Paul Fisher

Development Chemist Spencer Coatings

“I can’t emphasize enough how much these courses have helped my career – and they can help anybody.”

Modules Undertaken
  • L2

    202 Media and Solvents

  • L2

    207 Powder Coatings - Overview

  • L2

    208 Powder Coating Application and Cure

  • L3

    301 Types and Manufacture of Pigments

  • L3

    302 Properties of Pigments

  • L3

    325 Paint Application – Non-Spraying

  • L3

    329 Application – Metallic Substrates

  • L3

    330 Application – Non-Metallic Substrates

  • L4

    403 Solvents and Additives

  • L4

    404 Media - Introduction and Manufacture of Media

  • L4

    407 Convertible Media - Alkyds and Polyesters *

  • L5

    503 Formulation – Determining Factors

The idea that education is a lifetime’s work is still a fairly new idea, but sometimes you can come across people for whom the idea has been as natural as, well, getting up and going to work in the morning.

Take Paul Fisher, a technical service official and development chemist for Spencer’s Coatings (formerly Stokes Paints). He left school at 16 with little more than a smile and, in his own words, “accidentally fell into the paint industry”. By the time he was in his 20s, he was thinking, as so many of us do, about furthering his career, so he turned to The Coatings Training Institute training modules.

“That was 11 years ago, before the online courses had started,” he explains. “So I switched to online when that happened and then when I came to Stokes’ I carried on.”

Looking back on his motivation at the time, Paul sees a keenly ambitious young man. “I did it because I wanted to learn more about what I was doing. I wanted the background information to the industry I was working in, and I wanted that to push me on. My old job was working for a distributor, so a knowledge of what paint was and how it worked wasn’t really an issue, but once I had found this out, I found it really beneficial.

“I think I had got about as far as I could at my old job and I decided I wanted more. By the time I came to Stoke’s, I had a good background in paints, but the work I was doing led me naturally to the lab. Once I was lab based, it only made sense to continue as there were a lot of areas of the work that were new to me.”

Over the past ten years, Paul has completed some 15 online modules with The Coatings Training Institute and is currently in the middle of the advanced module Formulation: Determining Factors.

“I just need to take the exam now,” he points out. “I have taken a bit of a break recently due to my workload and having a young family, but I’ll be finishing that off soon. This is the beauty of The Coatings Training Institute courses. You can do it completely in your time – at your own speed. As little or as much as you like. There are a lot of them, too. You can go as deep into subjects as you want and pick and choose the ones that are relevant to your work. It’s so convenient.”

From his own experience, Paul would recommend theThe Coatings Training Institute course to anyone in the industry – particularly to those just starting out in the industry. “I can’t emphasize enough how much these courses have helped my career – and they can help anybody. I’ve got 20 years behind me now, but I’m still seeing the benefits and I’m going to continue my studies.”

It was this attitude that won Paul The Coatings Training Institute’s Student of the Year Award in 2010 for the sheer amount of modules he had completed and the high quality of his work.