Smithers Rapra Appoints New General Manager for Tire Testing Operations

Michael Nehls is the new GM for the Smithers Rapra Tire and Wheel Test Center in Ravenna, OH.

Michael NehlsAkron, OH – Smithers Rapra, a world leader in rubber, plastics and composites testing expertise, announced today that it has appointed Michael Nehls as the new general manager for the Smithers Rapra Tire & Wheel Test Center in Ravenna, Ohio.

Nehls comes from The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, where he was most recently manager of technology and quality at the company’s Danville, VA plant. He has over 18 years of experience with Goodyear, including eight years managing tire testing activities at the Goodyear Proving Ground in San Angelo, Texas. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

“Michael’s expertise in the field of tire testing makes him a great asset as he helps to lead our Ravenna Lab and increase the value we provide for our clients,” said James Popio, Vice President, North America, Smithers Rapra. “We look forward to gaining the perspective he brings from his work with a prominent tire manufacturer.”

As general manager of the Ravenna Laboratory, Nehls will oversee the main center for tire testing in Smithers’ North American operations. This laboratory conducts testing for tire manufacturers, vehicle OEMs, fleets, raw material suppliers and other recreation vehicle manufacturers.

About Smithers Rapra

Smithers Rapra has been a trusted partner of the plastics and rubber 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’ goal is to add value throughout the life cycle 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 life cycle 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