Page 24: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (October 2019)

Marine Design Annual

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Nigel Shewring is Hempel Group’s new Research & Development Director. He provided Maritime


Reporter & Engineering News insights on the fu- ture pace and direction of coatings technology.

By Greg Trauthwein by Design igel Shewring has spent his right solutions can be proposed to our professional life on the R&D customers but in addition we are current- side of the coatings industry, ly constructing a new R&D center, which

Nstarting in 1996 as a bench will house around 100 international re- chemist developing liquid coatings for searchers in Copenhagen where we have general industrial applications, moving also recently opened a new rain erosion later into the research and development test facility. Hempel is the ? rst coatings of foul release coatings. For the last 15 supplier capable of testing innovative years he has been leading international coating solutions for wind blades to the teams engaged in the research and devel- latest and most challenging standards.” opment of powder coatings. Finally, for the global citizen and his

A UK citizen who studied chemistry family, he reckons “it was an excellent at the University of Durham with a PhD opportunity for me and my family to live from Shef? eld Hallam University, he and work near the wonderful city of Co- is truly a ‘global citizen’, married with penhagen.” three children two born in the U.S. and R&D in marine coatings is a particu- one in China. lar challenge as ships and rigs operated

His move toward a career in coatings in one of the most hostile and inhospi- started with his PhD, which involved in- table atmospheres on the planet for metal vestigating the interactions at the clay/ structures. But Shewring leads a team polymer/water interface for the oil well of approximately 350 R&D employees, drilling industry. “There are many simi- 10% which have a PhD and cumulative larities between such colloidal disper- an average industry experience of 11 sions and with coatings and so there was years.

a natural connection at a technology lev- The business side of the equation, and el,” said Shewring. “On a personal level, in general the cyclical nature of the busi- the coatings industry is about engaging ness, presents perhaps the bigger chal- with people (whether it be customers or lenge. “It is a huge challenge that there front line employees) in a pragmatic way are few newbuilds, but we cannot control and that ? ts well with my personality.” that,” said Shewring. “We are focused on

His career most recently led him to helping our customers and ourselves in

Hempel, as he found it “an exciting place a dif? cult market. We do this by devel- to be” on many fronts. “Hempel is a oping and delivering what our customers growing company with the ambition to demand, and by helping our customers to double in size in the coming years; Hem- be competitive by contributing to lower pel is an innovator in coatings and a truly their cost of operations. And by collect- globally thinking, working and collabo- ing data from our customers to deliver rating organization with strong technical the optimal solutions. The marine market competencies and skilled researchers.” is extremely cyclic. Hempel is aware of

Perhaps most importantly to Shewring, this and do well in times of challenge. and really to anyone on the research side One of the reasons is that Hempel is fo- of business, is Hempel’s commitment to cusing on maintenance as well as new- “invest heavily” in R&D. “Hempel al- builds.” ready has a unique network of 17 R&D As with many other technical sector centers around the globe to ensure the of the maritime industry, emerging and 24 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • OCTOBER 2019

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