Ross earned a BSc in Chemistry with Management Science. He has been involved in Research, Product and Business Development of polymers for last 24 years with experience in CMC, MC/HPMC, xanthan, carrageenans, agar and enzyme modified guar. Ross has worked in the cellulosics field on company aquisitions and was the product manager for hydrocolloids in Quest International working on the strategic development of the hydrocolloids business before founding CyberColloids in 2002
Hydrocolloid Staff and Associates
status: Core Members
Kevin did his PhD on the chemistry of alginate and then worked for seven years on cellulosics R & D focusing mainly on HPMC structure and functionality. This was followed by eight years as the development manager for Quest International working mainly on carrageenan factory development and seaweed processing as well as galactomannan stucture function understanding. Kevin Joined CyberColloids in 2002.
Mariel obtained her first degree in Chemistry from Galway in 1990. At the same University she studied for her Ph.D. in the area of carbohydrate chemistry. After obtaining her Ph.D. in 1995 she worked at the University as analyst/researcher developing high performance anion exchange chromatography. In July 1995 Mariel joined the pharmaceutical company Pinewood Healthcare as Validation Coordinator. In 1996 Mariel joined Quest International (Ireland) as Hydrocolloids Process & Product Development Chemist. While in Quest Mariel worked in various areas including galactomannan development and carrageenan factory development. Mariel joined Cybercolloids in 2003.
Angie is a doctor in veterinary medicine and obtained a Masters degree in Meat Science at Iowa State University (1994). Simultaneously she worked as Research assistant and managed industry projects involving the study of the Functionality of carrageenans in meat systems. She worked at Quest International as Meat and Meals technologist in the Food Science and Technology centre (1995-1998). She progressed within Quest and took various challenges as Application Manager Savoury (1998-1999), Hydrocolloids Regional Product group manager (1999-2000) and Global Culinary Marketing manager (2001-2002). She joined CyberColloids in 2002.
Colin Hepburn has 18 years experience in the chemical, seaweed processing and natural polymer(hydrocolloids) industries, who has a MBA and engineering degrees; has progressed from engineering management to senior plant operations management within American and British Multinationals and to the level of Board Director and General Manager of a small natural bio-polymers company. Significant experience in value chain development of seaweed based hydrocolloids of carrageenan and alginates. Particular focus on the strategic and commercial development of the carrageenan value chain from growing in SE Asia to the manufacture of finished products and systems for the food industry.
Following completion of her BSc and MSc in Food Science and Technology from University College Cork, Eileen joined CyberColloids in 2006.
Eileen is the food applications specialist in CyberColloids. She has managed numerous industry projects including meat and dairy applications and functional food projects. Eileen’s area of expertise is new product development with particular emphasis on reducing fat and/or cost of formulation.
Eileen has also participated on many sales teams throughout Europe and has also been involved in process development.
Prior to joining CyberColloids in 2006, Sarah's research interests primarily focussed on the biology and ecology of marine macroalgae. Since joining the company she has managed a number of in house and collaborative projects including EU funded FP7 research involving Irish and UK universities and SMEs. From 2006-2008 she acted as the contact point for the ISIO (Irish Seaweed Industry Organisation) and was actively involved in promoting the industry and encouraging the development of seaweed focussed projects - as a consequence she has developed strong links with seaweed harvesters and processors across Ireland, Europe and globally.
Sarah has a particular interest in edible seaweeds and their potential as a source of interesting bioactive components for health, nutrition and flavour. Recent research projects have focussed on the use of seaweed for health and nutrition and as a raw material for the horticulture and animal feed industries. In all cases there has been a strong emphasis on finding novel or value added uses for a material that is currently undervalued. She is currently working on a number of projects with Scottish, Spanish and Irish seaweed companies.
Jennifer joined CyberColloids in October 2007 after completing her PhD with Professor E.R Morris and Professor D. Mulvihill of UCC and Professor A Foegeding of NCSU on biopolymer mixtures.
Her research interests include novel fibres, particularly those produced from plant waste materials. She has managed several projects on fibre process development, characterisation and application. Jennifer has a keen interest in prebiotics and their development, and has been the principle scientist involved in a long term project focused on novel fibres for digestive health. Jennifer provides training to companies in the areas of hydrocolloid chemistry, rheology and applications
Catherine got a degree in Pharmaceutical Science from Waterford IT in 2005, and then continued to study there for a PhD in Marine Biochemistry. This involved the study of the mechanisms of metal uptake by marine macroalgae. Catherine joined Cybercolloids in 2010.
Following the completion of her PhD in meat science from University College Cork; Patrycja joined CyberColloids in 2010.
Patrycja is involved in food applications and focuses on bakery and savoury products.
status: Associate Members
Professor Morris has worked extensively on the use of natural polymers to generate and control the texture of manufactured food products. He is widely recognised as a leading international authority in this area, and his name is associated with the accepted models for the solution and gel properties of most of the industrial hydrocolloids approved for food use. His activities have ranged from fundamental research on the conformation (shape) and functional interactions of biopolymers at a molecular level to applied research and development work with more than 40 companies and industrial research institutes internationally.
Paul is a recognized worldwide authority on polysaccharides and is editor of the peer reviewed journal "Carbohydrate Polymers". Paul has worked in the polysaccharide field for over thirty years. One of Pauls early achievements was the development of the worlds first ever commercial xanthan process.
Ralph has worked for many leading hydrocolloid companies including Kelco, Rhône–Poulenc and Unilever. He has substantial experience in xanthan, guar, gellan and alginates.
Mike earned degree in Chemistry at the University of Tennessee and holds 3 application patents utilizing hydrocolloids in textiles and cosmetics. He has over 30 years experience with the full range hydrocolloids including both natural and synthetic with an emphasis in guar/ guar derivatives and arabinogalactan. His application experience includes textiles, cosmetics, explosives, paper and dietary supplements and held positions at such companies as Celanese, Rhone Poulenc and Larex ranging from bench chemist, product manager, application group leader, sales manager, business director to President/CEO before starting his own company, MG Force.
Peter gained his PhD at Nottingham University in 1975 before moving into the chemical industry. He was involved in research and development for 7 years before becoming involved in the water soluble polymers business. Initially in technical service he became involved in sales administration, business development and then sales and development. Peter has experience in many market areas including construction, detergent, pharmaceutical and personal care but latterly has focused on the food sector. Experienced with many food approved water soluble polymers his main expertise lies with HPMC, MC and CMC where he headed the technical service and development team and was responsible for management of distributors worldwide and sales development in new overseas areas for Courtaulds Water Soluble Polymers. Peter is now a technical consultant heavily involved with the food business of HPMC/MC products.
Scientist with extensive technical experience in fermentation, molecular genetics and metabolic engineering, developing polysaccharide and nutraceutical products for a global leader in fermentation. Project manager of interdisciplinary teams in the specialty chemicals industry for: New microbial products, product modifications, strain improvements, process improvement, fermentation scale up, microbial physiology, molecular genetics, bacterial genomics, culture maintenance and biosafety.
Dr. Cottrell began his career as a guar chemist, focusing on the development of hydroxyalkyl guar, cationic guar and guar double – derivatives for Stein, Hall and Co. From there, he went to the Kelco Division of Merck, where for 13 years, he specialized in alginates, xanthan gum, gellan gum and the development of new biopolymers. Following a stint with a venture capital biotechnology company in water soluble biopolymers, he moved to ISP (formerly GAF), where he focused his expertise on the development of polymers based on vinyl pyrrolidone. His corporate career then led him to work in Europe for Meyhall Chemical AG (which was acquired by Rhône–Poulenc, S.A.), with responsibility for both hydrocolloids and related polymers and the growth of the personal care ingredients business. He returned to the US where he was responsible for guar and xanthan technology for Rhône–Poulenc, Inc. From there he went to National Starch where he was the global R & D director for personal care polymer technology. Most recently, Dr Cottrell was responsible for the development of specialty pet products at The Hartz Mountain Corporation. Dr Cottrell received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He is the inventor on 45 patents and patent applications, and has authored over 25 publications.
Brian Twomey a graduate from University College Dublin and the University of Missouri has a long history in the process and chemical engineering consulting field for the pharmaceutical “fill-finish” industry. He has just returned from the US having worked for Bausch and Lomb and is acting as a consultant on various projects including equipment and facility start-up, technology transfer and cleaning and sterilization process design and validation for clients including GSK, Novartis, Genentech and Pfizer. Brian, as an associate with CyberColloids brings a practical depth to the organization by focusing on the process and equipment optimization required to transform lab scale ideas and concepts to ”real-world“ processes.
With a background in polymer science, Mike has spent 35 years working with food hydrocolloids, researching their contribution to food microstructure, rheology, texture and other important quality attributes. Areas of expertise include polysaccharide analysis and macromolecular sizing, interactions and compatibility, rheology and functionality with respect to the food applications of gels, thickeners and stabilisers. Mike's experience in the area of biopolymer interactions and complex functionality has been utilised in developing polysaccharide-based soft capsules, microencapsulated oils, and edible, anti-microbial barrier-films. Mike has authored 19 papers on functional hydrocolloids and is co-author of patents relating to polysaccharide low-melting gels.
Sean Tuohy graduated from University College Cork with BSc and MSc degrees in Dairy & Food Science and holds a PhD from the National University of Ireland. He joined the Dairy Technology Dept. of Moorepark Research Centre in 1977 where he worked as a Research Officer on aspects of milk protein technology; spray drying technology and packaging technology until 1992. In 1992 he was appointed Manager of Moorepark Technology Ltd (MTL), a joint venture company established between the Irish Agriculture & Food Development Authority (Teagasc) and Irish milk processors to provide commercial pilot plant and research services to customers in the Food Industry. In this role he managed the design, construction, servicing, equipment-procurement, installation and commissioning of the 2,500 m2 MTL pilot plant and pre-commercial production facility on a green field site at the Moorepark Research Centre. He managed the operations and business start-up and had general management responsibilities for the business. He led a staff of ten comprising food technologists, process engineers and plant operators and established MTL as a leading international provider of pilot-plant services, with particular expertise in separation technology and spray drying. Sean is a member of the Council of the Society of Dairy Technology (UK & Ireland) and is Associate Editor of the International Journal of Dairy Technology.