Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

Last week, Tec 66 came to Sussex Coast College showcasing the brilliant Vacuum and Photonics Technology featuring leading  world renowned speakers covering organic semi-conductors which can make thin transparent indestructible OLED TV and Phone screens.

Also the remarkable Graphene which is pure carbon in the form of a very thin, nearly transparent sheet, one atom thick.  It is remarkably strong for its very low weight (100 times stronger than steel)  and it conducts heat and electricity with great efficiency.

Tec66 (271 of 320)

On a Star Wars theme the topic of Photonics into the 21st Century including the development of photonic super computers and power transmission by lasers both on earth and in space – can you imagine light being beamed down to the earth from the moon to create energy??There was also an amazing overview of Cryogenics – no, not the use of it in Demolition Man!! but the study of the production and behaviour of materials at very low temperatures (below −150 °C, −238 °F or 123 K) which is used in all manner of commercial applications.

The Keynote Speaker was Maggie Aderin-Pocock (Rocket Scientist) and Patrick Moore’s successor to TV’s Sky at Night. Maggie explains the whole subject of Space and Science in such an exciting and easy to understand way, I wish she had been my Science teacher as I feel I’ve missed out on something amazing all around us.

Maggie is working on a project to build an aircraft that can fly into space – can you imagine it! It even looks like a Star Wars x-wing fighter so maybe all the sci- fi we have watched over the years is actually not so far out after all! I remember her telling me with the brightest of eyes that there are 200 billion stars in our own galaxy and over 100 billion galaxies across the Universe.

Maggie kindly stayed the whole weekend in Hastings and presented at the Science day at Sussex Coast for up to 200 local school pupils to encourage them to consider Science & Technology careers.

Tec 66 was brilliantly Chaired by Doyen of the Industry Tim Pearce CEO of Kurt J Lesker Co Ltd based in Hastings. Kurt Lesker and local Hastings companies are already making components for the Curiosity Probe on Mars shown above and a hu

ge number of Science based projects.

The Tec 66 technology workshops were filmed on the day, so if you want to see and hear first- hand about these ground breaking science developments, please visit www.tec66.co.uk/

Rachel Reeves, the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, is visiting this year’s Tec 66 event on 27th October to support the town’s emerging high-tech industries.

The MP was invited to the event by Labour’s parliamentary candidate, Sarah Owen, who’s been campaigning for high quality, high-tech jobs in Hastings & Rye to ensure people do not have to move away to progress their careers.

rachel reeves mp

Rachel Reeves, the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions will be attending this years Tec 66 event in Hastings.

Hastings has one of the UK’s main clusters of ultra-high vacuum, photonics and optics companies.

The Tec 66 exhibition showcases the latest high-tech innovations with many local manufacturers involved. It’s held at Sussex Coast College, where a high vacuum technology course was recently set up.

Rachel and Sarah will meet exhibitors and local business developers to find out what extra support they need to help the industry expand.

Sarah said: “I’m really excited to be taking our Work & Pensions Shadow Minister to Tec 66. We desperately need to break the trap of this low wage economy in Hastings & Rye and start creating decent jobs for the future-the kind of jobs you’d be proud for your children or yourself to work in.

“These are the sorts of high tech, high quality jobs found in the industries involved with Tec 66 and I will continue to support them to have a future in our local economy.”

Sussex Coast College Hastings has responded to local business demand by developing an exclusive course entitled ‘High Vacuum Technology’ which gives employers and employees the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of the high vacuum industry and its requirements.scch-logo

Paul Nash, who developed the course after seeing the need for basic understanding of High Vacuum in Hastings and Rother said, ‘This course is the only one of its kind, nothing else like it exists. We are meeting the needs of local businesses and providing education to those already working in the industry for large and small organisations.’

Paul has 20 years’ experience in the High Vacuum industry, working as a manufacturing engineer and production cell manager for BOC Edwards in Eastbourne before moving into engineering teaching.  Before that, Paul worked in the defence industry on Flight Control Systems so is used to the demands of high-tech industries. He feels that it is essential that we meet the educational demands of today’s and tomorrow’s businesses by providing exceptional training to students. Indeed, his project for his teaching qualification was on ‘meeting the needs of local employers’.

Tuition on the new course is provided by qualified teaching staff with a background in the vacuum and high-tech engineering industry. Some content is delivered at local manufacturers’ premises and delivery is supported by guest lecturers from local vacuum businesses.

Mike King, of specialist manufacturers Photek, said, ‘Photek have benefited a lot from the course. We recently had two production engineers attend and they were able to adopt the new skills and practices and bring them into the work place. This helped improve both quality and production at Photek.’

Mike concluded, ‘The course is beneficial to both employee and company. It has boosted skills of the employee which helps with confidence and improves productivity and morale.’

Katie Binns works in sales for Kurt J Lesker, a leading global provider of high-quality vacuum products and systems. ‘This course has been very informative and helped me greatly with my day-to-day job. I now have a better understanding of what customers are asking for and what they are explaining to me.’

‘The course was neatly divided into digestible portions, all relevant to the vacuum industry. As there are many people in this town who work within this sector, it’s great to see that the college is acknowledging this: it was a useful introduction to the world of vacuum. The timing of the course fitted perfectly around work hours and the delivery of the course was varied and interesting: we even had the chance to hear and learn from people working in the field. This course is a definite must for anyone in the vacuum business.’

To find out more about studying the High Vacuum Technology course at SCCH, call 01424 442222 or email pnash@sussexcoast.ac.uk.

Posted by: In: Interview 16 Sep 2014 Comments: 0 Tags: , ,

Welcome to this months Inside View where we ask local business leaders and innovators questions about them and the business they are involved in.  We speak to Mel Thomas, Sales Director of Torr Scientific about the business who are also at this years TEC 66.Mel-torr-scientific

What was your best business deal?

The business type of Torr Scientific means that there are regularly many lower value business deals, so best ones don’t spring to mind. Negotiating to purchase a new vacuum furnace and in particular the payment method was an important milestone in the development of Torr Scientific.

 Biggest mistake?

There’s one particular one in my mind, but you learn from your mistakes, so not a mistake, a lesson.

Favourite person

Two, my daughters, Becca and Hannah.

Greatest ambition

To be sufficiently secure to work when I want to rather than when I have to.

Biggest regret

Same as 2.

 Favourite pastime

I’m a lifelong Brighton & Hove Albion follower.

Fondest memory

Travel related – World Cup in Japan, Euros in Portugal

 Different Career

Something more artistic.  30 years ago I went for an interview to be a cameraman for the BBC.

Best business advice


Sport or no sport

Sport (supporter and spectator, not a great participator!)

Advice for young people

Career – decide what direction you’d prefer to go in and make a plan to get there. Non-career – relax, be happy and be kind.

10 years time?

Travel, holidays and Brighton in the premier league!


You can get in touch with Torr Scientific  by calling 01424 225228.  You can also visit them at the upcoming TEC 66 Conference and Exhibition find out more here.


Posted by: In: events 24 Jun 2014 Comments: 0 Tags: , ,

Tec 66 is now open for delegates to sign up for the upcoming Tec 66 Exhibition and Conference being held at Sussex Coast College, Hastings on the 27th October 2014.

The Vacuum and Photonics event starts at 9am until 4.30pm and along with the exhibition showcasing the latest technology and innovations in these fast tec66growing and hugely important sectors (with many Hastings based manufacturers involved designing and implementing the technology) there are also workshops and guest speakers including Maggie Alderin-Pocock, MBE who is a British Space Scientist and so far in her career she has worked on projects as diverse as the Hubble Telescope and handheld landmine detection technology as well as many other during the day.

The event is fully subsidised meaning that entry is free for all delegates on the day. If you have an active interest in science or are thinking of pursuing a career in one of these fields then this will be an amazing conference for you.

If you would like to attend the event then signing up is quick and simple. Follow the link to register today.

Posted by: In: Manufacturing, Tec 66 09 Jun 2014 Comments: 0 Tags: ,

The Tec 66 Conference and Exhibition has just got a brand new website which has just launched and is already promoting and raising awareness of the popular High Vacuum and Photonics event.

Tec 66 Vacuum Technology Exhibition Review

This years Tec 66 is expected to be even bigger than the previous event.

The website is now live and tells visitors all about the event, who the speakers are and also how to register as either a delegate or an exhibitor for the event on the 27th October 2014 at Sussex Coast College, Hastings and we have been told that the site will get updates as more speakers are confirmed and more exhibitors reserve their place as well.

Here’s the link to the new Tec 66 website, www.tec66.co.uk. We do recommend having a look around the site.


Posted by: In: Tec 66 23 Apr 2014 Comments: 0 Tags: , ,

Tec 66 ambassador Farah Cockerill visited the Arablab  exhibition in Dubai in March 2014 which has become the business and cultural hub of the Middle East. Farah  set up meetings with several businesses from Arabic companies to strengthen business links between East Sussex and the Middle East and to create business opportunities for the Tec 66 Vacuum & Photonics industry.


Tec 66 was well represented at Arablab.

A number of Arabic companies have now expressed interest in the Tec 66 Vacuum Cluster and requested more product information. A number of the companies stated that they would be interested in attending the Tec 66 Conference on October 27th 2014 which would also include visits to local Vacuum & Photonics companies.

This will strengthen links between two very different parts of the world and develop a much better understanding of both cultures and this kind of international exposure can only be a good thing for the region as whole as the vacuum and photonics cluster continues to expand in the Hastings and East Sussex.

This growing high technology manufacturing sector is putting the region on the map and could potentially attract manufacturers, investment and orders from all over the world.

Following the success of Tec 66 2013, the management team for the conference and exhibition  have decided to make Tec 66 2014 and all events thereafter an annual event and expect it to become one of the premier vacuum exhibitions & conferences across Europe.


Tec 66 2014 at Sussex Coast College

Along with the annual event they have also decided to have the event at Sussex Coast College who are already developing bespoke vacuum technology training courses for the industry.

This years event will definitely have an international feel to it as they are currently in discussions with companies in Dubai and the United States as well as other European countries to attend.

Key speakers from the industry and academia are currently being approached along and so far Maggie Aderin-Pocock has been confirmed and we will have more news on additional speakers for the event soon for you.

In the meantime you can register for the event by emailing Jim Christy (email address here). The email address is the same for those that may want to exhibit.

Tec 66 2014 is on the 27th October 2014.

The Kurt J. Lesker (KJLC) Company is proud to announce the celebration of 60 years in business.  Their founder, Kurt J. Lesker II, started the Kurt J. Lesker Company on April 1, 1954 in the basement of his home in Pittsburgh, PA.


60 years is a long time in business

Since then, KJLC has grown from a regional manufacturer and distributor of vacuum components into a worldwide provider of a full range of vacuum parts, products, systems, design technologies, innovative thinking, and responsive customer service. Working with an attentive eye toward quality, environmental stewardship of resources, and customer satisfaction. KJLC serves the research and development market at both the academic and commercial levels, as well as providing vacuum products and services to industry on a global scale.

They have had successful expansions into Canada and Europe (where they have facilities in Hastings), KJLC has continued to reach out globally, with the opening of their new Shanghai, China office in 2007 and since then have expanded to Hong Kong.

The company is a leading global provider of high-quality vacuum products and systems, along with an established tradition of service and attention to detail, the Kurt J. Lesker Company has built a reputation for being “A Global Vacuum Supplier.

“We at Kurt J Lesker Company are thankful for our long history and look forward to bringing vacuum expertise and products to technologists around the globe, helping to enable them to build a better world.”  Said Kurt J. Lesker III, President.

With the global vacuum industry becoming far more prominent, this local company is a great asset to the town and area as a whole.

The Tec 66 Vacuum Technology exhibition was a huge success and we have been provided with a round up of the event (if you missed it) from Jim Christy who organised the event.

Tec 66 Vacuum Technology Exhibition Review

Tec 66 Vacuum Technology Exhibition Review

Tec 66 Vacuum Technology Exhibition. A huge audience was in attendance.

Following the inaugural Tec 66 Vacuum Technology exhibition which had 200 people attending we have spoken to exhibitors and delegates who attended on the day to find out what they thought of this first event in Hastings.

Everyone agreed that all the speakers were excellent with a lively and captivating opening speech from Graham Peters, High Sheriff of East Sussex and the Conference was expertly chaired by Lord Steve Bassam. Our headline personality speakers Maggie Philbin and Maggie Aderin-Pocock engaged the audience with Science through the last century and amazing facts about our Universe. Did you know there were 200 billion stars in our galaxy and 100 billion galaxies within the observable Universe?

Both Maggies also spent some time at Sussex Coast College with 150 pupils from local schools involved in a range of fun science activities including a highly contested robot wars competition.

Industry feedback would like to see Tec 66 as an annual event as it has certainly raised the profile of our world class Vacuum and Photonics industry based in the area


Maggie Philbin presentation to visitors of Tec 66 Vacuum Technology Exhibition.

We believe this is the first time that this type of industry event has been combined with education to demonstrate the exciting careers available in Science and Technology and we intend to strengthen this industry/education formula by holding the 2014 Tec 66 event at Sussex Coast College.

Special thanks should go to our forward thinking sponsors Hastings Borough Council, Rother District Council, east Sussex County Council, Sea Change Sussex, Wealden District Council HSBC and the Manufacturing Advisory Service.

Finally special thanks should go to Councillor John Hodges as the Tec 66 Vacuum Technology Conference was his brainchild, to showcase that we have some of the best technology businesses right on our doorstep!

We will keep you posted on news regarding a follow up event for 2014 on Business In Hastings.