After over thirty years of service to the Athlone Institute of Technology and the Irish Plastics Industry, Jim Hopkins recently retired from the Polymer Department at AIT.
Jim trained as a student in Athlone IT (or Athlone Regional Technical College as it was called back then) in plastics before holding a range of roles in the burgeoning Irish Plastics Industry. He returned to lecture in Athlone in 1978 when he was appointed Assistant Lecturer in Plastic Engineering. Over the years, Jim progressed further in the plastics department being promoted to full lecturer in 1980, appointed a Lecturer I post in 1982 and continuing to a Lecturer II post in 1994. In 1986, Jim was also conferred with a MSc from Trinity College Dublin.
Throughout his years at AIT, Jim has played a crucial role in the development of the courses in the Polymer Department, ensuring that the content being developed was suitable for the Irish industry and was internationally best in class. Jim has played a key role in ensuring students were well equipped for life after college, his close links to the industry always ensuring placements in high tech plastic processors were available while frequently playing a role in securing employment for graduates as they prepared to leave the college. In his over 36 years as a lecturer at AIT, Jim seen literally thousands of students pass into the plastics industry, and it is a testament to his knowledge and commitment as well as to his skill as a lecturer that many of those past students are now in senior leadership roles, many opening their own thriving businesses.
Jim has been a leader in training in the industry for nearly four decades and continues to be a mentor, friend and role model to his colleagues in AITs Polymer Department. His knowledge, leadership and wit will be sorely missed by all at AIT and at the recent polymer open day, Jim was presented with a token of appreciation by both the staff at AIT and the Irish Plastics Industry. Pictured is Jim Hopkins receiving a crystal tumbler from representatives of the Irish Plastics Sector, Pascal Claffey and Brendan Murtagh (both from Trend Technologies Mullingar)