Witnessed by some 430 process industry executives, fourteen awards were presented to the region’s brightest youngsters, best companies and tireless contributors within the process sector at this year’s NEPIC Annual Awards evening.
Prize funds totalling £18,000 were donated over the course of the evening to award winners, in support of future career development and local science-related school projects.
Eight of the region’s rising stars were recognised from companies following a flurry of fantastic entries.
Apprentice of the Year Awards – three in total – were awarded to Asad Ali of SABIC Petrochemicals, Tiffany Connor of Billingham-based Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies and K Home International’s Patrick Shepherd (pictured above) for their outstanding commitment to their studies and career progression.
Young Achievers from across the region’s industry sectors were awarded for their exceptional career achievements to-date.
This year’s winners included Stephen Anderson of Absolute Antibody, Lynsey Watson of Aesica Pharmaceuticals, from Billingham-based Biochemica, Sandra Roundtree, Craig Hooper of CF Fertilizers (formally GrowHow) and from Amec Foster Wheeler, Elaine Falconer – who all picked up awards and walked away with cheques for £1,000 (pictured below).
The Primary School Environmental Award was won by Gateshead-East school, Lingey House Primary, for their plans to save the water voles in the park adjacent to the school grounds.
The prize fund will allow the school’s ‘Green Team’ to erect signage and educate the public, as well as the pupils, with regard to waterfowl diets and stop the use of bread that is ultimately attracting rats and endangering the protected water voles.
Cramlington-based Shasun Pharma Solutions scooped this year’s Industrial Environmental Award for their five year journey to reduce the firm’s environmental burden by promoting improvements in technology, processes and products beyond the requirement of regulatory compliance.
Having donated their £2,000 prize to Grasmere Academy in North Tyneside, Shasun will now work with staff and pupils using the funds to develop a science-related project.
Also collecting an award, made from locally manufactured acrylic at the Lucite International site in Billingham, is SME of the Year, Chemoxy International.
The Middlesbrough-based SME was praised for punching above its weight in advanced manufacturing in the North East.
Formed only four years earlier following a management buy-out, the firm has achieved significant growth, expanded its manufacturing capacity, increased export sales and created 50 new jobs.
The firm was also commended for going over and above in relation to apprenticeships and community programmes.
This work will continue further as Chemoxy donate their £2,000 prize fund to Breckon Hill School and work together on science-related activities.
A special award for International Business Development was presented to visiting guest Kamal Nanavaty from Indian chemical giant Reliance Industries.
Mr Nanavaty has gone over and above the call of duty in his support and encouragement of NEPIC’s international work, providing an invaluable insight to market opportunities, along with direct logistical support to NEPIC’s members that have visited the country.
However, it was Cramlington-based drug manufacturer MSD that stole the show, scooping two awards.
First came the top prize for Manufacturing Sustainability following the firm’s long-term commitment to manufacturing excellence that spanned 15 years and has made the site a true six-sigma operation.
And the celebrations continued for MSD as Site Director, Martin Inskip, joined the roll of honour of the sector’s greatest contributors as he collected the 2016 award for Outstanding Contribution.
To date the event has gifted £186,000 to the region’s rising stars and regional school science and environmental projects.
The evening was sponsored by ABB, Northumbrian Water, Lotte Chemical UK, Cape, BOC, Haden Freeman, Middlesbrough College, Sembcorp, Bond Dickinson – and the winner’s trophies provided by Lucite International.
NEPIC CEO, Dr Stan Higgins, said: “With over 70 award applications, the process industry in the North East of England has shown it has excellent young people that will ensure its future leadership within the sector and the project awards to companies demonstrate the excellent work that is going on within industry.
“It is also exciting to be able to once again link our sector to local schools, where the human resources of the future are being developed.”