Young Achiever Winners 2019

Sponsored by Altrad

Representing the largest business sector in the North East of England, NEPIC has deep engagement with industry and training providers. However, NEPIC, along with award sponsor Altrad, seeks not only to promote the industry as a career choice for those leaving school and University but also to recognise the best and brightest young people already working within it.

Open to member company employees aged between 16 and 35, these awards recognise outstanding talent across the industry’s five sectors: Biotechnology; Base Chemicals; Pharmaceuticals; Fine & Speciality Chemicals and Support & Supply Chain.

Young Achiever 2019: Biotechnology
Ali Usman, Process Engineer, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnology

Ali graduated as a Chemical Engineer from Pakistan before travelling to the UK in 2009 to pursue further studies. He successfully completed a master’s degree in Petroleum Technology from Teesside University.

Joining Fujifilm in June 2012 on a temporary contract, as a Graduate Engineer, to help develop qualification summary reports for the Product Development Facility, Ali’s dedication, and hard work, quickly led to a long-term contract.

Since then, Ali has worked on several New Equipment Introductions for the site including the fully disposable chromatography controller systems that helped the business reduce facility change over time, the cost of equipment cleans and plant downtime.

Ali also introduced a creative solution to a significant issue during one of Fujifilm’s major manufacturing campaigns, developing a system that delivers automatic supply of Purified Water as and when required by the manufacturing equipment – reducing the probability of error and enabling Fujifilm to deliver commercial scale batches with minimum risk. This innovation helped Ali win the Change of the Month award presented by COO.

Ali went on to use his skills and knowledge to design a number of manufacturing processes for various Fujifilm clients in order to deliver batches of their products – including one of the most complex batch of single product produced by the company. For Fujifilm, this is a milestone project as it is currently on course to become an FDA approved commercial product.

Ali’s skills and achievements led him to being offered the position of Process Engineer responsible for the operations of Downstream Processing areas of the commercial manufacturing facility.

Young Achiever 2019: Base & Commodity
Emily Anderson, Graduate Plant Manager, Chemoxy International

Emily is a Graduate Plant Manager at Chemoxy International. Despite having only recently started the Graduate Training Programme, Emily has quickly gained experience across Process Safety Management Foundations and Management Behaviours, completing rotations in Maintenance, Supply Chain, Finance, Health and Safety, Projects and Operations, which are vital for the success of her progression as an effective manager.

Prior to her time with Chexomy, Emily achieved a First Class Honours in Chemical Engineering at Aston University and won the Professor Michael Wright Award for the most significant improvement throughout her time at university. As part of her degree, Emily also completed a ‘Year in Industry’ at Cummins in Darlington, where she was a Test Engineer.

In this very early stage of her career, the experience Emily has gained by working with people from diverse backgrounds, in a range of environments and being an overall positive person has helped her to achieve all that she has done today.

Going forward, Emily will continue this optimism and encourage more women into engineering and more diversity in the workplace to better our communities and offer a broader range of ideas to industry and society.

Young Achiever 2019: Pharmaceuticals
Alice Haworth, Product Family Owner, GSK

Alice joined GSK in 2014 and has taken advantage of the diverse range of opportunities available to reach her current position as Product Owner for Cabotegravir, leading a technical team in the development and launch of a game-changing long acting injection for the treatment and prevention of HIV.

Alice’s scientific career started whilst she was studying a Chemistry degree at Durham University, during which time she took on summer work at a lab with an animal health company, gaining invaluable experience of process improvement and optimisation.

Within the first three months of joining GSK, Alice became the lead technologist supporting the development of a new treatment for psoriasis and dermatitis. Two years of hard work culminated in a career highlight, with the opportunity to undertake a 9 month secondment in GSK’s USA Research and Development Centre in Philadelphia.

The opportunity to move across business areas and having the courage to take these chances has accelerated Alice’s career. Now in a leadership role for a long acting treatment for HIV, with technical responsibility for this product due to launch in 2020, Alice is proud to work on one of GSKs most exciting and high profile new medicines. Her focus is now set on preparing for filing and inspection by the FDA and developing her management skills in this new role.

Young Achiever 2019: Fine & Speciality
Rachel Gregory, HR Officer, Venator

Rachel’s industry placement with SSI UK was so successful that she was offered a role within the Learning and Development Team, starting immediately on completion of her degree. This role elicited Rachel’s passion for Learning and Development, as well as enabling her to develop skills within that area, initially focussing on job competence before expanding into talent development.

Following the steelworks closure, Rachel moved into the HR Officer position at Venator, where she was able to successfully combine her HR and Learning and Development skills in one role.

Seizing the opportunity to improve the Apprenticeship Programme locally at Greatham Site, she improved the structure of the programme to foster a culture of support and continuous learning for their young people, in turn increasing their likelihood of gaining permanent employment at the end of their apprenticeship and ensuring they are as skilled as possible to benefit the site.

As well as supporting Venator’s apprenticeship programme, Rachel has played a key role in the site Leadership Development strategy, working alongside CPI and Chemoxy to trialled 3 Leadership Development Programmes. Helen now reports on the success of the programmes on a monthly basis and works with CPI, Chemoxy and the training provider to tailor the delivery to meet their needs.

As well as assisting individuals with their career plans, Rachel’s ability to hit the ground running, think on her feet and grasp issues easily will enable the team to become more efficient and effective, and assist with the longer-term plans for Greatham Site – something that she is very proud to say she has contributed to.

Young Achiever 2019: Support & Supply Chain
Chris Moody, Finance Manager, px group

Prior to graduating with a Finance degree in 2006, a work placement at the National Grid had already sparked Chris’s interest in the energy sector. This experience helped him secure his first permanent role at Teesside Power Station (operated by px) as Assistant Financial Controller in 2007.

As the only Finance employee, Chris was heavily involved with bringing the finance operations in-house, and a subsequent sale process saw him support management by providing and analysing data and responded to bidders during a Q&A process where 1,600 questions were answered!

By 2010, Chris was promoted to Management Account at px group and within five months was made responsible for the finance operations of px’s largest client who own gas processing facilities handling 5% of the UK’s gas demand. An acquisition by the client has since increased handling by a further 20%.

Now Finance Manager, Chris was responsible for building an expanded finance team to handle the increased client demands, including creating new roles, recruitment, training and ongoing development. In effectively structuring the team, they are able run the finance operations for a £300m turnover business with a team of just six people, based in Teesside and Aberdeen.

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