Created by:

Meet the Winners

Winner: Chris Hawes, test technician, Siemens Magnet Technology, Oxford

Category: Employee-Led Innovation Award

The judges said: "Chris has devised an innovative idea at home that has become a patented company-wide solution with minimum outlay. It is an elegant solution and is the very embodiment of employee-led innovation."

Read More


Winner: Strip & Clean Optimisation Team, Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems (UK) Ltd, Melksham

Category: Manufacturing Team Award

The judges said: "The team made a huge transformation for the industry they were in. They went from a very low position with regard to the organisation and structure to a strong, 5S position. Everyone got involved in the process, even coming in at weekends to move it forward."

Read More


Winner: Paul Gemmell, operations capability development manager, BAE Systems Naval Ships, Glasgow

Category: Skills Champion Award

The judges said: "Paul has gone back to basics to take on some big organisational and cultural challenges. He's shown the courage to tackle some difficult conversations. Through his passion and conviction, Paul has seen people buy into his skills development programme, and the results are truly impressive."

Read More


Winner: Michael Vernall, EHS specialist, A Schulman Inc, Crumlin

Category: Safe Workplace Champion Award

The judges said: "Michael is a worthy winner due in part to the outstanding results he has achieved, going from 17th out of 18 sites to first place, as well as introducing a wellbeing programme into the health & safety remit. He's done this by engaging with the employees. To get their input and achieve the fantastic results that he has makes Michael the standout nominee."

Read More


Winner: Lean RCM Team, Viridor, Manchester

Category: Maintenance Team Award

The judges said: "A textbook example of what you should do if you want to improve your maintenance performance. The team involved everyone from operators up to senior managers, in setting a clear-cut strategy, a breakdown of how they would do it and identifying training support. The Lean RCM team are an absolute credit, both to themselves and Viridor - i'd have them in my plant tomorrow."

Read More


Winner: Stephanus (Fanie) Blignaut, maintenance manager, PEME, East London

Category: Unsung Hero Award

The judges said: "Fanie really went the extra mile to support the company and those working within it. He supports the team leaders on top of his day job, which is the very definition of an Unsung Hero. It's fantastic to see. His enthusiasm to the job is to be admired. We were very impressed. A worthy winner."

Read More


Winner: Lee Suter, apprentice mechanical engineer, Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems, Broadstairs

Category: Rising Star (Apprentice/Trainee) Award

The judges said: "Lee has the courage to challenge the established status quo where an improvement is at stake. He has also proved himself an intuitive problem solver and came up with an idea for moving a key production area on mobile lifting frames. His innovation saved three day's work dismantling the area and a further three day's production time. Lee shows a passion for delivering that little bit extra."

Read More


Winner: Hannah Ridley, project engineer, TSP Engineering, Workington

Category: Rising Star (Manager/Technician) Award

The judges said: "Hannah is a proven team player with glowing interpersonal skills. But, it's her exceptional customer focus that really stood out. It's golden rule in manufacturing that if you can keep your customers' happy, then your business will thrive."

Read More


Winner: Gary Burgess, CI manager, Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems, Broadstairs

Category: Community Champion Award

The judges said: "Gary is on a crusade to open people's minds to the exciting career opportunities manufacturing holds. He's a great advocate for our industry, and his energy and enthusiasm for the sector shine through. Gary's entry just makes you feel good about our future."

Read More


Winner: John Coughlan, director of operations, TSP Engineering, Workington

Category: Manufacturing Leader Award

The judges said: "In just two years, John turned the business around from a £1.5-£2m loss to a £2m profit. He did this through team-led activities within the plant. He had a very clear vision that was then applied across the whole site. He stood out as someone who embodied the spirit of this category. It wasn't all about him; it was about putting the right things in place and inspiring everyone else to follow him."

Read More