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Ed Sullivan Josh Allaway

Chemical safety training to enable hydrogen buses to operate safely garners Exceptional Customer Experience Award at Ricardo Leading Lights

16 Jan 2024

The application of Ricardo’s world-leading expertise in chemical safety training to help a client implement innovative hydrogen technology safely led to Josh Allaway and Ed Sullivan receiving the Best of the Best CEO Award for Exceptional Customer Experience at the Ricardo Leading Lights 2023.

Josh and Ed, who are chemical and response training experts in Ricardo’s Chemical Solutions team received outstanding client feedback and onward referrals, for the hydrogen awareness, safety and incident response training that they delivered to employees at Brighton & Hove Buses and Metrobus to support the company’s fleet of hydrogen powered buses. 

Brighton & Hove Buses and Metrobus have in their operation 20 hydrogen fuel cell buses on the Metrobus Fastway route 10 serving Crawley, London Gatwick Airport and Horley in the UK. The single-decker fuel cell buses are gap funded with money from JIVE (Joint Initiative for Hydrogen Vehicles across Europe): a project administered by the Clean Hydrogen Partnership (former Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking) under the European Union Horizon 2020 framework programme for research and innovation, plus investment from Gatwick Airport. Brighton & Hove Buses and Metrobus are part of JIVE that will deploy nearly 300 fuel cell buses in 22 European cities by the early 2020s – the largest deployment in Europe to date.

Thanks to our proven global reputation Ricardo was appointed by Brighton & Hove Buses and Metrobus to deliver expert, accredited training on awareness, safety and incident response in relation to hydrogen and fuel cells to operational staff both virtually and in person at bus depots across West Sussex.  The training enabled key members of staff to carry out operations supporting hydrogen infrastructure safely but also have the best possible preparation to resolve a real incident safely and efficiently. The training resulted in overwhelmingly positive feedback from the Head of Engineering for Brighton & Hove Buses, praising the knowledge and delivery style of Josh who led the session.  

Ed Wills, Managing Director of Brighton & Hove Buses commented: “To support our ambition of reducing our carbon footprint and decarbonising our operations, then hydrogen is going to be critical to our success. Through the training with Ricardo’s team of chemical experts, we now have a detailed understanding and the confidence to safely manage the use of hydrogen within our operations. We’re excited that this hydrogen training will support us in the decarbonisation of the 60 million passenger journeys we deliver each year.” 

As a consequence of such a positive experience, Brighton & Hove Buses recommended to JIVE that Ricardo’s training is made mandatory in the UK and Europe, underpinned by a willingness to provide a press release and a case study on the effectiveness of the training. This will significantly enhance our hydrogen safety training profile.    
Ricardo’s Chemical Solutions is global centre of excellence for emergency response and chemical safety, with half a century of experience in the theoretical, technical and operational knowledge involved in the management of hazmat incidents. The team works with international public and private sector organisations including 50 percent of the top 100 chemical manufacturers globally, all of which face a range of complex hazmat risk and compliance challenges. Each year, the emergency response team manages more than 4,000 incidents and receives over 8,000 calls. 

Ed and Josh are mainly home based, but spend most of their time out with clients in the workplace where they have the most impact. The team spend a lot of time at the Fire Service College in Moreton in Marsh in Oxfordshire in the UK delivering training to blue-light services specifically in the field of hazardous materials, and the rest of their time with private sector clients, helping them develop incident response teams who can safely and effectively deal with situations which may occur on their sites.
Explaining the importance of the award to him, Ed, Technical Lead for Chemical and Response Training said: “It means a huge amount to have recognition from the top of the business, and we are very grateful that the work we’re doing has been acknowledged.” 

The Ricardo Leading Lights programme recognises the outstanding achievements and contributions of individuals and teams across helping to solve some of the world’s most complex mobility, energy and environmental challenges. The awards were established to reward and highlight Ricardo people who, in their daily work, have consistently gone over and above for clients, partners, colleagues or the global communities we have the privilege to serve. In 2023, eighty individuals and 12 teams from across Ricardo were shortlisted for the 15 award categories which combined: recognition for innovation, sustainability, digital excellence, inspirational leadership, technical leadership, inspiring women in engineering, and social value volunteering; ‘Best of the Best’ winners of CEO Monthly Awards supporting strategic growth objectives; and living the Ricardo values of: Create Together, Be Innovative, Aim High and Be Mindful.