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Gary Clarke - Technical Specialist

Gary obtained a first-class BSc (Hons) in Microbiology from Heriot-Watt University and subsequently obtained a PhD from Edinburgh University researching cell death pathways in Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (mad cow disease) and Scrapie.   

Due to family circumstances, Gary came home to Northern Ireland and took up a role in Irwin’s bakery to help put systems in place to reduce manufacturing waste and to analyze production data.  Subsequently he joined their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) team as project support/ super user/trainer and helped with successful delivery of the project.  Through this project, Gary developed a strong understanding of the wider business and as the project ended, he took on the role of Production Planner.  During his time as Operations systems manager, he was involved in several projects to improve efficiencies, data accuracy and delivery performance.  This included the development and implementation of a central weigh up facility to improve traceability and inventory accuracy.   

With this experience he then began working as a materials planner for Schrader Electronics (now Sensata Technologies), which was a very challenging role due to ongoing supply chain constraints with several components and due to the risk of stopping an automotive plant.  Gary then joined Translink as a Project Manager and holds the PRINCE2 foundation qualification.  Using distinct data sets from existing suppliers he helped to develop Real Time Passenger Information data and punctuality reporting for Ulsterbus.  In addition, he project managed the installation of passenger information screens and collaborated with the supplier to develop an audio announcement trial for passengers with visual impairments.  To support senior management decisions he collected, collated and carried out complex data analysis.   

Upon joining Huhtamaki FS Delta Gary implemented the demand planning process, supported the wider implementation of S&OP and was also responsible for scheduling the daily production across two sites in Northern Ireland.  In conjunction with the supply planner, Gary assisted with the implementation of MRP to ensure all demand and supply activities were managed through this process.  Additionally, he was accountable for all elements of demand/supply for new products for McDonald’s, KFC, Nando’s, McVitie’s and supported the European roll out of paper straws for McDonald’s Europe.  

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gary returned to science briefly in the RNA extraction lab of Randox to support the national PCR testing programme.  He joined the NRC as technical specialist in September 2021 and is looking forward to supporting local business through the College.