Young Achievers 2018

Sponsored by Cape

High fliers: Daniel Hyndman (Chemoxy), Hallam Wheatley (SABIC), Sarah Daun (Womble Bond Dickinson), Tony Jester (Cape), Naomi Chappel (FUJIFILM) & Neal Hajim (GSK)

Young Achiever-  Biotechnology

 Naomi Chappel


This year’s biotechnology young achiever, Naomi Chappel, first joined FUJIFILM in 2010 as a sandwich year student while studying for a MEng in Chemical Engineering at Loughborough University. Following a research semester at the Université de Technologie in Compiégne, Naomi was invited to return to FUJIFILM in 2012, before being selected for sponsorship in her final degree year and later offered a permanent Graduate Process Engineer position in 2013.

Working on new equipment introductions, Naomi has quite simply excelled. Her work includes qualifying a Single-use Final Fill Machine, developed in conjunction with a North East company, that was runner up for two IChemE Global Awards. Consequently, Naomi became a designated System Expert for these machines, which are now being used across the site, seeking potential improvements as the technology is established.

Naomi became FUJIFILM’s first Bio Industries Association representative in the Networking and Skills tour and, due to her positive and pro-active personality, was invited by FUJIFILM’s Leadership team to join the Business Focus Group to help roll out the firm’s vision, mission and strategy. Promoted to Process Engineering in 2016, Naomi works predominantly on new process instruction and technology transfers for the Mammalian Cell Culture manufacturing facility. Her commitment, knowledge and experience, gained as far back as her placement year, have made her the “go to” person in FUJIFILM during operational issues. She now has chartered status and a promotion in her sights!

Young Achiever: Base Chemicals

Hallam Wheatley


At the age of only 24, this year’s Base Chemical Young Achiever is certainly that! Hallam Wheatley’s career to-date, spanning just 7 years, started in 2011 with an apprenticeship at Wilton-based SABIC UK Petrochemicals. During this time, Hallam completed his apprenticeship 6-months early and was offered full time  employment working as a laboratory supervisor for Olefins 6. In 2017, he was promoted to Research Chemist, working for SABIC’s global technology team to improve the chemistry across all SABIC assets and developing new chemistry processes.

However, despite an outstanding technical mind, it is his work with schools that is somewhat remarkable. A STEM ambassador and Special Advisor for Huntcliff School, Hallam discovered that industry was failing students in our area and decided to do something about it. Since then he has reformed and revitalised the Education Team at SABIC which led to the firms’ involvement in key external events, the development of resource materials and many SABIC-led career days and roadshows. In just 12-months, this work alone enabled SABIC to engage with over 5,000 students in the local area.

Furthermore, Hallam developed the SABIC Future Innovators Project – a concept drawn up to help plug the gap caused by work experience no longer being compulsory and to provide vital experience to students within the confines of their school. Launched in October 2017, the project has been a huge success and plans are already in place to roll out across SABIC’s European hubs. Whilst working on Education Liaison and carrying out his full-time role, Hallam has also been studying part time to complete a BSc in Chemistry, whilst raising his young daughter. Imagine what is still to come?!

Young Achiever – Pharmaceuticals

Neal Hajim


This year’s Pharmaceutical Young Achiever joined Barnard Castle-based GSK in early 2015. Neal, a biology graduate and former Medical Information Officer, gained valuable project management experience as a Pack Change Analyst and later an Artwork Supply Planner with the firm. His passion, drive and values allowed Neal to constantly improve and ultimately attain his current management position on site as a New Business Leader within New Product Introduction at just 26 years of age.

During his time at GSK, Neal has played a leading role in developing and introducing a Supply and Demand function for Artwork and Packaging globally – gathering demand data to formulate accurate supply plans. This process allowed Neal to put his problem solving and communication skills into practice to ensure the right outcome was achieved for GSK by developing a new process that would reduce operational costs and improve quality for the business.

This new function has now been embedded and is being used by Artwork and Marketing hubs globally to share artwork demand with production studios throughout GSK. And the investment is already paying dividends. Demand data was captured for projects within the Africa region showing major peaks in Q4 2017. A supply plan was formulated to manage this significant increase in workload and resulted in a key product of the Sensodyne brand being launch in the region on time. A hardworking and committed member of the GSK team, focused on delivering high impact projects for GSK, Neal is most certainly one to watch.

Young Achiever – Fine & Speciality

Daniel Hyndman


An organised and motivated Maintenance & Project Supervisor with Chemoxy International, this year’s Fine & Speciality young achiever has over 10 years’ experience on a top tier COMAH site. Dan Hyndman’s career in industry started in 2003 with a NETA apprenticeship, quickly progressing through ONC, HNC and Degree in only 9-years and supported by former Hartlepool-based BakerHughes.

Journaling allowed the then trainee to build up a record of the work he carried out, offering important reference points to look back on when there were lengthy periods between jobs. The technique of taking notes and keeping records proved vital in helping Dan develop his organisational and planning skills and, nothing is more telling of this ability, than being offered the opportunity to organise and execute a plant shutdown in the 3rd year of an apprenticeship!

Dan joined Chemoxy International in 2013 as a Maintenance Technician and his resolve, thoroughness and professional skills were recognised straight away, which led to a supervisory role promotion within 6 months. Today, Dan leads a diverse team aged between 22 and 65 and is recognised for his gravitas amongst colleagues and peers. He continually welcomes new opportunities and in addition to supervising the maintenance department, is responsible for site radiation protection, maintenance excellence procedures, apprentice mentoring and most recently projects supervision.

Young Achiever – Supply Chain

Sarah Daun


A commercial lawyer with Newcastle-based law firm, Womble Bond Dickinson, this year’s supply chain young achiever is described by senior management as “a dynamo in every sense”. A key member of the firm’s chemical team for the past 6 years, Sarah Daun became one of the youngest ever applicants to successfully secure promotion to Managing Associate.

Day-to-day, Sarah works closely with many local chemical companies, advising firms on contracting requirements and data protection compliance. Supporting many of the region’s biggest manufacturers, Sarah has developed an unprecedented understanding of the process industry landscape and uses this experience to add value to contract negotiations by giving proactive and balanced advice.

Appreciating the importance of the industry for our region and the UK, Sarah works tirelessly to encourage members of the team, as well as individuals operating at senior and junior levels across the sector, to interact and spend time together to share best practice for the good of the wider industry. Sarah is currently working with NEPIC to develop a network for industry young professionals and works closely with the CIA’s Future Forum. Womble Bond Dickinson wish they could clone Sarah, however, she is doing the next best thing by bringing on other members of the team and encouraging them to follow in her example.

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