Sparc Technologies appoints coatings industry stalwart as new CEO

Mike Bartels Sparc Technologies ASX SPN
Former Sherwin-Williams and Akzo Nobel executive Mike Bartels will take over from Tom Spurling as Sparc’s new chief executive officer.

Emerging graphene-based product developer Sparc Technologies (ASX: SPN) has appointed former Sherwin-Williams and Akzo Nobel identity Mike Bartels to the role of chief executive officer responsible for fast tracking Sparc’s technical and commercial business units.

Mr Bartels holds a Bachelor of Science in Applied Chemistry and has a wealth of experience in sales and marketing with major multinational coatings companies in Australia and internationally.

He has a track record in developing strategies, setting visions and executing plans to deliver growth and has held previous roles including global head of marketing, business development manager, and sales director for paint, protective coatings and insulation products.

The appointment is effective immediately and will see current Sparc managing director Tom Spurling step down, but retain a position on the board as a non-executive director.

Sparc executive chairman Stephen Hunt believes Mr Bartels’ calibre and industry experience will prove to be a good fit for the Sparc team.

“Mike has the technical background, coatings industry understanding, sales and marketing experience and a network of relationships which will enable [us] to accelerate the commercialisation of our graphene-based technologies,” he said.

Pivotal time

Mr Bartels said he is pleased to be joining the company at a “pivotal time” in Sparc’s development.

“I am truly excited to be joining Sparc as we pioneer new graphene technologies to disrupt and transform industry and science for a cleaner, greener and healthier world,” he said.

“Sparc has an enormous opportunity to reshape multi-billion dollar markets underpinned by exclusive IP (intellectual property), harnessing graphene as a new super material.”

He will play an integral role in leading the company through the acceleration of multiple projects aimed at reducing global carbon footprints and emissions; increasing durability, longevity and sustainability of products and infrastructure across large industrial markets; and creating new technologies for environmental remediation.

“Sparc’s graphene-enhanced coatings have been demonstrated to aid in durability and longevity which therefore lead to longer-lasting, more sustainable, non-toxic solutions which can be deployed across the world,” he said.

“We are now exploring how our technologies can also be used to substantially reduce drag, fuel usage and global carbon footprints and as we understand more of the remarkable and unique properties of our exclusive graphene applications, we will continue to develop new and exciting uses in line with our mission.”

Graphene technology

Based in South Australia, Sparc is focused on the development of innovative technology solutions using the unique properties of graphene.

Graphene – which can be extracted from graphite mineral – is a two-dimensional nano material comprised of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal pattern, giving it unique and powerful properties that can be imparted on products to improve performance.

Sparc has licenced graphene-based technologies from the University of Adelaide – a leading institution in the field of graphene research – and will focus on commercialising graphene-based technologies for large industrial markets for marine and protective coatings, environmental remediation, and bio-medical applications.

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