After 3.5 years working at the Co-op Business Development Centre in London, I was finally awarded a project placement for Eco Technology Development. The Co-op awarded me an Honorary Directorship for help in London and provided funding for me to work with the University of Luton. My role was to be the Head of Business Development & R&D.
The Research Centre was a short walk away from the University Campus, where I had access to experts on Sustainability. In particular, I was fortunate to have advice from Prof. Chris Coggins when researching Pyrolysis for a potential client.
Whilst I worked on a number of Eco Technologies covering water, air, soil and energy, the main projects became centred around water purity. As part of the Co-op Group, I liaised with other Co-operatives to aid on projects.
The key projects covered Risk Assessment, Sampling and Monitoring of the water systems for the Co-op Bank + the use of electro-magnetic-field devices to improve fluid-flow at Co-op Milk pasteurisation plants.
For these projects I was fortunate to have the assistance of University experts and local businesses in the South East working on Eco Technology Developments.
For the projects, my role was to put together a 3-man team (including myself) to undertake the following:
- Build and manage the team
- Design a method of logistically surveying and sampling the water systems from circa 140 branches across the UK at low carbon and financial cost
- Design a new microbiological sample capture system to reduce the cost of on-site sampling & work with a NAMAS accredited laboratory for all tests
- Produce a generic Risk Assessment system that could be digitised for later analysis
- Produce a full cross-referenced report detailing all Risk Assessment remedial works in order of priority
The project was completed on-time and within budget.
- Build and manage the team
- Work with ACC (part of Co-op Group) to locate a suitable test site
- Find the best location for the test equipment and work with the engineer to install the test kit
- Benchmark previous parameters such as flow-rates, viscosity, temperatures, etc + analyse these against the test kit over a 6-month test-period
I was awarded membership of the Water Management Society for my innovatory work. This included:
- My design and production of a re-useable low-cost polystyrene water sample box that I had mass-produced. Each box could hold water samples to be couriered to the NAMAS laboratory during site-surveys, keeping them at a suitable temperature in-line with NAMAS protocols. This resulted in a significant cost and carbon saving for the project.
- My input to the field of silver-copper ionisation, working on research with the two global leading experts Major Randolph Reid (formerly UK Armed Forces) and James Hoos (formerly USAAF).
- My input on Magneto-Hydro-Dynamics for R&D of electro-magnetic fields on fluids
My work was noted by a man of significant worth. He asked me to leave the Co-op at the end of 1996 and work for him on cutting-edge technologies as his Head of R&D and Business Development. After accepting a very handsome financial package I went on to work with him for 7 years.