News- April 2016

Chemistry innovation attracts national honour

8th April

A partnership which brought together a University of Hull graduate and a local company to create a global product has been shortlisted for a national award.

University of Hull graduate shortlisted for a national award

The capability to manufacture magnetic ink, developed by Chemistry graduate Haydn Ward working with Hull-based BemroseBooth Paragon (BBP) is now being used in travel applications across the world.

This week the partnership was named on the shortlist for the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards, known as the THELMAs.

Nominated in the Knowledge Exchange/Transfer Initiative of the Year category, the University and BBP will find out if they have won on 23 June.

Rob Burgin, general manager of BBP, said:

We have all gained a great deal from our partnership with the University of Hull. Haydn is an asset to the company and his work has contributed to our future stability and profitability. We have been extremely impressed by the University: their knowledge, their commitment, their enthusiasm and their support.

Haydn Ward graduated with a first class honours in Chemistry in the summer of 2014. A day later he began work at BBP – a Hull-based global leader in the supply of ticketing to the mass transportation and car parking industry, after securing a role in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP). Part-funded by the Government, KTPs, refined and manufactured the technology for the information-storing magnetic strip used on tickets.

Prior to this, BBP had been buying in magnetic ink from an external supplier – but to remain commercially viable, it became essential for the company to develop its own solution.

This was followed by the design and development of a full-scale ink manufacturing plant which included installation of quality-control and research and development laboratories. Just one year after joining the KTP, Haydn, who was keenly supported by the University’s partners, had developed a range of magnetic inks.

The ink manufactured at BBP is now being used in all UK rail tickets as well as on the London Underground, the Paris Metro, the Cairo Metro and in many other locations around the world.

Haydn said:

If I look back at what I have achieved over this last year, I find it incredible. I couldn’t have been given a better opportunity than this. I have learned a lot, and I have been given chances to develop my knowledge as well as understand what it is like to work in an industrial manufacturing environment.

Haydn is now working on new products using the ink he has developed, as well as undertaking a higher degree in Chemical Engineering.

Bill Walker, Director of the University of Hull Knowledge Exchange which develops links between the University and business, said:

We are delighted to be shortlisted for this national award.
This collaboration is a great example of how businesses are putting their trust in the University of Hull to help them grow and develop.
We are very proud of Haydn's achievement and the University’s successful partnership with BemroseBooth Paragon.

For more information about KTPs and how the University of Hull works with businesses, visit

More information about the THELMAs is available here:

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