ICNF 2023 - 6th International Conference on Natural Fibers

John Summerscales 

john summerscales

Development and Demonstrators of Durable Biobased Composites For Marine Environment 


School of Engineering, Computing, and Mathematics (SECaM), University of Plymouth, United Kingdom.



John Summerscales is a Professor of Composites Engineering, and lead of the MAterials and STructures (MAST) research group, at the University of Plymouth.  After doctoral studies on hybrid composites, he was employed by the UK Ministry of Defence (Navy) for five years on a secret composites research project. He then returned to the university as an inaugural member of the Advanced Composites Manufacturing Centre (ACMC) which delivered Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses and discussion meetings for more than 2500 industrial delegates. He has been the course pathway lead for the “with composites” undergraduate courses for thirty years.  His research focus shifted to sustainability issues associated with composites about twenty years ago.  He is a Chartered Engineer, Chartered Environmentalist, and Chartered Scientist with more than 100 journal publications and five (co-)edited books, more than 300 composites graduates, and 15 Ph.D. completions. 


The ERDF/Interreg 2 Seas Mers Zeeën SeaBioComp project (2019-2023) sought to develop and deliver demonstrators using innovative bio-based thermoplastic composite materials with the following characteristics:
• tailored durability according to the specific application (2 to >20 years) for that demonstrator in a marine environment as measured by newly developed analytical methods
• at least equivalent mechanical properties compared to conventional oil-based composites
• reduced CO2 emission (30%)
• reduced ecotoxic impact in the marine environment due to microplastics as measured by newly developed analytical methods
• demonstrated recycling potential of the used materials in the demonstrator
These characteristics should decrease the overall ecologic impact by 50% compared to conventional oil-based counterparts through the entire value chain from production to waste treatment. These proposed bio-composite materials and the developed analytical protocols for long-term durability and ecotoxicity should lead to a shift in mindset along the value chain realizing that bio-based composites may offer a realistic alternative to their oil-based counterparts.







Abstract submission

31st January 2023

17th February 2023

Communication of acceptance

17th February 2023

Early Bird registration

28th February 2023

17th March 2023

Award Application

15th May 2023