Life is full of surprises for this man..
For Dr. Barry Jackson, Technical Director of Evode Waterproofing Systems Ltd., life will always be a challenge. It is this essential and unerring quality that has brought him this far in the chemical research field, notching up some remarkable achievements along the way.
He began his career with Evode Limited almost 24 years ago in January of 1953 as a Works & Laboratory Chemist his second post since attaining his Ph.D. at Nottingham University some two years before. Many changes have occurred in that span of time, often sweeping changes, which can lie paralleled to Dr. Jackson’s career. In the first stage, Dr.Jackson’s responsibilities at Evode were threefold: the development of polishes for then English Waxes Limited, secondly responsibility for admixtures for concrete, and lastly developing waterproofing materials. So naturally Dr. Jackson’s work progressed in this direction leading eventually to the formulation of today’s "Evode System".
When, in 1957, the company became interested in sealing compounds, it was natural that Dr. Jackson be given this new responsibility. By this time Evode had branched out and formed a sister company Evomastics Ltd. to exploit this new interest. So at this stage he was wearing three hats, those of the Chief Chemist to English Waxes, Evode Building Chemicals Division and Evomastics Limited.
By 1963, when the Group became a public company, Dr. Jackson moved up another rung on the career ladder and became a Director of Evomastics Limited.
The following year work progressed on a project that was to bring him his greatest single achievement in the company.
A query from a customer set the wheels in motion. In probing the problem he came up with an idea to use washers from bitumen but this caused many problems with the knife on the production equipment gumming up. A thought to combine bitumen with aluminium foil was soon developed by Dr. Jackson in the laboratory and was found successful in overcoming the problem.
Thus Evode Flashband was born and is today the most efficient, effective and economic flashing or watertight seal ever made available to the building and construction industry and one of the group’s big money spinners.
In 1967 Dr. Jackson also became a director of Evode Limited and six years later he was appointed to the Board of the newly formed Evode Waterproofing Systems Limited.
Group re-organisation in 1974 created a totally new job for this talented man, opening up new channels for his work. Dr. Jackson was made the first Director of Research for Evode Holdings Ltd. with responsibilities to find new areas of business to expand the group mantle of companies.
He told our reporters that one of his current projects is developing ways of using pig effluent to make gas and making the best possible use of the gallon of petrol that one cow is capable of generating each week from animal waste! Who knows what he’ll be up to next!
But how does Dr. Jackson manage to combine such diversity of work? He says "Sheer brilliance and hard work" with tongue in cheek! We should have guessed!
Married with one daughter, his home life is just as jam-packed as his working schedule and his list of pastimes similarly impressive.
He dabbles in oil painting in the impressionist style, takes Bargee quite seriously by poking around scrap heaps for old tea pots, jugs and tea cans and the like which he then transforms into the beautiful stylised bargee designs that follow a long tradition. Is off to Wales once a week to work on a cottage he is rebuilding; makes lethally potent Elder Flower Wine; and has helped in making both a car and a caravan in his time!
For a man who had the insight to decide at the ripe old age of 12 that it was to be chemicals and not girls — he certainly has no regrets. Anyway — his pocket money wouldn’t run to both so it was an obvious choice — wasn’t it?
His natural inclination to create; to build materials from simpler substances, together with his characteristic intuition and insight made science fascinating for him. Anyway, he couldn’t count (he says) so what else could he do — having already cancelled out girls!
Working from a makeshift laboratory at the end of the garden his interest in science was put into practice and with the influence of his chemistry teacher at school, Dr. Jackson reached his second crystallisation to do original research.
University was a natural stepping stone from school and even the hard work and long hours often up to twelve hours each day, over a two year duration did not weaken his interest.
His first job was working in the Veterinary & Horticultural Section of Boots Pure Drug Company in Nottingham a job he held for 18 months.
The move to Evode Limited, when he was 24 years old, was another natural progression having common interest with the company in bitumen development. He has watched Evode grow over the years and has grown with it to take on duties aside from research but in all he approaches then in an inimitable style unmistakably stamped with his own personality. The words of the popular song "I Did It My Way" could well be his signature tune.
Aspiration for the future? Well, Dr. Jackson would be happy to continue inventing and finding commercial outlets for his ideas and carrying on the pioneer work in original research which is what really makes him tick.