Rigid Plastics Initiative Team

Pooja Baja

Dr. Pooja Bajaj is formerly with Röhm America LLC (formerly Evonik Cyro LLC) in 2018, in molding compounds and leading product development of acrylic copolymers for medical applications. In 2010, she graduated with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Dallas. She worked at SABIC from 2010-2018, driving innovation and technology for thermo-engineering polymers and blends. Pooja has several granted patents, authored publications in trade journals and given presentations at several conferences.

“Collaborating beyond boundaries to bring rigor to testing standards for plastics in healthcare through a unified industry-wide approach.”

Dr. Kay Bernhard

Director of Global Technical Competency Center, Röhm America LLC
Dr. Kay Bernhard is the Director of Global Technical Competency Center for Cyrolite® at the Wallingford site of Röhm America LLC (formerly Evonik Cyro LLC) since 2017. He received his diploma and doctoral degree in Chemistry from the University of Stuttgart in 2000 and 2005, respectively, and a diploma in business economics from the University of Hagen in 2003. He began his career as a Product Development Manager for fibers in 2005 and joined Evonik as the Head of R&D Performance Foams in 2008.

“Safe healthcare needs safe devices. I’m proud being part of the team that defines and sets the standards for testing to make healthcare safer.”

James Hicks

Technical Service Engineer, Solvay Advanced Polymers

James Hicks is an Application Development Engineer and has worked in the plastics industry for 33 years. He has experience in mechanical testing labs, including QC and R&D development testing, R&D product development, material testing, and now focuses on customer technical support and application development. James provides Solvay’s Healthcare customers design reviews, processing support, material recommendations and failure analysis material offerings.

“Collaboration with outside groups and organizations, such as ASTM, BPSA and now HSI, has been a growing part of my activities."

Mark Lamonts

Dr. Yubiao Liu

Eastman Chemical
Yubiao Liu is the global technical platform lead in specialty plastics medical device segment at Eastman Chemical Company. Liu supports medical customers globally with a greater focus on developing new products to address previously unmet needs for medical device and housing applications. He earned a doctorate degree from the University of Akron in 2003. With 15 years of experience in the medical industry, he has 15 peer reviewed publications and holds 5 US patents.

“Customers, colleagues and competitors has become a necessary part of our work. Over a year ago, I first met some of the HSI’s team donors at a tradeshow and have found the collaboration very rewarding.”

Mike Zettel

Senior Material Scientist
Mike Zettel is a materials scientist with work experience ranging from nanoparticle synthesis to resin formulation development for wind blade applications to composite material development and qualification for oil and gas. I joined the medical device community in 2018, evaluating the effects of disinfectants on materials commonly found in healthcare environments. I completed my undergraduate education at Texas A&M University and my graduate work at Cornell University.

“Working with the medical device plastic certification committee has been a wonderful experience. The collaboration has been positive, engaging, and fruitful; with each donor continually contributing to the overall objective of creating a data driven certification. I believe this is a testament to both the individuals and the culture of their respective organizations.”

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