The North East’s process sector celebrated its brightest youngsters, best companies and top contributors at the NEPIC Annual Awards evening.
Around 430 guests saw some £18,000 in prize funds handed to award winners, in support of future career development and local science related school projects.
The awards recognised three apprentices – Alex Burr of Billingham-based Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, Scott Taylor of Northumberland pharmaceutical firm Aesica and Jasmin Gibson of Jacobs UK Ltd.
Elsewhere the region’s Young Achievers were named as Ian Wilkinson of Absolute Antibody, Andrea Seedhouse of SABIC, David Molyneux of Aesica Pharmaceutical, Jonny Lofthouse of Biochemica UK and Lucy Pringle of Bond Dickinson. All five picked up awards and walked away with cheques for £1,000.
Durham-based SME, Eco EnerG Soluitons secured the Industrial Environmental Award for their “WoodiePod” creation – a biomass heating process which allows firms to use their own wood waste to reduce energy costs.
Eco EnerG Solutions donated its £2,000 prize to Staindrop School and will now work with staff and pupils to develop a science-related project.
Billingham’s Tomlinson Hall & Co Ltd collected the SME of the Year title for its 2014 performance in increasing sales, product development, exporting and regional collaborations. The firm donated their £2,000 prize to Priors Mills CE Primary School.
Lucite International and Piramal Healthcare shared the Manufacturing Sustainability award for their cost reduction efforts and raw material usage. The pair’s prize fund was donated to High Clarence Primary and Collingwood School & Media Arts College.
The evening’s Outstanding Contribution award went to retired industrialist and former ICI engineering manager Mark Lewis.
Mr Lewis’ career culminated in his appointment as chief executive officer of the Process Industry Centre of Manufacturing Excellence (PICME). He has also led a number of significant regional projects as NEPIC’s technical manager.
The awards were sponsored by ABB, Lotte Chemical UK, Redhall, BOC, Haden Freeman, Middlesbrough College, Sembcorp, Bond Dickinson – and the winner’s trophies provided by Lucite International.
NEPIC chief executive officer Dr Stan Higgins said: “Congratulations to all of this year’s award winners. This event goes from strength to strength – and with so many people from our industry coming together we are able to communicate some important messages.
“I would like to thank all our guests from across the UK, in particular Steve Elliot, chief executive officer of the Chemical Industries Association, and Tom Crotty, who chairs the UK Chemical Growth Partnership on behalf of the sector and the Department of Business Innovation & Skills, for their update on national initiatives aimed at securing the sectors future in the UK.”