Smithers Rapra Testing Experts to Speak at International Tire Exhibition & Conference (ITEC)

Leonard, Popio, Lambillotte and Rajapakshe among the presenters at ITEC 2016.

(Akron, OH) – Smithers Rapra, a world leader in rubber, plastics and composites testing expertise, announced today that several company leaders and experts will speak at the International Tire & Exhibition Conference (ITEC). The three-day conference and exhibition focuses on the full tire manufacturing supply chain. It takes place on September 13-15, 2016 at the John S. Knight Center in Akron, OH.

Nat Leonard, PresidentJim Popio, VP Rapra and PiraBruce Lambillotte, VP ConsultingMadhura Rajapakshe, R&D Project EngineerChristine Domer, General Manager

On September 14, Nathaniel “Nat” Leonard, president of Smithers Rapra, will share how global business trends are affecting the tire industry and what they mean for current and future tire testing. Leonard’s presentation will analyze how economic factors, technology trends and increasing data requirements are challenging technical and research budgets, and how manufacturers can cost-effectively manage these factors. Leonard’s presentation is one of five opportunities in which Smithers’s experts will provide insight at the conference.

“We are grateful to play an integral role at ITEC in Akron, the tire capital of the world,” said Leonard. “Our experts are eager to share their applied knowledge, and showcase the many areas where we can help the tire industry with their development challenges.”

Smithers Rapra’s experts will speak on the following topics at ITEC:

  • Dr. Jim Popio, vice president, Smithers Rapra North America, will participate as a panellist in the Tire Testing Trends Q&A session.
  • Bruce Lambillotte, Vice President, Technical Consulting for North America, will speak about “Zinc Oxide Usage in Rubber Compounds.”
  • Research and development project engineer Madhura Rajapakshe will present a Consumer Information Unit focused on how rating systems can help consumers select fuel efficient tires.
  • Christine Domer, general manager for the Smithers Rapra chemistry and physical testing laboratories in Akron, will chair a technical session on tires on September 15. During the session, experts from JK Tyres, Arlanxeo, ExxonMobil, BKT Tires, Alpha-Technologies and Cooper Tire will cover a variety of tire-related topics.

Smithers Rapra will also be an exhibitor at the conference focusing on a myriad of tire testing services that cover everything from materials science to whole tire testing and winter traction testing. Visitors can find the Smithers team of experts at booth 318. More information about ITEC is available at

Expertise within Smithers Rapra spans several key industry sectors including automotive, tire, rubber and polymer products, aerospace, medical device and pharmaceuticals.

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. 

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