Having worked in Aerodynamics, Formula 1 racing cars, mail handling equipment and developing the worlds first DVD players, Mark stumbled into lifesciences having moved to The Technology Partnership in 1997. In 2001 Mark Gilligan set up Syrris Ltd to develop cutting edge new technologies for acceleration of R&D Chemistry. Four years later a US-based sister firm was established to meet growing needs. Meanwhile, Syrris was being contacted about possible development of microfluidic technologies in other application areas, so Mark won a UK government competition and set up Dolomite Microfluidics to create a Microfluidic application centre to meet these rising demands. Through the mid ’00s Syrris’ growth accelerated and it established distribution relationships across Asia, Europe and Latin America. New Syrris subsidiary companies were launched in Japan, India and Brazil, and Blacktrace was created to cap three years of explosive expansion. With a now unstoppable momentum, the group restructured in Jan 2013 to make Blacktrace the holding company, and acquired new talent in Glass Solutions and Centeo. Mark leads the Group as the CEO.
The executive team of Blacktrace is made up of the key individuals who run the major parts of our business. All of these people have been heavily involved in creating and building the fast growing business that is in place, and are highly driven and motivated to work together to continue that rapid growth.
Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer
Director - Chief Financial Officer and Chief Technical Officer
After completing a PhD/Postdoc in materials/manufacturing engineering at the University of Cambridge, Andrew Lovatt entered technical consulting with Scientific Generics (now Sagentia). He gained insight into the technical challenges faced by a range of industries from packaging (high strength designs for cardboard cartons), healthcare (intelligent beds to colostomy bags[!]), to control systems and sensors (novel 3D position detection and control). Andrew moved to Syrris Ltd in 2002 to gain experience with an end-to-end product design, manufacturing and sales company. He worked as Head of R&D at Syrris for a number of years, and later CEO of Dolomite. Now as Blacktrace Group CFO and CTO, Andrew has overall responsibility for technology and operational matters such as finance and business processes. He also sits on the Group Board.
Director - CEO, Dolomite Bio
Mike Hawes leads the Dolomite Bio Brand activity globally and sits on the Group Board. Mike holds a first class MChem from Exeter University and previously worked for GSK and Pfizer, inventing novel automation products and synthesizing NNRTI drug candidates. Mike was the first scientist in the Group when he joined Syrris in 2002. After spending time as a Project Chemist and Technology Application Leader, Mike became Head of Marketing in 2006, then Head of Sales and Marketing in 2008 and then CEO of Syrris in 2010. In 2013 Mike took responsibility for commercial aspects such as marketing, strategy, new product creation and grant funding across the Blacktrace Group. Mike has managed Syrris to become the world leader in lab scale flow chemistry systems and automated batch chemistry reactors and is regularly invited to speak at conferences on the subject.
Chief Operations Officer
Lee Jeffries is responsible for all Blacktrace Operations including procurement, manufacturing and order fulfilment. After leaving university, Lee was in charge of operations at his family business specialising in the manufacture of precision glass and silica components, as well as the design and assembly of silica process machinery. The company also operated a specialist manufacturing service for assemblies used in analytical instruments. Later, Lee became Operations Manager for a microfluidics start-up, and later joined The Dolomite Centre Limited after it had won a £2m award under the DTI’s Micro & Nano Technology Manufacturing Initiative initially as the Head of Operations.
Chief Commercial Officer
Omar Jina is responsible for the commercial team across the Blacktrace Group. Omar holds a BA (Hons) in Chemistry from Trinity College, Dublin and a PhD in Chemistry from University of Nottingham. After completing his PhD, Omar worked in various roles such as Product Management, Technical Support and Account Management for a technical distribution company specializing in areas such as Flash Chromatography, HPLC, LCMS and sensor technology. Omar joined Syrris in 2007 as a Regional Manager responsible for Western Europe and China, subsequently became Head of Sales at Syrris in 2009 and then Chief Sales Officer for the Blacktrace Group in 2013. He has been instrumental in growing the commercial channels for Syrris and Blacktrace and is now responsible for all commercial activities for the group including Marketing, Sales, Product Management, Applications and Support.