It is with regret that we report that George Whelan, at the young age of 45, died on May 27. Mr Whelan was technical director of SmartPLY Europe Ltd.

Having obtained his BSc (industrial chemistry), Mr Whelan spent the first six years of his career in the pharmaceutical sector where he held positions as R&D chemist and technical manager.

He joined the wood processing industry in 1991 spending a total of 13 years as technical manager of Medite Europe Ltd and Masonite before joining SmartPLY Europe Ltd in 2004.

Mr Whelan’s career achievements included numerous panel manufacturing, process and product development initiatives in the areas of MDF, door-skins and OSB.