Employee Profile: Dr. Ken Kendall, Technical Director
We believe Blachford Acoustics is unique in the industry. Why? Because we have our own in-house UK research and development team led by renowned chemist Dr. Ken Kendall.
Our specialty lies in vehicular sound proofing – agricultural, construction and earth-moving (ACE) vehicles in particular. It is through Ken’s extensive knowledge of polyurethane (PU or PUR), however that Blachford is able to develop world-leading turnkey acoustic solutions for vehicle manufacturers.
By having our own dedicated research and development team on site at our UK headquarters in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, we are able to respond quickly to customer needs. Additionally, Blachford is able to push boundaries, innovate and develop products and technology that manufacturers can adopt to further enhance the acoustic properties of their vehicles.
Ken has a passion for polyurethane that stretches back (no pun intended) more than 30 years.
His love affair with polymers began in 1977 at The University of Manchester where he read Chemistry before going on to achieve a PhD in Polymer Science in 1983. Since then he has worked in a number of leading global laboratories which specialize in polyurethane foams and elastomers, honing his knowledge and experience in these materials.
It was through his work with one employer, that Ken was instrumental in the development of ground-breaking shock absorption materials for sports people, including knee pads for the Canadian Ski Team for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. That year the team secured two gold and silver medals.
By his own admission it is the ‘versatility’ of PU that fascinates Ken. He said: “You can do almost anything with polyurethane. The urethane link is a very defined sequence of atoms. Between that sequence of atoms there are all kind of chemicals you can add and that’s what gives you the versatility of urethane. It’s a tremendously exciting material to work with.”
Born and bred in Redditch, a town known for manufacturing, Dr. Kendall has always been interested in science.
Although he joined Blachford UK as its Technical Director in 2016, his relationship with the business goes back to 2012. He previously worked with Jason Lippitt, Managing Director of Blachford Acoustics Group UK and it was he who enticed Ken to join the business as its Technical Director as part of Blachford’s World Class journey.
Ken’s long career in the industry means he has also developed relationships with important suppliers of key materials within the PU industry, giving him easy access to a myriad of chemicals which has assisted Blachford’s capability in developing new products.
He added: “I am very lucky to work for a company that is outward looking and wants to innovate. Having the freedom to experiment means the team and I can develop products for customers more quickly than our competitors and also enables us to innovate beyond client specifications.”
Embodying Blachford’s forward thinking approach, Ken will shortly be showcasing a number of innovations in vehicle acoustics that he and his team have developed at the 2019 IVT Expo being held in Cologne, Germany.
Products being unveiled at the Expo include floor mats with sensitive electronics embedded within them, anti-scratch and foam floor mats, protective polyethylene films and two-color floor mats.
Being able to bring five new technologies to market at once is testament to not only Dr. Ken’s expertise but also the fact Blachford UK has an in-house lab and its own dedicated research and development team.
On-site experts like Dr. Ken, are enabling Blachford to not only stand out but lead in the field of developing and manufacturing acoustic and thermal insulation components.
If you’re visiting the IVT Expo 2019, find Ken and the Blachford Acoustics team in Hall 11 on stand 3010.
To find out more about how Blachford Acoustics’ pioneering research and development team can help your business, contact us.