Todd Bryant is senior lead instructor for the Paulson Plastics Academy and in-house technical expert assisting in the development of Paulson’s interactive online and DVD courses. He teaches the ProMolder 1, 2, and 3 certification seminars.
Todd has over 40 years of experience in tooling design and optimization, polymers processing, production, and training and holds five US patents for plastic products now manufactured and readily available in the market place. He brings to the Paulson team a substantial background in both a theoretical and a practical “hands-on” approach towards injection mold design, tool building, and injection mold processing.
Todd started out in the plastics molding industry as a mold setup technician and quickly progressed to advanced positions including process technician, production supervisor, Quality Manager, Engineering Manager, Plant Manager, Technical Manager as well as being sought after as a plastics design consultant.
A graduate of Forsyth Technical Community College and North Carolina State University, Todd has also taught at the college level for a Plastics Technology Program at Davidson County Community College. In addition to his professional career Todd has been a long-standing member of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), serving as Vice President, President and Councilor of the Piedmont Coastal Section. Prior to joining Paulson, Todd was Training Manager at the Polymers Center of Excellence in Charlotte, NC.
Rick Barnes brings forty years of experience to the Plastics Academy, both in industry and education. He holds degrees in Chemical Engineering and Polymer Chemistry from the University of Waterloo, along with Teacher Certification in Plastics Technology from Red River College in Winnipeg, Canada. Rick has applied this knowledge in positions ranging from Process Engineer, Plant Manager, and Production Manager in both Canada and the United States. At the Sturgeon Creek School in Winnipeg he developed and taught a three year Vocational/Industrial program covering most of the technologies and processes in the plastics industry.
Rick has a wide range of technical knowledge in both Injection Molding and Extrusion and has developed training programs for schools and businesses. He has a good knowledge of costing procedures and budgets, and has improved productivity and profitability at various companies, both as an employee and a consultant.
Rick currently is the owner of RGB Plastics & Design, offering bottom-line improvements to the plastics industry through in-house training, process engineering, and design.
Dan McWilliams comes to the Plastics Academy with forty years of experience in the plastics industry. He pursued his education at Cornell University, receiving M. Eng. (Chemical) and BS (Chemical Engineering) Degrees. He was employed at The Dow Chemical Company for over 25 years at several locations in Michigan and Ohio, starting in Process Engineering, progressing through supervisory and management positions, with his final position as Project Manager for a new material being developed by Dow and another company.
As one of four partners, he established Carolina Compounding in 1997 and was responsible for all phases of startup and operations of the new company. He then became Materials Science Manager for the Polymers Center of Excellence in Charlotte, NC, until 2009, and he continues as their instructor for all extrusion training classes.
In 2009 he began his own consulting business, Granville Plastics Associates, providing support to plastics businesses with an emphasis on training and troubleshooting process issues. He also serves as Vice President of Programs for Polymer Ohio, Inc., with the responsibility for defining and managing projects to assist polymer companies.
Craig Potter is an experienced polymer scientist and extrusion specialist. Throughout his career at Dow Chemical, Nordenia (Mondi) and Avery Dennison, Craig has conducted polymer research and product and application development for a variety of applications including films, labels and flexible packaging. Craig has held multiple technical and leadership positions from product development scientist, R&D Group leader, ISO9000 Leader, Principal Scientist to Innovation Manager.
In addition, Craig has conducted training on chemistry, polymers films and labels numerous times and now teaches fundamental and advanced concepts of extrusion technology for Paulson Plastics Academy.
Craig has a BS in Chemistry from Iowa State University and an MBA from Capital University (Columbus, OH). Craig also holds a Six Sigma Black Belt and is a certified Green Belt trainer.
Lew Ferguson In Memory – An honorable, former instructor, and valued colleague. We at Paulson Training mourn the loss of our dear friend and colleague Lew Ferguson, who died on November 26, 2020 (Plastic Machinery Magazine’s Obituary). For more than eight years, it’s been our great pleasure and honor having Lew serve as our instructor for the ProEx Blow Molding seminars and as technical contributor to our online blow molding courses — where his unique expertise will forever be accessible. More importantly, Lew was a true professional, kind, talented, and passionate about sharing his knowledge and experience to all who participated in his Paulson seminars. He will be greatly missed, but not forgotten. We will leave his bio here as a way to honor Lew’s memory and for you to read and learn more about Lew for yourself. Thank you Lew.
Lew was a seasoned plastic Blow Molding professional for well over 40 years. He provided services to global packaging and industrial blow molding manufacturing clients in North America, Latin/South America, Europe and Asia.
His personal goal has always been to promote growth and development of the blow molding industry through technology development and education.
Lew’s extensive experience included blow molding commodity and engineering thermoplastics using extrusion, intermittent and injection blow molding equipment. Clients included blow molding part manufacturers, equipment and material suppliers, designers, and end-users. He facilitated new application development, process/product troubleshooting and conducted in-house customized hands-on processing and classroom training.
As an active member of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) since 1966, Lew is a Fellow of the Society and an Honored Service Member, currently a member of the Blow Molding Division Board of Directors, and a past chairman of the Division. In 2019, Lew was honored with the Society of Plastic Engineers (SPE)’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Lew contributed more than 35 published papers and presentations related to blow molding, impact modifiers, plastic alloys and engineering thermoplastics processing and design. He annually presents the 101 course “Keys to Blow Molding Engineering Thermoplastics for New Applications” at the SPE Blow Molding Division Annual Conference and was an instructor for SPE sponsored ‘Blow Molding Engineering Thermoplastics’ in the SPE sponsored Large Part Blow Molding Workshops.
Lew retired from GE Plastics in 1997 to establish PARISONS as an advisor to the blow molding industry. Previously, he worked for Borg Warner in Parkersburg, WV, for 20 years before it was purchased by General Electric Plastics. He was also Plant Chemist and Quality Supervisor for Tennepak in PVC bottle development and manufacturing and for Escambia in PVC compound development and blow molding technical service.
Lew earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Chemistry from Rutgers University and an MBA in Marketing from West Virginia University.