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.
Chief Executive 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.
Richard founded Syrris Ltd with Mark Gilligan in 2001, moving to the USA in 2004 to manage the Group’s US subsidiaries. Richard’s background includes fast-track product and process development in consumer, medical device and industrial sectors. Before Syrris, Richard was a General Manager in Mettler Toledo’s Automated Chemistry Group, starting up and leading a 50-strong team in design and manufacturing of automated drug synthesis equipment. He worked in technical consulting at The Technology Partnership and PA Technology, and in helicopter rotor design at Westland Helicopters. Richard has an MA in Engineering from Cambridge University and a Diploma in Management Studies.
Aurelia is the Operations Director and Company secretary of Blacktrace Holdings and is responsible for the company’s financial operations, compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements and human resources functions. She has a proven track record of successfully getting the best out of the teams she is leading, minimising financial risks, and implementing financial risks and controls. Aurelia has 15 years of hands-on experience of working in various functions of finance departments in growing businesses. Her previous role was Finance Director and Company Secretary for a subsidiary of Total Produce Plc in the UK. Aurelia is a fellow member of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in the UK and holds Executive MBA from Cranfield School of Management.
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. In 2020 he took over the role of the Managing Director of Dolomite Microfluidics.