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Pete Hine

Research Scientist

I first came to the Physics Department at Leeds in 1974 to do a BSc and followed this with an MSc in Exploitation of Materials and a PhD in Polymer Science, also at Leeds, finishing in October 1981. These follow on, more specialised studies, stimulated me to pursue a career as a Research Scientist, something I had always wanted to do.

After spells at the University of Bath, and back at Leeds, I took a job with an automotive company in York, developing a computer controlled suspension system. This was a fun job, as I got to work and drive some of the fastest and highest performance cars in the world (Corvette, Ford Cosworth, Ford Scorpio, Rolls Royce, Range Rover) and travel to many countries including the USA. Unfortunately the Research Centre closed and so in 1989 I returned once more to the Physics Department at Leeds to join the newly established. Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Polymer Science and Technology, where I still work.

My main interest over the last 13 years has been the development of the hot compaction process, which is a technique for making new, lightweight, very tough materials, for a range of uses including automotive underbody protection and sports armour. This invention has led to a number of patents being granted, and the technology has recently been licensed to BP for full commercialisation (

The fascinating thing about being a Research Scientist is the buzz of having a different puzzle to solve every day, and working and collaborating with like minded people all around the world: it is even better when the projects you work on can really make a difference.