Women in Composites – Nicola Stanistreet, Sales Director, Pacific Resins

“I love the fact that vinyl ester resins are problem solvers. The properties exceed both polyester and epoxy in corrosion resistance, temperature resistance, and toughness and are typically used when high durability, thermal stability, and extremely high corrosion resistance are needed."

Written by Kerryn Caulfield, Executive Director, Composites Australia Inc.

According to an analysis by The New York Times, daughters are 1.8 times as likely to have the same job as their mothers and 1.7 times as likely to have the same job as their fathers. As the daughter of an industrial chemist and a biochemist, it is not surprising that Nicola Stanistreet found herself as Sales Director, Pacific Resins Pty Ltd.

The Stanistreet Family moved to NSW from the UK in 1982 after her father Keith Stanistreet was relocated by his then employer to commission and run an organic peroxide plant in Botany, NSW. The family subsequently founded Pacific Resins in 1999.

Based in Wollongong, NSW, Pacific Resins is a family owned company with stores in most state capitals. It is the exclusive distributor for Swancor, the Taiwanese manufacturer of specialty epoxy vinyl ester (VER) and epoxy (EPR) resin products, resin systems, and specialty additives in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. “I came to Pacific Resins by the unlikely way of a Bachelor’s Degree focused on History and Celtic Studies from the University of Sydney and subsequently worked with the Department of Veteran Affairs in public administration. Mum was a biochemist working in pharmaceuticals, as a scientific officer involved in research in the UK, and dad worked in the chemical industry. Our kitchen table conversations were about chemicals.”

Nicola’s customer base includes manufacturers that supply into critical sectors such as water and wastewater with piping, ducting and storage tanks, so too the chemical and petrochemical sector as well as military and defence. Her reach also includes companies that make components for the transport sector as well as for building and infrastructure and pools and spas. “I love the fact that vinyl ester resins are problem solvers. The properties exceed both polyester and epoxy in corrosion resistance, temperature resistance, and toughness and are typically used when high durability, thermal stability, and extremely high corrosion resistance are needed. These properties bring me into the most amazing manufacturing plants that engineer purpose and performance into products using our materials. There is great satisfaction knowing that I played a part in these industrial outcomes,” enthuses Nicola.

Pacific Resins became a financial member of Composites Australia over 20 years ago and has been an ongoing sponsor since then. Following her father, Nicola joined the Board in 2016 and the company has had a presence at every Composites Australia conference since its first large scale event in 2003. “I believe the Association has an important role in providing a collective voice for individual businesses; a forum to share information and to discuss issues and technology. Pre-COVID, our regular events were an opportunity to showcase technology and to share strategic insight into a wide range of aspects associated with growing a composites business and collaborating with other companies,” says Nicola.

Nicola, like most of us is hoping to travel to Paris in June to visit the JEC exhibition. “Teleconferencing has become our communications tool of choice during COVID, but there are limitations to its efficacy for building relationships. I’m ready for forums like JEC and the Composites Australia conference that bring people together to expand our horizons and to forge further relationships,” says Nicola.

Outside her professional roles with Pacific Resins and Composites Australia, Nicola has also contributed to her local community as a member of the Wollongong City Council citizens’ panel.

When asked about her achievements, Nicola is typically humble about her impressive ability to balance a successful career that includes interstate and international travel, while co-parenting a blended
family of eight including four of her own children.