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Lubrizol’s Matt picks up a young employee award for helping keep the wheels of industry turning

Lubrizol’s Matt picks up a young employee award for helping keep the wheels of industry turning

A Derbyshire chemical company worker has been praised for his excellence in helping ensure heavy industrial equipment operating in some of the harshest conditions does not grind to a halt after he picked up a prestigious industry award.

Matt Thom, a technology deployment manager at Lubrizol in Hazelwood, was presented with a special commendation in the Young Employee of the Year Award at the UK Lubricant Association’s recent annual dinner.

Thirty-year-old Matt works closely with a host of leading companies which produce and supply hydraulic and other Industrial fluids for equipment ranging from heavy-duty excavators to wind turbines used in applications such as construction and mining all over the world.

Their task is to meet the demands of the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) who are seeking to make the hydraulic machinery that is ever-smaller and as such is more efficient and energy-saving, without any loss of reliability or performance.

To achieve this, the hydraulic fluid that is used inside the machinery needs to fulfil a number of functions beyond transferring power through, including acting as a lubricant and a coolant as well as helping to clean the system.

This is where Lubrizol and Matt come in, because it is their additives which give the fluid these extra properties, whether by supplying molecules that protect the metal elements of a hydraulic system by laying down a sacrificial layer of chemistry between them or stop the fluid oxidising when it is subjected to high temperatures during constant operation.

Matt’s task in all of this is to work with Lubrizol’s customers and independent standards agencies in order to understand what is needed from the additives which Lubrizol must then develop to meet the stringent demands of the OEMs.

He said:

“Every OEM is aiming to reduce the total weight of their systems to help with fuel efficiency and emissions reductions. This is leading to the development of much smaller equipment with high power densities which is a greater challenge for our Chemistry.

“I received the special award for helping our customers rise to that challenge with Lubrizol’s additives over the past year, although everything we do is very much a team effort and there are plenty of my colleagues at Lubrizol who should have been nominated too.

“It was the first time that the UKLA had given out a special commendation in this category. I wasn’t the overall winner but the competition was so close this year, the board decided to recognise two people.”

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