North West chemist is elected to highest office of global scientific body
Paul Jones, Managing Director of Wigan-based Bitrez, has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, which is the highest level of membership. Paul joined Bitrez shortly after it was formed and consisted of a handful of staff.
He entered the lab directly from school aged 17 into a role as an apprentice technician and through a process of self-teaching and dogged determination, Paul developed his knowledge and experimental skills in chemistry, rising through the ranks to Development Chemist, Works Manager, Operations Manager, Head of R & D, and now Managing Director and co-owner.
Reading endless books, journals and technical magazines gave him the skills and the know-how to design and manufacture polymers that could be shaped to provide reduced risks to society on a global basis.
Paul is one of the world’s foremost experts in specialist polymers, resins and curing agents. His election to Fellow caps a number of awards secured by Bitrez as a result of his pioneering development and innovative work, including the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, and business and innovation awards by the Institute of Chemical Engineering, MAKE UK and Chemicals North West.
Paul’s achievements span cutting edge science, chemistry that has never been developed before, through to leadership and significantly growing and establishing his core business at the forefront of speciality polymer manufacturing whilst launching a number of other specialist chemical companies.
On the chemistry front, Paul led the research and development into the launch of low free monomer and Bis-Phenol A free resins to combat media concerns regarding endocrine disruption and BPA being a suspected oestrogen mimic causing gender mutation and birth defects.
Other highlights include the development and launch of epoxy curing agents, vinyl ester resins, epoxy resins, phenolic polymers, amino resins. He also developed and launched a range of novel catalysts and accelerators. Alongside this, Paul developed the only global REACH compliant Ketamine epoxy curing agent.
He is the originator of all of these products generating formulations and processes for chemists to prepare. Some of these products are in the process of being patented and offer sustainable options to industry standard petrochemical derivatives. He has written several technical articles and is a strong advocate of green chemistry.
On the commercial side, Bitrez has grown significantly, increasing turnover to £25m and now employing over 100 people. It is now a global supplier to the largest names in the chemicals industry and is an important local employer.
For Bitrez, Paul negotiated exclusive deal with the marine sector market leader and personally secured a PPG Global Supplier Award; building up a network of global distributors, including in the lucrative US market. During this time he launched Chemical Processing Services Ltd, a bespoke consultancy in polymer chemistry. With the expansion of the business into Asia, Bitrez opened a new HQ in Shanghai and has expanded its research and development facilities with a new purpose-built unit.
Paul spotted the business potential of a number of chemical opportunities, and bought parts of the chemicals businesses from Shell and BP. These have gone onto great commercial success. He also integrated the specialist adhesive producer, Acene into the business.
“I’m thrilled that Paul has been named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC),” said Brian Allen co-Director and partner of Bitrez Ltd. “The designation FRSC is only given to a select group of scientists who have made outstanding contributions to chemistry. On behalf of the business, I congratulate Paul on this exceptional and well-deserved honour.”
Dr Barrie G. Colvin FRSC, Technical Director of Ru-bix Tooling Board/Advanced Thermosets Ltd, said: “Paul has a very rare quality of being a complete expert in the chemistry and application of epoxies, as well as achieving a very high professional position within that industry. He is clearly the person to go to for any question or advice in connection with epoxies and I have always found him unusually knowledgeable and helpful.
“There is no doubt whatsoever that he has had a major impact on the successful growth of the composites industry, a business sector that is growing rapidly in the UK and across the world. He has achieved a number of industry awards as a result of his ground-breaking achievements as a development chemist and Managing Director of a very successful chemical company.
“His recent success with bio-based resins, including the Queen’s Award for Innovation, has confirmed his continued desire to further improve the ecological aspects of his business and I would have no hesitation in supporting his application.”
Paul Jones FRSC added: “I am immensely honoured to be admitted to the Royal Society of Chemistry as a Fellow. Joining such a select group, who have made so many scientific breakthroughs and advances is humbling, and I feel privileged and very grateful to the RSC for this generous recognition.”
Paul has revolutionised the speciality polymers industry and Bitrez is now the UK’s leading manufacturer of specialist polymers and chemicals as well as the head of research and development.