Michael Pilgaard

Phone+45 40 71 05 96
PlaceKingosvej 27
97600 Vrå

Professional profile
I'm a material specialist. My specialty is polymer technology (polymer chemistry, process technology, aging phenomena, legislation, safety, etc.) and how to make things work in practice. This is done by being inventive, tenacious and meticulous. I especially enjoy the inventive/creative part, where you make new discoveries or create new products.

Some people consider this nerdy (personally, I prefer the older term intellectual), but for me it is really a matter of personal belief and curiosity. You must be the change you want to see in the world. Work hard, be nice. Having a job where you just show up and go through the motions, to pay your bills, makes no sense to me, so I strive to make my work matter.

As I like teaching, and don't mind standing in front of a large crowd, I have been teaching a lot over the years. Both as a regular job as a teacher and as a part of my jobs as materials specialist. I'm a firm believer in making knowledge and skills available, accessible and fun, and it shows in the way I write reports and design web sites.

So far, I have never been hired for my programming or teaching skills, nor my skills in project management and administration, but somehow that sort of projects also seem to find me almost everywhere.

Work experience
Polymer chemistryPolymer synthesis and modification
Process technology (molding, extrusion, compounding, etc.)
Damage assessment/failure analysis
Aging phenomena and aging tests
Adhesives and sealants
Rheology modifying polymers
Biological activity/risk assessment/toxicology
Drug delivery systems
Assorted tests and analytical methods, especially FTIR, TGA and DSC
Innovation and businessProduct development from lab to production scale
Validation, documentation and approvals (design control)
Identification of new business opportunities
Customer/supplier contact
Plastic recycling
Certification and auditExaminer and certification manager (fireworks)
Workflow and documentation
Inspection and audit
Author/development of educational material

Formal educations
Diploma in specialized business studies (Innovation)Niels Brock Copenhagen Business School

It started out as a bit of a joke. A friend and I were talking about studying something completely different from science. Just for the fun of exploring new areas of skills and knowledge. Something like business studies. Not knowing the entertainment value of business studies, or what to expect, we signed up.

Three years later, after taking whatever courses we thought might be interesting, I had a diploma in specialized business studies (Innovation), plus a couple of extra courses in marketing.
M. Sc. (biochemistry/ structural chemistry)Copenhagen University

I wanted to study chemistry, but with a biological approach, so biochemistry seemed the way to go.

I soon discovered that I preferred the practical chemistry and macro molecules were by far the most interesting type of molecules. I was very interested in how and why they had all these strange properties. What made them work on a molecular level, and what effect did it have on a cellular level? So I concentrated my studies on organic synthesis, protein chemistry, molecular biology and microbiology.

It ended up with a master thesis on molecular modeling and x-ray crystallography on a macromolecule called PNA (peptide nucleic acid), a DNA analogue intended for antisense and antigene therapy.
Anti-Tank gunner4. MOTINFKMP/ II/ Sjællandske Livregiment, Slagelse

I was a technical volunteer. I knew I was going to be enrolled, so by volunteering, I had some influence on where I would go. I wanted to be near Copenhagen, as I knew I was going to start studying there, and I wanted to be infantry.

So, I ended up at Sjællandske Livregiment in Slagelse, in a motorized infantry company, being trained as an anti-tank gunner.
Student (math and chemistry major)Brønderslev Gymnasium

Gymnasium is the Danish equivalent to high school and has nothing to do with gymnastics. I was a math and chemistry major.

Previous employments
FORCE Technology
01.02.2009 - 31.03.2019
Polymer specialist
  • Consultant (polymer chemistry - especially recycling, process technology, legislation and innovation)
  • Teacher/lecturer (polymer chemistry, innovation and risk assessments)
  • Type and batch approval of fireworks (examiner and certification manager)
  • Web developer
  • Author (articles and educational material)
Høje-Taastrup Gymnasium
01.01.2009 - 31.01.2009
Chemistry teacher
  • Part time job as a chemistry teacher (B-level)
Ambu A/S
01.06.2004 - 31.05.2008
Specialist in material development
  • Development of hydrogel adhesives for electrodes
  • Process development and up scaling from lab to production
  • Risk analysis and documentation
  • Teaching of lab technicians and students
  • Safety representative
  • Development of databases in Lotus Notes for R&D
Ingrid Jespersens Gymnasieskole
01.08.2002 - 31.07.2004
Substitute teacher, natural science and chemistry
  • Teaching natural science (a combination of chemistry, physics and math)
  • Teaching chemistry (basic, intermediate and advanced level)
BOSS Consult
01.03.2001 - 31.12.2003
Consultant in polymer chemistry
  • Development and optimization of polymer coatings
  • Development of gels for 3D growth media
  • Development of adhesive for asbestos
  • Development of filters for purification of water
Huber Engineered Materials
01.04.2001 - 28.02.2002
Application scientist
  • Development and test of coated PCC
  • Development of application tests
  • Patent search and documentation
  • Audit of PSS plant
  • Testing of PCC and PSS
  • Development of databases in Access and Reference Manager
Coloplast A/S
01.06.1996 - 31.03.2001
Polymer scientist
  • Mapping of biopolymers
  • Structure/activity examinations of polymers
  • Development of concept for topical/trans dermal drug delivery
  • Development of vehicles for topical/trans dermal drug delivery
  • Development of hydrophilic pressure sensitive adhesives
  • R&D in hydrophilic and amphiphilic gels
  • Upscaling of compounds from lab to pilot scale
  • Development of databases in Lotus Notes for R&D
Gl. Hellerup Gymnasium
05.01.1996 - 11.06.1996
Substitute teacher, natural science
  • Teaching natural science (a combination of chemistry, physics and math)
01.10.1990 - 01.09.1991
Delivering Sunday papers. One of the jobs I had to make some money while studying.
HH Supermarked
01.03.1990 - 18.08.1990
Cashier. One of the jobs I had to make some money while studying.
Herlev Metalvarefabrik ApS.
18.04.1988 - 18.08.1988
Metal processing. One of the jobs I had to make some money before starting at the university.
Keramos Plastic A/S
24.11.1987 - 30.03.1988
Plastic extrusion. One of the jobs I had to make some money before starting at the university.
16.10.1986 - 15.10.1987
Conscripted personnel. Military service. Being a conscripted soldier is both a job and an education.
23.06.1986 - 05.10.1986
Servicemedarbejder. Odd jobs at the slaughterhouse Sundby-Wenbo in Nørresundby, to make some money while waiting to start military service. Mostly loading trucks.

Publications, scientific/business
Nye produkter i brugt plast
Miseljic, M., Merlin, C., Pilgaard, M.
Plast Panorama (2018) #9, p. 14-17

Kun en mindre del af den plast, der i dag indsamles, anvendes til produktion af nye produkter. Både på globalt, europæisk og nationalt niveau er der politiske ambitioner om at øge genanvendelse af plast. Men hvad skal der til, for at industrien vil bruge genanvendte råvarer?

Read it here (Danish)
Recycled plastics: the analytical challenge
Pilgaard, M., Bach, D., Erdal, T.
Recycling Technology 2019 (2018) p. 20-22

Read it here (English)
Sådan optimerer du hærdeprocessen for epoxy
Bach, D., Pilgaard, M.
Plast Panorama (2018) #2, p. 18-21

FORCE Technology har lavet et række undersøgelser om ophærdning af epoxy, og hvordan man detekterer om epoxyen er færdigophærdet. Metoden er baseret på DSC og kan bruges både som procesoptimering ved indkøring af processen og som kvalitets kontrol ved produktion.

Read it here (Danish)
Fem gode råd om kravspecifikationer
Pilgaard, M.
Plast Panorama (2018) #1, p. 12-15

Kravspecifikationer ender alt for ofte med at være besværlige og dyre at udarbejde og vedligeholde i forhold til den værdi virksomheden får ud af det. En kravspecifikation kan sagtens være værdifuldt værktøj hvis den baseres på funktionaliteten i produktet og de elementer der indgår - og ikke blot er en indkøbsliste, der ikke står til at ændre.

Read it here (Danish)
Københavnerspanden i ny version
Pilgaard, M., Rasmussen, L., Erdal, T.
Plast Panorama (2017) #9, p. 8-10

Ønsket om at etablere cirkulære løsningsmodeller, hvor plastaffald kan bruges til produktion af fx byrumsudstyr, er baggrunden for demonstrationsprojektet "Ny Københavnerspand" gennemført af Københavns kommune, Dan Hill Plast og FORCE Technology.

Read it here (Danish)
Genanvendt plast
Pilgaard, M., Bach, D., Madsen, M.L.
Dansk Kemi (2017) #3, p. 23-25

Der er et politisk ønske i Danmark om, at vi skal genanvende mere plast i fremtiden. Plast indgår som et af flere fokusområder i ressourcestrategien og målsætningen er, at øge genanvendelsen af plast fra husholdninger til 50 % i 2025.

Genanvendelse af plast fra husholdningsaffald giver nogle udfordringer i forhold til dokumentationskrav, idet man arbejder med analyser af komplekse blandinger, fra mange kilder, og ikke har historik og indholdsstoffer for plasten. Der er analyse- og separationsmetoder til rådighed, men disse har nogle begrænsninger, som giver en række analysekemiske udfordringer.

Read it here (Danish)
Plastens egenskaber er nøglen til genanvendelse
Erdal, T., Pilgaard, M.
Plast Panorama (2016) #5, p. 24-25

Hvordan opgraderer vi genbrugsplast, så den bliver en attraktiv råvarer for industrien. FORCE Technology afholder løbende seminarer med fokus på disse udfordringer som fx kryds-forurening af én plasttype med en anden type skaber.

Read it here (Danish)
Pilgaard, M.
Håndbog for Maskinmestre, kapitel 9.2
Maskinmestrenes Forening (2013) ISBN 978-87-7463-017-3
Sørg for at få lavet en risikovurdering
Pilgaard, M.
Klumme, Food Supply, 16. juni, 2010
Når plasten ruster
Pilgaard, M.
Jern & Maskinindustrien (2010)
Materialer til kontakt med fødevarer skal være sikre og lovlige
Sinding, J., Pilgaard, M., Hilbert, L.
Plus Proces (2009) #7, 18
Opgavenøgle til kemi
Pilgaard, M.
Systime (2004) ISBN 87-616-0812-2

Trinvis gennemgang af løsning af opgaver i kemi på gymnasiet.
Device for the administration of an active agent to the human skin
Pilgaard, M., Marcussen, J.
Patent WO 03/024431

Read it here (English)
Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of a PNA-DNA complex
Kastrup, J.S., Pilgaard, M., Jørgensen, F.S., Nielsen, P.E., Rasmussen, H.
FEBS Lett. (1995) 363, 115-117

Read it here (English)

Publications, literary
John Tower 1. Blodbad i New York
Michael Pilgaard
Pilgaard Publishing (2023) ISBN 978-87-94278-46-1
Solomon Kane 1. Kraniernes Måne og andre historier
Robert E. Howard (translation English/Danish)
Pilgaard Publishing (2023) ISBN 978-87-94278-35-5
Jul i Kandahar
Michael Pilgaard
Pilgaard Publishing (2022) ISBN 978-87-94278-52-2
Hårdt prøvede helte 1. Blandt folk og fæ(hoveder)
Michael Pilgaard
Pilgaard Publishing (2022) ISBN 978-87-94278-32-4
Luftherrerne af Han
Philip Francis Nowlan (translation English/Danish)
Pilgaard Publishing (2022) ISBN 978-87-94278-12-6
Gas over Passchendaele
Michael Pilgaard
Himmelskibet nr. 63 (2022)
Hov ... hvem slukkede for New York?
Michael Pilgaard
Himmelskibet nr. 61 (2021)
Gyro-hatte og andre tossede påfund
Ellis Parker Butler (translation English/Danish)
Pilgaard Publishing (2020) ISBN 978-87-93797-97-0
Diskrete hændelser i Roswell
Michael Pilgaard
Pilgaard Publishing (2020) ISBN 978-87-93997-03-5
Vampyrer fra rummet
Michael Pilgaard
Pilgaard Publishing (2020) ISBN 978-87-93997-01-1
Armageddon år 2419
Philip Francis Nowlan (translation English/Danish)
Pilgaard Publishing (2019) ISBN 978-87-93588-97-4
Geoffreys panklaggephone
Ellis Parker Butler (translation English/Danish)
Pilgaard Publishing (2018) ISBN 978-87-93588-61-5
Little Brother
Cory Doctorow (translation English/Danish)
Science Fiction Cirklen (2014) ISBN 978-87-90592-90-5
Aesirs kappe (in Det kom fra en anden verden)
John W. Campbell (translation English/Danish)
Science Fiction Cirklen (2011) ISBN 978-87-90592-50-9
The Tourist (in Sky City)
Patrick Leis (translation Danish/English)
Science Fiction Cirklen (2010) ISBN 978-87-71141-58-0
Dreams of Stone (in Sky City)
Brian P. Ørnbøl (translation Danish/English)
Science Fiction Cirklen (2010) ISBN 978-87-71141-58-0

Other activities
02.2017 -
Pilgaard Publishing. I like old literature, so I started retrodigitizing and publishing public domain literature as eBooks. The project somehow quickly expanded to new publications and physical books.
Editor of the fanzine Novum
06.2012 - 03.2017
Science Fiction Cirklen. SFC needed an editor for their fanzine Novum, so I volunteered.
Translator, literature
12.2010 - 02.2014
Science Fiction Cirklen. Translation of science fiction from English to Danish and vice versa for some of SFC's publications.
04.2010 - 04.2016
ScienceTalenter. A friend of mine asked if I would like to be a mentor for young inventors in regards to the technical parts of their inventions, on one of the science camps. It was a lot of fun, so I did this a couple of times a year, until they fired my friend.
Web programming
2008 - 2010
Komiks.dk. The Danish comic con Komiks.dk needed volunteers, and being a comic book fan and skilled in web programming, I volunteered for helping with the web site.
2003 -
Internet. It all started with one web site about pop culture, especially comics, and evolved into a set of websites, covering a number of subjects.
2016: PilgaardElements.com
2016: PilgaardPolymers.com
2016: HTML-Shark.com
2014: WebKemi.dk
2013: HTML-Hajen.dk
2013: DanskeTegneserier.dk
2013: AmericanComicBooks.info
2012: WeirdSpace.info
2006: Pilgaard.info
2003: WeirdSpace.dk
Salsa instructor
2001 - 2003
Various places. Back in the day, salsa was all the rage in Copenhagen, so me and a couple of friends, who had also been dancing for a couple of years, volunteered as salsa instructors. Just for the fun of it.
Designing databases in Lotus Notes
Coloplast. A course I held while employed at Coloplast.
Member of the FIC board
10.1999 - 03.2001
Coloplast. The club for white-collar staff at Coloplast, FIC, asked me if I wanted to be a member of the board and help organize the various parties and arrangements throughout the year. Having nothing better to do at the time, and the ones I knew on the board were nice people, it seemed to be a good idea (and it was).
1998 - 2000
Coloplast. I wrote some of the sketches and acted in some of the other sketches for the annual cabarets for FIC members at Coloplast.
2000: Coloplast Millennium Show
1999: Affæren paa Bakkegaarden
1998: My fair leader

Projects - polymers
01.2017 - 12.2018
FORCE Technology. Continuing the work from "Ressourceproduktivitet i plastindustrien" on helping Danish companies making the transition from virgin plastic to recycled plastic.
12.2012 - 12.2016
FORCE Technology. The purpose of the GenVind Innovation Consortium was to develop technologies for a sustainable recycling of plastic composites (cradle-to-cradle), and demonstrate that the waste can be used in many different products, components and structures.

The project was a national initiative funded by Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation.
Ressourceproduktivitet i plastindustrien
11.2013 - 12.2016
FORCE Technology. One of the tasks in the project was demonstration cases, helping Danish companies switching to recycled plastic for some of their products.

Arla's green milk crates is the only demonstration case that can be disclosed as a part of this project, but it wasn't the only project we had.

The project using recycled plastic was continued as ResourceLAB.
Hydrophilic skin adhesives
1999 - 2001
Coloplast. Some of the technologies tested during the development of a corn removal adhesive, spun into a small ongoing project on developing hydrophilic adhesives.

The objective was to develop new types of adhesives in general, but adhesives with new properties, e.g. mucoadhesion, topical drug delivery or on/off switches was the main interest.
Compeed Corn Remover
09.1996 - 12.2000
Coloplast. Development of an adhesive containing an active ingredient for treatment of corns.

When Coloplast Consumer Products started working on the second generation of Compeed, they wanted to expand with a product for corn removal. The idea was to come up with something different from the existing products i.e. not salicylic acid.

Three and a half years later, a new type of adhesive and technology with a new type of treatment, that performed well in clinical trials, had been developed. But, at that time the project's focus was changed, and now they just wanted something cheap and easy, i.e. salicylic acid in a rubber matrix, which took about an hour to develop.

The patent WO 03/024431 is from solving the stability issue with the product, in a way that would work with the production line.
Skin model for testing pressure sensitive adhesives
1996 - 1999
Coloplast. There is a major difference between human skin and steel plates usually used for peel tests for adhesives. It is a matter of both surface tension, temperature and viscoelastic properties of the substrate. Most importantly: There is no correlation between steel plates and human skin.

The objective of the project was to make a skin model for testing adhesives, that would be able to mimic human skin on the ventral side of a human underarm (the part of human skin with the least variation on humans) and, at a later stage, the area around an ostomy.

I did make a working model for testing, that did reproduce the test results on human test subjects. It was, however, a model that needed to be optimized, as some of the parts were a bit difficult to make. After this, the project was taken over by someone else.

Projects - structural chemistry
Solvent effect on monomers in free radical polymerzation
2004 - 2008
Ambu. Simulation of the solvent effect on charge distribution on double bonds, for prediction of reactivity at UV polymerization.
Structure Determination of Peptide Nucleic Acid (PNA) Complexes by Model Building and X-ray Crystallography
1994 - 1995
Copenhagen University and The Royal Danish School of Pharmacy. Structure determination of the DNA-analogue PNA's structure in a PNA-DNA hybrid/helix by molecular modeling and x-ray crystallography.
Structure Determination of human collagen type VI, chain 3, Kunitz domain
1992 - 1993
Copenhagen University. Structural determination of protein by 2D and 3D NMR.

Projects - inorganic chemistry
Stability of Ag/AgCl sensors
2006 - 2008
Ambu. Most hydrogel sensors for EKG/EEG are based on a hydrogel on a sensor, where the sensor is an Ag/AgCl mixture on some type of carrier.

The hydrogels can and will degrade the Ag/AgCl composition, if they do not contain a protective or stabilizing agent. The objective was to determine the necessary amount of protective agent, depending on the sensor types and types of hydrogel, and to document how and how fast the degradation took place.
PCC for toothpaste
J.M. Huber Denmark. Development and optimization of PCC for toothpaste.
PCC Coating
J.M. Huber Denmark. Application test and patent search for hydrophobic and hydrophilic coatings on PCC.
Carrier & conditioners for FFH&C
J.M. Huber Denmark. Lab tests of precipitated silica as carrier or conditioner in FFH&C (Food, Feed, Health & Cosmetics) for costumers/potential costumers.

Projects - audit and approvals
Notified body for fireworks
01.2010 - 06.2015
FORCE Technology and FORCE Certification. As a spin-off from doing chemical analysis on fireworks, it was suggested that FORCE Certification became a notified body for fireworks (EN 15947). So, I was a part of starting up the business, i.e. traveling to China to audit labs and sub-suppliers, creating the proper documents and workflow, etc. for handling the approvals of fireworks. We did get the approval as notified body, and did work as notified body for a time.

The work area was discontinued in 2015, with the implementation of the new standard, requiring recertification. The decision was the result of several things happening at the time.

Projects - IT
SAMANCTA (SAmpling MANual for Customs and Tax Authorities)
06.2010 - 12.2016
FORCE Technology. Manual for taking samples for taxation purposes.

When taking samples for taxation purposes, the amount and how it is done is important. This is both a matter of safety for the customs officer and a matter of the test results holding up in court. SAMANCTA is a collection of recommendations/best practices for the practical aspect of taking the samples.

My contribution to the project has been to make it into a web based system for quick and easy access, update and maintenance.

My involvement in the project ended, when the contract ended in 2016 and wasn't renewed.
Ambu Literature Database
2004 - 2008
Ambu. Lotus Notes database for research literature.

Design, development and implementation of Lotus Notes database for handling research literature at Ambu.
Literature Database
1997 - 2001
Coloplast. Lotus Notes database for research literature.

Design, development and implementation of Lotus Notes database for handling research literature at Coloplast.
Biopolymer Database
1996 - 2001
Coloplast. Data collection.

Mapping of available polymers of biological origin, focusing on structure, and physical, chemical and biological properties.