Amzeal News/10231927

Smithers Rapra Adds Key Expertise at Extractables and Leachables Lab to Support Growing Client Needs

AKRON, Ohio - Sept. 18, 2017 - Amzeal -- Smithers Rapra, a world leader in rubber, plastics and composites testing expertise, announced today the hiring of Wes Gray, Senior Scientist and Project Lead, at the extractables and leachables lab located in the Akron Global Business Accelerator. Gray joins Principal Scientist Alison Schweda, hired in July, at the lab, where extractables and leachables, migration chemistry, and food contact analyses are conducted.

The team is focused on supporting a growing list of clients in the food, medical and pharmaceutical industries through each stage of the product development process. Led by General Manager Paul Cummings, services provided to clients include risk assessment, study design, method development, study execution, and regulatory submissions.

"We are pleased to have a strong research team in place under the leadership of Paul Cummings," said Nat Leonard, President, Smithers Rapra. "Smithers is committed to providing state-of-the-art technology and expertise in order to be a better partner to our clients. With this expansion, we are proud to be one of the only contract research organizations able to provide extractables and leachables and food contact assessments to customers in both North America and Europe."

Gray has 25 years of experience in chemistry and laboratory operations management in the pharmaceutical and pharmacological industries. He most recently worked as the research operations manager at the Pediatric Pharmacology Research Center at the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio. He earned a Master of Science degree in Analytical Chemistry and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Youngstown State University.

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Schweda brings a decade of experience in chemistry and research management in the pharmaceutical industry. She most recently worked as a research scientist at the Charles River Laboratory in Ashland, Ohio. Schweda holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, MI.

The laboratory offers the following capabilities:

• Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography / HRAM Mass Spectrometry (UHPLC-Q-Tof MS)
• Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)
• Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) Spectroscopy
• Total Organic Carbon (TOC)
• pH
• Conductivity

The new hires, and the lab itself, are a significant investment in Smithers' long term strategy to better serve the medical device, pharmaceutical and food industries as clients continue to seek specific expertise to assist in their new product development. Smithers has also invested in its facility in Shawbury, UK this year, adding a dedicated medical device testing lab ( and new  personnel and equipment to support extractables and leachables studies (

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Visit for more information about Smithers Rapra.

About Smithers Rapra:

Smithers Rapra has been a trusted partner of the rubber and plastics industries for over 90 years. Our business is built around delivering a complete portfolio of rubber and plastic testing services to support a wide range of industry sectors including tire, automotive, polymer products, oil and gas, medical device, pharmaceutical, transport, packaging, industrial, and consumer products. By integrating science, technology and business expertise, Smithers adds value throughout the lifecycle of our clients' products. Please visit

About The Smithers Group:

Headquartered in Akron, Ohio, The Smithers Group includes Smithers Apex, Smithers Avanza, Smithers Pira, Smithers Quality Assessments, Smithers Rapra, and Smithers Viscient. Each Smithers Group company provides technology-based services focused on a defined market. As a group, the diversity of market sectors and technologies provides stability and a platform for long-term growth. By integrating science, technology and business expertise, Smithers' goal is to add value throughout the lifecycle of our clients' products, by utilizing testing, consulting, information, and compliance services. All Smithers companies are known by their clients as Trusted Providers of Innovative Solutions. For more information, visit

You can reach the Smithers Rapra North America office at:

425 West Market Street

Akron, Ohio 44303

Telephone: 330-762-7441

Todd Hain

Source: Smithers Rapra

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