John Hallard

Member Article

General manager John to retire after 44 years of service to chemicals industry with Synthite

A long-serving chemist preparing to retire after 44 years in the industry has urged young people with a passion for science to follow his example with a career in the chemicals industry.

John Hallard, technical general manager of Synthite, will retire at the end of the year after working for the Mold-based company since 1970.

Technical general manager John has spent all but nine months of his working career with chemical manufacturer Synthite. During his time with the company, Synthite has developed into one of the UK’s leading manufacturer of a wide range of organic chemicals for markets in the UK and worldwide.

John is now in the process of briefing his successors at Synthite, and is looking forward to spending more time with his family and indulging his passion for amateur photography with Oswestry Camera Club.

John said: “I will definitely miss it here once I leave. I’m lucky to have worked with some great people and made many friends here over the years.”

John first joined Synthite as a laboratory assistant at the company’s plant in West Bromwich, the West Midlands, in 1970, initially working part-time while studying for a chemistry degree.

After graduating, he rose through the ranks to become a research and development chemist, and in 1984 joined the company’s production team. In 1989 he was appointed the plant manager of Synthite’s plant in Mold, where he has worked for the last 25 years.

As his 44-year career in chemistry comes to a close, John said that despite significant changes to the industry over the last four decades, there are still opportunities for young people with a passion for chemistry.

John said: “A lot has changed in the industry in the UK during my time with Synthite, most notably how most of the plant is run by computers now. Everything used to be run manually, but now it’s largely computerised, which is much safer.

“Automated systems have seen the number of available jobs in chemistry dip in recent years, but a good grounding in science is a great way to start a career, and there’s still opportunities for chemical engineers in the UK.

“Encouraging young people to take an interest in science is something we’re really keen on at Synthite, and as someone that has been lucky enough to have had a long career doing something they really enjoy, I’d say it’s a great subject to follow.”

Kevin Jones, managing director of Synthite, said: “John has been a valued and trusted colleague and member of the team at Synthite for 44 years. I speak for all members of staff in wishing him the best of luck in retirement.”

Synthite has operated from Alyn Works, Denbigh Road, Mold, since the 1950s.

Its main product is formaldehyde, a basic building block of the chemical industry. Formaldehyde is used in the manufacture of a vast array of everyday goods, ranging from cosmetics to furniture and floorboards.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Sam Harris .

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