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22 Jan 2018



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Friday 19 January 2018 – Hardwick Hall, Sedgefield. The North East’s brightest youngsters and best companies from the chemical-processing industry have been recognised at the 12th Annual NEPIC Industry Awards. 

Eight of the region’s rising young stars were honoured at the event that welcomed 420 industry guests. A further eight awards were received by exceptional companies, an eco-primary school and outstanding contributor.

Twenty-four thousand pounds was awarded over the course of the evening – with £16,000 heading straight to North East primary schools to support STEM activities and develop industry-academia links.

Apprentice of the Year Awards went to Katie Corcoran of GSK; Jack Kerr of Lotte Chemical and Robert Whitehead of Jacobs for their outstanding academic ability, early career progression and promotion of the industry to the younger generation.

Young Achievers from across the region’s industry sectors were also awarded for their exceptional career achievements. This year’s winners included Naomi Chappel of Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies; Hallam Wheatley of SABIC; Neal Hajim of GSK; Daniel Hyndman of Chemoxy International and representing the supply chain category, Sarah Daun of Womble Bond Dickinson – who all picked up awards and each walked away with £1,000 cheques.

Recently retired industry champion, Dr. Stan Higgins OBE, who founded NEPIC in 2003, was awarded the outstanding contribution award for the 50 years he has dedicated to the advancement of the sector.

Thornaby’s Village Primary School scooped this year’s school environmental award and £2,000 to convert an unused area of the playground into an all-weather, outdoor eco-classroom.

Company awards were also picked up by Greenergy Biofuels (Industrial Environmental); Sirius Minerals (Communities & Reputation); Biochemica Water (Small Business of the Year); Tomlinson Hall & Co. (Engineering Firm of the Year); Aesica Pharmaceutical (Manufacturer of the Year) and Micropore Technologies (Innovation).

NEPIC Chief Executive, Iain Wright, said:

“The NEPIC awards is an occasion to celebrate the achievements of industry and to showcase the talented firms and individuals who work in this important sector to the region.

“They recognise success in the year past, but what is most gratifying to me is that they point to the future, with firms growing and innovating, investing in young people, being positive players in the local community and embedding even closer links between education and industry.”

The awards evening was gratefully sponsored by ABB, BOC-Linde, Cape, Centre for Process Innovation, ITS, Lotte Chemical UK, Lucite International, Northern Skills Group, Oranmore Environmental, px group, Sirius Minerals, Ward Hadaway and Wilton International.


Apprentices of the Year, sponsored by Lotte Chemical UK

Katie Corcoran, GSK
Jack Kerr, Lotte Chemicals UK
Robert Whitehead, Jacobs

Young Achievers 2018, sponsored by Cape

Naomi Chappel, FUJIFILM Diosynth
Hallam Wheatley, SABIC UK Petrochemicals
Neal Hajim, GSK
Daniel Hyndman, Chemoxy International
Sarah Daun, Womble Bond Dickinson

School Environmental Award, sponsored by Linde-BOC

WINNER: Village Primary School, Thornaby

Industrial Environmental Award, sponsored by Linde-BOC

WINNER: Greenergy Biofuels Teesside
Beneficiary School: Greatham C of E Primary School

Communities & Reputation, sponsored by px group

WINNER: Sirius Minerals 
Beneficiary School: Sacred Heart Primary, Redcar

Small Business of the Year, sponsored by Sirius Minerals

WINNER: Biochemica Water 
Beneficiary School: Ingleby Mill Primary School

Engineering Firm of the Year, sponsored by Northern Skills Group

WINNER: Tomlinson Hall & Co. 
Beneficiary School: Billingham South Community Primary

Manufacturer of the Year, sponsored by Ward Hadaway

WINNER: Aesica Pharmaceutical
Beneficiary School: Beaconhill Primary

Innovation Award, sponsored by CPI

WINNER: Micropore Technologies
Beneficiary Programme: Children Challenging Industry

Outstanding Contribution, sponsored by Wilton International

WINNER: Dr. Stan Higgins, OBE
Beneficiary Programme: Children Challenging Industry



NEPIC is an award-winning membership cluster organisation working with the chemical-using industries in the North East of England. Together with our member companies, we work to build upon the powerful industrial base located here and make this region one of the most competitive and successful chemical-processing locations in Europe. Privately-owned and led by industry, we work to support cluster members to become successful and sustainable organisations, in a collaborative business environment that helps them to grow.

For more information visit or contact Louise Gwynne-Jones, PR & Communications Manager, via or call 01642 442 569 / 07808 029 967


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© Copyright. North East of England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC) 2015