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24th October 2019, Cambridge, Canada

UTComp’s CTO wins 2019 Manning Innovation Award

Geoff Clarkson, UTComp’s Chief Technical Officer. © UTCompUTComp has announced that Geoff Clarkson, the company’s CTO, is the winner of the Ernest C. Manning Innovation Awards’ David E. Mitchell Award of Distinction, in recognition of his pioneering work in developing a safe, non-destructive method for evaluating the reliability of composite materials.

The award, presented last night at the 2019 Startup Canada – E.C. Manning Innovation Awards event at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, celebrates Clarkson’s ground-breaking innovations to date, including the patented UltraAnalytix composite asset inspection system used worldwide, and the QCAnalytix quality control system for composite manufacturing launched in September.

Early in his career, Mr Clarkson worked as a consultant to industrial clients across many sectors. He soon discovered they had a singular problem: they lacked an accurate, safe, non-destructive way to inspect their composite pipes, tanks and other assets for reliability. His insatiable curiosity and inventor’s mindset sparked a years-long quest to find an all-encompassing solution. “Edison was right: Innovation is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. This innovation was mostly a series of small inspirations… lots of ‘hmmmmms’ rather than a single ‘AHA!’ moment,” said Mr Clarkson.

“Innovations are inherently disruptive – they change the market and force new paradigms. You will be rejected more than you will be accepted. Introducing an innovation requires you to work with other people who help you to be bold and assertive and unwavering in pursuit of the vision. You cannot do it alone.”

Innovation and commercial success

Clarkson founded UTComp in 2008 to provide engineering and inspection services for industrial infrastructure made of composite materials. Today, UTComp is a leader in composite materials inspection and engineering, delivering innovative solutions to improve the performance and safety of composite assets.

“This award recognises both an innovation and commercial success. In the industrial arena, the innovation part is pretty easy, and achieving commercial success is much harder. This award would not be possible without the efforts and successes of Jo Anne Watton as CEO, along with the entire UTComp team,” said Mr Clarkson.

Inspection and quality control

The proprietary UltraAnalytix inspection system is the only proven non-destructive, non-intrusive method for testing the reliability and lifespan of fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP) and composite assets. It combines ultrasonic data collected in the field, external visual inspection and analysis using a proprietary algorithm to provide clients with fast, reliable information that ensures the safe performance and maximum lifespan of their equipment, saving millions of dollars in replacement costs.

The newly-launched QCAnalytix quality control system is the world’s first fully automated in-line inspection solution for composite fabrication and manufacturing, setting a new standard in quality control excellence.

Recognising innovation

The E.C. Manning Innovation Awards honour innovators whose work has improved the lives of their fellow Canadians and others around the world, added value to the nation’s economy, and demonstrated entrepreneurial success.

“When innovation is united with entrepreneurship, Canada's prosperity is increased. The Manning Awards Foundation has long championed the recognition of innovators and Startup Canada has long championed the recognition of entrepreneurs,” said Preston Manning, Founder of the Manning Foundation. “Going forward we will together celebrate their contributions to Canada’s economic growth and social development.”

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