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The Directors

Power Textiles Limited has a Non-Executive Chairman: Mr Stefan Kay, a Commercial Director: Mr Robert Bruce, and two Executive Directors: Professor John Wilson and Dr. Robert Mather.

Mr Stefan Kay

Stefan Kay, OBE, is a Chartered Engineer, and Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Institute of Directors and the Royal Society of Arts.

After an engineering apprenticeship with Ferranti Ltd and a Mechanical Engineering degree at Heriot-Watt University, he entered the paper industry with Unilever PLC at Thames Board Ltd. He then joined C H Dexter Ltd where he was Production Manager then St Regis Paper Company Ltd as Mill Managing Director at New Taplow and then at Silverton Mills. He joined Inveresk PLC in 1988 as Managing Director; led a Management Buy-Out in 1990 and took the company to the London Stock Exchange in 1993. He retired from Inveresk PLC in 2001. He then worked for Heriot-Watt University as Director of Campus Services at their Galashiels Campus and was Chair of the Scottish Forest Industries Cluster. He consulted for WRAP as a Technical Adviser on process, recycling and product development. He is a member of Investment Advisory Committees for Queens’ University Belfast and the University of Ulster for E-Synergy Ltd, and is Forest Industries Adviser to Heliex Ltd, an innovative energy technology company based in East Kilbride. He is a non-executive director of Servisan Ltd in Ireland; The Scottish Railway Preservation Society; Rosie Kay Dance Company Ltd and Power Textiles Ltd. He is Chair of the Board of Trustees of Heriot-Watt University Students’ Union.

Stefan Kay was President of the UK Paper Federation in 1994-96, and also sat on the Board of the Confederation of European Paper Industries in 1994-96 and 1998-2000. He was a recipient of the Paper Industry Gold Medal in 1996 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Heriot-Watt University in 2009.

Mr Robert Bruce

Robert Bruce is a qualified engineer and Member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, with extensive experience in engineering, business development and marketing.

His industrial/manufacturing experience has included the development and manufacture of defence equipment, electro-optical products, scientific and health physics equipment, serving military, medical, scientific and industrial markets. Now a consultant, he was formerly Head of the Knowledge Transfer Programme run jointly with Napier and Queen Margaret Universities to engage with industry, specifically SMEs. Prior to this, he was Strategic Business Development Manager with Heriot-Watt University where he was responsible for interfacing with industry throughout the UK to enable access to university expertise, facilities and consultancy support. He also designed programmes to support the development of academic/industry collaboration, generating over £1.25 million in grants and income for the university. He has considerable experience of developing, organising and participating in industry links and visits to other countries with companies, economic organisations and academia, in the US, Australia, France, Germany and Poland. These visits have emerged through invitations to participate as an international expert, conference speaker and establishment of collaborative developments. He was a Non-Executive Director of a manufacturing company and part of a management team acquiring the business of a world-leading nucleonics company which was the result of a buy-out from a blue-chip corporate organisation.

Professor John Wilson

John Wilson has been Professor of Materials Processing at Heriot-Watt University, Physics, since 1996. His first post there was in 1975 as Wolfson Research Fellow, following a similar appointment at St Andrews University. His interests in the applications of solar energy span 30 years of research, from thin-film II-VI cells for his PhD thesis, later pioneering the UK amorphous silicon solar cell research, and to recent work on flexible solar cells. He has been a consultant to the UN and to companies (e.g. Pilkington) and institutions throughout the world (e.g. Romania, India, Nigeria) on solar energy and photovoltaics, and was founder secretary of the Scottish Solar Energy Group until 1988.

His materials R&D used lasers and plasmas to deposit or modify metals, semiconductors, dielectrics and polymers, for applications in optics, mechanics and bioengineering. In particular, research into thin-film diamond led to the founding of DILAB Limited in 1994, of which he is managing director. The company gained two SMART awards for the design and development of microwave plasma coating equipment for thin-film diamond, and a business innovation award during the Euroleaders ’95 course, run by the European Business Network.

At Heriot-Watt University, John has been Academic Head of Physics (2002-5), has set up several degree programmes, and has supervised over 25 PhD students, currently including Chinese Ph.D. student visitors from Beijing Jiaotong University. Lecturing responsibilities have encompassed all levels of university teaching. His publications include a book on solar energy, encyclopaedia and book chapters, and >170 scientific papers. He is on the editorial board of physica status solidi (Wiley-VCH).

Professional memberships held include:

  • Fellow of the Institute of Physics (and a past member of their Science Board), CPhys and CEng

Dr Robert Mather

Robert Mather is a Cambridge graduate in Chemistry, with a Ph.D. from Birmingham University in polymer chemistry. He is a Chartered Chemist and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a Fellow of the Textile Institute. He is also a Corporate Member of the Society of Dyers and Colourists. After two spells of postdoctoral work at Imperial College and Brunel University in London, he worked for 10 years in the R&D Department of Ciba-Geigy Pigments at Paisley, Scotland. He then transferred to The Scottish College of Textiles (SCOT) in Galashiels, where he acquired his interest in technical textiles and established a research profile in polypropylene fibre processing. He also worked on 3D woven engineering products. As well as the incorporation of solar cells onto textiles, his R&D interests include gas plasma treatments for textiles, and the application of polypropylene nonwovens for oil spill recovery. SCOT subsequently became part of Heriot-Watt University, where Robert is now an Honorary Senior Lecturer.

Robert was Director for five years of the newly established Technical Textiles and Polymer Innovation Unit at Galashiels, set up with funds from the Department of Trade and Industry. During this period, the Unit successfully undertook projects for a variety of companies, and Robert was contracted to write on the technical textile industry in Scotland for a briefing paper for the Scottish Executive. In 2000, the Unit was subsumed into the UK TechniTex Faraday Partnership, and he became responsible for technology transfer in the Partnership’s organisation. He has also been Director of the Biomedical Textiles Research Centre at Heriot-Watt University. He is the author of over 80 technical papers and in recent years has been contributing chapters to a number of books on technical textiles. Together with a co-author, he has written a book on textile chemistry, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.