in physical and chemical testing, microscopy and failure analysis to the team with specialist knowledge of NIOSH and CE specifications for protection and human testing of respirator products. She has since further developed her knowledge base by taking a keen interest in food contact testing and help develop a few test protocol for ARTIS.

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Alison Jones - Testing Supervisor

Alison has trained and developed her skills working with Avon Rubber plc and Arits.

With over 16 years laboratory experience Alison brings extensive knowledge of the test methods and equipment used throughout our business. Responsible for the maintenance, servicing and calibration of our equipment as well as standards and documentation, her work is core to supporting the work we do.

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Mike Hale - Laboratory Manager

Mike joined Avon Rubber plc in 1989 moving across to join ARTIS in 2007 to run our analytical service.

He brings an unrivalled knowledge of the ingredients and chemistry involved in rubber technology to the team. He runs our microscopy facility and reconstructs compound formulations to determine service life changes as part of his role.

Mike graduated with a BSc in Polymer Science and Engineering from Brunel University and has published a number of papers, receiving the Alan Glanvill Award from IO3 together with Dr Chris Norris and Martyn Bennett in 2015.

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Dr James Lynch - Materials Analyst

James joined ARTIS in 2015 primarily to run and develop the newly installed demanding environment facility and brings additional fundamental knowledge of polymer systems and chemistry to the ARTIS group.

James has graduated with anMChem from St Andrews University in Scotland and a PhD from the Doctoral Training Centre at the University of Bath Centre for Sustainable Chemistry. 

Since Joining ARTIS his role is to evaluate the effects of the environments encountered by rubber materials during service, on their performance using internationally recognised standards and developing novel testing methodologies.

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Mark Smithson - Development Scientist

 Mark joined Avon Rubber plc in 1999 having worked with the MoD on the development of the S10 respirator.

His has a depth of commercial understanding gained from his work manufacturing and designing protection equipment. He brings expertise in the development of bonding applications, joining technology and adhesives as well as many years’ experience in problem solving, experimental design and moldflow modelling to our team.

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Carolynn Bennett, Technical Assistant

Joining ARTIS in 2009, Carolynn works in various parts of the laboratory supporting our specialist testing and analytical work providing a thorough and meticulous resource to the team.

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Josh Barnes- Placement Student

Josh is our current DIS placement student studying Materials Engineering at Loughborough University. While Josh is involved in many projects throughout ARTIS, his main project is examining the recovery process of tyre fillers from used car tyres as well as optimising the quality of the output recycled filler to be used once again as filler in another application.



Paul Drake - Mixing and Moulding Technician

Paul joined ARTIS in 2012 and originally trained as an Apprentice Technician in electronic/electrical engineering before becoming a Technical Officer with the MoD(N). Paul quickly adapted into the ARTIS team and has now become a key part of the department providing laboratory scale compounding and moulded samples for testing.

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