Harry graduated from Durham University with a degree in Plant Sciences in 1998 and started working life as the Scientific Affairs Manager in the London Office of Monsanto Plc. He subsequently worked for two years at Regester Larkin Ltd., a London-based consultancy, as a specialist public relations consultant providing technical and scientific advice to major international companies on crisis and reputation risk management.
Harry joined Thomas Swan & Co. Ltd. in 2002 to launch the new Carbon Nanomaterials Business. In April 2006 he took up the position of Managing Director. As the great grandson of the founder, ‘Tommy’ Swan, he is the 4th generation of the Swan family to work at the company. He became the owner and CEO of the business in 2018.
In addition to his work for the family business, Harry is also a Trustee of the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) and a Member of Council of the UK Chemical Industries Association (CIA).
Harry has been actively involved in various innovation bodies during his career. He is a member of the Chemistry Council and was the first chair of the Chemistry Council Innovation Committee (2018-2020), establishing the Committee and steering its work to develop the Strategy and Sector Deal. He was formerly a Non-Executive Director on the board of Innovate UK.
In 2014 Harry was appointed Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Industry Education Collaboration (CIEC). CIEC aims to create and sustain links between schools and industry to inspire the next generation of children.
Harry was appointed as the 2016 David Goldman Visiting Professor of Innovation and Enterprise at Newcastle University Business School.
Harry is a member of the Durham Cathedral Investment Committee.
Harry is married, has four boys and lives near Barnard Castle in County Durham in the North East of England.
As Finance Director I am responsible for the finance and Information Technology functions at Thomas Swan which include financial and management reporting, banking/legal relationships, and the supervision of the finance /IT teams.
Since joining the company in 1998 I have also acted as Finance Director for several of our start-up ventures, including Screen Technology Ltd (up to its admission to AIM in 2005 after raising £8M) and BioDynamics Research Ltd (prior to its acquisition by Quotient BioResearch Group in 2008).
After graduating in Mathematics at Newcastle University, I qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1988 with Price Waterhouse, where I worked as an audit manager. Prior to joining Thomas Swan I gained experience in finance and general management roles in a variety of service, contract and manufacturing companies.
I believe it is vitally important that the core values of the company are maintained as we expand our business activities on a more global scale. Our business is built on strong foundations, which puts us in the ideal position to develop and exploit a wide range of opportunities for growth.
I joined Thomas Swan as Business Director, Performance Chemical Division in May 2021 from Croda where I held the position of Global Business Director for their Polymer Effects business. I have considerable experience in sales, marketing, strategy, new product development and a shared passion for sustainability.
After joining Thomas Swan in 2009, I managed the technical functions across all of our three business Divisions - before being appointed as Commercial Director for Custom Manufacture in 2012.
This is a highly bespoke service and my role involves building strong and lasting relationships - so we, and the companies we supply, can respond to evolving market requirements. I work closely with all of our customers, whatever their size or requirements, and whether it’s a one-off job or a regular production requirement. This enables us to ensure that their projects are delivered with the highest standards of service, confidentiality and expertise. My goal is to tailor the flexibility and manufacturing capability of the Division to meet changing customer requirements and to supply every project on budget and on time.
After gaining my doctorate in Organic Chemistry from the University of Salford in 1995 and spending some time lecturing at University, I moved into industry to lead research and process scale up groups in contract research and manufacturing organisations serving the fine chemicals and pharmaceutical sectors for fourteen years, prior to joining Thomas Swan. This has given me a depth of experience, insight and specialist expertise which has, I believe, often proved to be invaluable to our customers.
I have a BSc(hons) in Electronics and MBA from UWIST (now part of Cardiff University). My previous work experience includes microprocessor design at Ferrnanti, 15 years as General Manager of Toshiba Electronics Europe in Düsseldorf. Since then I have worked in 5 start-up companies mainly in global sales, marketing and business development roles, including 3 years as Global Commercial Director at Oxford Advanced Surfaces. My most recent position was global sales and marketing director at Cambridge Nanotherm, responsible for taking advanced materials to the global lighting market.
I joined Thomas Swan & Co. Ltd. in 1990 as a Quality Control Analyst, and over the years have worked in most departments within the Company, gaining my degree in Chemistry with Chemical Engineering along the way. I was promoted to Operations Manager in April 2018, and am now responsible for ensuring that all of the Company’s strategy targets are met, and that the health and safety of our employees is maintained at all times. We manage the business using Lean methodology, and encourage open communication between our employees. Delivering a quality product, on time and in full to our customers is important, and giving our customers the best possible experience is very important. My goal is to deliver Total Productive Maintenance to the site so that we are sustainable, competitive and above all else, the leaders in our chosen field.
My career in HR began 20 years ago in the public sector where I qualified as an HR Practitioner with the CIPD. The last 15 years have been spent working for a motor retail business leading a small team to deliver a whole range of HR services including a number of sales and acquisitions of individual businesses, managing volume recruitment, large scale restructures and achieving IiP and Best Companies accreditation.
I joined Thomas Swan in March 2016 as HR Manager. This was a newly created role for the business and shows the company’s commitment to look after its people. Thomas Swan has an ambitious 5 year strategy and developing the people is a key part of this. My role is a full generalist HR role which includes developing policies, implementing best practice, supporting managers and employees, recruitment, training and development and ensuring the company complies with employment law. This role is a fantastic opportunity to shape how people are managed and developed, in every business, the workforce is its biggest investment and managing people well can make a massive difference to company performance.
Thomas Swan has a well-established, loyal workforce which is a key strength in delivering excellent customer service. However, every company has its challenges and part of my role is to ensure that the business is ready for the future by recruiting the right skills and maintaining a steady stream of Apprentices to maintain knowledge and experience. Thomas Swan as a strong set of values, the main reason I wanted to work here, and I am enjoying the challenge of ensuring the values are part of everything we do.
With over 20 years’ experience in the chemical sector, I joined Thomas Swan in December 2000 and was promoted to my current position in April 2011. I lead a team responsible for production planning, purchasing, warehousing and transport.
The logistics department aims to provide a consistent, reliably fast and efficient service to all customers. Ensuring that we deliver quality products and customer support is, of course, pivotal to the success of our business.
Key elements of my department’s role include making sure that customer orders are planned, manufactured and delivered on time to agreed specification. We determine priorities with regard to customer despatch dates and direct all resources to meet business objectives and customer demands. This involves pre-empting any possible problems and delays, initiating any corrective actions necessary and troubleshooting the operational difficulties that occasionally occur in any operation with our ever-extending global reach.
I am committed to achieving the highest standards of performance, quality and health & safety – and to positive change, team building and people development.
As QHSE Manager, my role is to ensure that all of our products are not only manufactured to a high quality standard, but also safely. We achieve this by maintaining close links with production, our objective to completely eradicate accident rates which are already well below industry standard.
The health and wellbeing of our employees is of the highest priority for the company, as is our impact on the micro and macro environments in which we operate including, of course, the local community. With this always in mind, we are constantly monitoring our systems and processes to ensure we achieve or exceed best practice in all areas.
I started with Thomas Swan in 1974 as a Junior Chemist in R&D. Over the next 23 years I progressed to become group leader of various departments - including the polyurethane department, process development and contract support.
Whilst maintaining close links to R&D, I moved to the Quality Department in 1997 initially as Senior Analyst. I became QC Manager in 2004 and Quality Manager in 2008. I took on responsibility for the HSE functions of the company as QHSE Manager in 2009.
My primary focus within Thomas Swan is to develop the research and development capability within the company. Thomas Swan is taking significant steps towards developing their technical excellence to establish a world-class scientific and technical position within the industry. My task is to develop a disciplined, motivated and highly capable research base to deliver the company’s growing commercial aspirations.
I joined Swan Chemical Inc. (SCI) in April 2019, I have over 30 years of experience in the Specialty Chemical industry with extensive knowledge of regulated markets (Biocide and Preservatives). Prior to joining Swan Chemical, I spent 7 years with Lonza Inc, where I headed Lonza’s Hygiene & Preservation business globally.
Swan Chemical Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Thomas Swan & Company, Ltd, with headquarters in Lyndhurst, New Jersey and responsibility for activities in the Americas.
I am delighted to be overseeing the expansion of Thomas Swan in the Asia/Pacific area. Over 14% of the company’s global business is into Asia and the Far East, and we are planning to grow that figure significantly over the coming years. My role is to provide local leadership from our regional hub in Shanghai, operating in our customers own time zone and providing them with immediate support.