Meet Johan Cornelissen, our Advanced Materials Guru

What is a 3.2 inspection and why is critical in marine and offshore manufacture?

Advanced Materials (also referred to as non-metallic materials) is a critical field of Materials Science in which One Eighty has extensive experience. It is a field of work that keeps us very busy with a wide range of materials testing, materials selection, problem solving, supplier evaluation, and root cause failure investigation. Advanced materials include polymers, composites, oils, lubricants, paint coatings, packaging materials, building materials, concrete and cement and ceramics.

Heading up our Advanced Materials department is our Lead Materials Scientist, Johan Cornelissen, ably assisted by Materials Scientist Kerry-Anne White and Lize-Marie Ferreira.

Johan has an MSc in Polymer Science and initially trained as a Polyurethane Chemist. He has done a wide variety of work with Foams, Integral Skins and Elastomers in the Automotive and the Mining Sector. Johan also managed a water-based polymer emulsion plant, used to make paint, and a phenolic resin plant (making backing plates for grinding disks).

Johan has a wide theoretical knowledge and working knowledge of GRP resins as well as carbon fibre-based resins. He was a materials scientist on the project team that built Ratanga Junction and lectured at US & NMMU on polyurethanes. And if that is not enough, Johan is a trained mould maker (polyester resin, silicones, latex, polyurethane) and has injection moulding and blow moulding experience! He has also consulted for a concrete coatings company on materials for flooring, tiles, making kitchen tops and Stucco type paints.

Along with Johan’s extensive experience, comes a general love for chemistry. His hobbies include woodworking, metal working and making knives (which comes with a big understanding of metals and corrosion and operational requirements).

Says  Dr Janet Cotton, Founder and Director of One Eighty:

“Johan completed his MSc in polymer science at Stellenbosch University after completing a degree in industrial chemistry.  Since then he has had more than 30 years’ experience in the industry in many different roles.  He has been able to implement his knowledge in a wide range of fields of polymer science and industrial chemistry.  He has worked in manufacturing plants and therefore understands the practical aspects of manufacturing polymer materials.  He has also worked in sales and applied his vast knowledge of a wide range of materials to many diverse applications.  He has worked in technology development in the field and developed new formulations which have been commercialised. 

Johan has been with One Eighty since May 2018 and during this time his work has been incredibly diverse.  He has assisted in the identification of poison found on board a vessel which resulted in fatalities of crew members.  He has assisted with the development and optimisation of new products for our clients.  He has also solved many root cause failure investigations which we have reviewed in the last months.  He has also identified many oil and fuel samples and through analysis been able to determine if it is contaminated, give some indication of the source and the severity to the environment.  We have also been approached for ballast water testing and exhaust testing for marine vessels which has become mandatory as they move through South

There is literally almost nothing Johan cannot deal with in the advanced materials space.  I have always been amazed at the requests we get, the brainstorming and the execution of the work and then achieving results. 

I always joke with Johan that I am just a simple black smith, and the work he does is much more exciting.  As such I am immensely proud of what we can offer through Johan’s expertise.  Johan is abl assisted by Kerry Ann White and Lize-Marie Ferreira. 

So, if you have any issue with any material, glass, plastic, composite, rubber, any industrial chemical such as fuel, oil, fertiliser, water please contact us –  I am 100% sure we can assist you. “


To chat to Johan about how his Advanced Materials department can assist your business, drop him a mail at