APT Solutions

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

Research Staff

Michael Hopkins Jnr – Senior Research Engineer


Michael, a graduate from AIT with a first class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering with polymer electives is a key member of the APT team and is currently working towards a PhD (part time) in polymer science in the modification of Polyethylene terephthalate via innovative reaction extrusion for the development of hybrid thermoplastic composite systems. Michael has managed over 500 small, medium and long-term studies with over 200 companies in the past three years. This has seen him manage various innovation partnership feasibility studies for some well-established Irish companies. Michael has worked on and managed two commercialisation programmes in excess of €500,000, in the area of polymer recyclate since 2013 and is principal investigator in a number of innovation partnership programmes with some of Irelands leading polymer processing companies. This work has led to licencing/technology transfer opportunities with three well established polymer processing companies or the possibility for a campus spin out company. Over the past few years, his primary focus has been in the area of polymer recycling and working with several established Irish based polymer processing companies in their struggle to meet new European directives in terms of recycling. His expertise lies in the area of both single and twin screw extrusion, polymer characterisation, dynamic mechanical analysis whilst displaying a vast knowledge in injection moulding processes, from micro to large scale. His forte is 3-D printed tooling and data acquisition which all revolves around the industry 4.0, smart manufacturing ethos. His injection moulding experience has seen him spearhead the development of various innovative injection moulding processes which will help APT provide cutting edge solutions for the medical device sector in Ireland. Michael’s main area of research has been in the area of modification of Polyethylene terephthalate for the creation of hybrid composite systems and the additive manufacturing of injection mould tools for the medical device sector. It was this work through which he gained an invite to the medical plastics conference in Brussels (2017) to give a presentation of his findings on 3-D printed tooling for the medical device sector.

Contact Michael at mhopkins@ait.ie / + 353 (0) 9064 68284

Paddy Doran – Senior Research Scientist


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.

Contact Paddy at patrickdoran@ait.ie

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.

Maurice Dalton


Development of novel melt processed drug delivery devices that control the release of active pharmaceutical agents.

  • Utilising hydrophyllic polymers as a means of enhancing the solubility of poorly water soluble drugs.

Zhi Cao


Development of New Lightweight Polymer Composites of High Density

  • Novel fillers and reactive extrusion techniques are been developed to enable the production of light weight polymer parts.
  • This project is in collaboration with industry and field trials using material advancements will commence shortly.

Conor Coffey


Development of the next generation of easy to use Extended Release supplement/antiparasitic agent delivery TechnologiesDevelopment of easy to use controlled delivery system for use in cattle.

Yuan Yuan Chen


Development of drug eluting biodegradable nanocomposite for use in coronary stents.  High strength materials are under development for use in the treatment of coronary artery disease.

Crevan O Donnell


Development of a standard testing protocol for PET recyclate and methods of adding value to the post-consumer resin.

  • Test protocols have been developed and validated for use in the recycling industry to ensure a high quality recyclate is obtained in accordance with best international practice.
  • These protocols have been installed into the processing facility of the industrial partner.