Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tom Swan is awarded a Morrell Fellowship at The University of York

Tom Swan receiving his Morrell Fellowship at The University of York.
Also pictured with Tom Swan from left: Harry Swan (MD of Thomas Swan), Joy Parvin  and Gayle Pook.
Tom Swan’s huge support for CIEC and the Children Challenging Industry project has been instrumental in their continuing success over the last 18 years. He is a passionate believer in educating everyone about the importance of science and the scientific industries and in particular to educate and inform the new generation who will work in these industries. He has recently been honoured with a Morrell Fellowship from the University of York.

Named in memory of John Bowes Morrell who was at the forefront of the campaign to create a university in York, the Morrell Fellowships are a means of recognising the community of benefactors who have made the most significant contributions to the fabric and life of the University.

The following is part of the citation delivered at the ceremony:

Tom Swan is the chairman of Thomas Swan & Co, from Consett, County Durham, which was listed as one of the Top 20 World Innovators by a leading American publication - this is a remarkable achievement for a family run UK company.

In the 1980s, Thomas Swan expanded into semiconductors, fungicides and new techniques for metal coating which removed the need to use to dangerous solvents - this early recognition of the need to move to environmentally friendly processes won the company the 2003 Chemical Industries Association Green Chemical Technology award.

Over the years, Tom has chaired many commissions, associations and advisory bodies, including being elected World President of the Society of Chemical Industry. 

One of Tom's passions is to educate the general population, and the future workforce, as to the benefits of science in general and the chemical industry in particular.  This passion drew him to York in 1996. 

Working with CIEC led to development of the "Children Challenging Industry" programme.  As part of the programme children visit industry sites and this has a significant impact in changing their views of science.  Feedback from children and teachers has been overwhelmingly positive with comments such as “It was a fantastic tour.  I want to work here when I’m older!” and “I enjoyed all the activities hugely.  It has made me think a lot more about science and how important it is.”   

With Tom's generous support over the last 18 years this programme has enabled 35,000 primary children and 10,000 teachers from 1250 schools to interact with the chemical industry.

Since 1996 Tom has been active in all that CIEC does, giving his personal time as well as financial support.  It is therefore with significant gratitude and pride that the University of York recognises Tom Swan as a Morrell Fellow. 


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