OldroydThe study of non-Newtonian materials in Wales can be traced back to the 1950s when one of the true greats of the field, J G Oldroyd, was Professor of Applied Mathematics at Swansea. He developed some of the early theoretical framework to the field. Institute MapOut of those early beginnings a strong group, one of the leading groups in the world at the time, was established in the 1960s at Aberystwyth under one of Oldroyd’s research students, Ken Walters. Much later, in the 1970s and 80s, off-shoots of this group took up academic posts at Swansea and Bangor, and over a period of time a strong bond of research collaboration developed between the workers at the three institutions.

Early in 1991, a decision was taken to try to formalise this collaboration and to establish a research institute. Initially, much of the activity of the Institute revolved around the joint collaborative work of the core academics and their research teams. Over time, however a range of activities developed including an Annual Conference, an Annual Lecture Programme, an Associate Member Programme and a range of activities to promote the field of rheology including the preparation of educational video material and books.

Over time staff movements have changed the focus of the Institute to the three Welsh universities at Aberystwyth, Cardiff and Swansea, although the Institute's associate members are drawn from the worldwide rheological community.