End-Of-Year Newsletter, Written By Our Chairman, Dr Carl Stephen Patrick Hunter OBE

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Coltraco Ultrasonics Newsletter

I am delighted to bring this Newsletter to your kind attention. I am very proud of the company team as we change from a company to an organisation comprising the company as a high- exporting advanced manufacturer, its research laboratory, our new Durham Institute for Research, Development & Invention, and its Centre for Underwater Acoustic Analysis, which I will describe in more detail for you below.

The resilience and dynamism of the company team has shone through since March 2020. Despite losing 50% of our global markets in 2020 we did not enter any member of the company into furlough at any stage of COVID19. Instead we expanded our company team, recruited some of the UK’s finest graduates, maintained production and increased exports to 120 countries to play our modest part in supporting the Government’s new Export Strategy, through our planning response to COVID19 in our new Resilience-Diversification-Growth strategy.

This strategy is underpinned by the principles of being Better-Faster-Cheaper across our global markets. It allowed us to refine our R&D programme and reduce transition-to-product lead-times from 3.5 years to 9 months, alongside our energetic Global Distribution Team establishing 150 new distributors for our expanded range of instrumentation and systems in 78 countries, aiming to create 350-400 overall in 2022. We were grateful to win Heathrow Airport’s 2021 Global Britain Business Champion Award.

I warmly thank the dedicated teams across the Department for International Trade and FCDO personnel in HM Diplomatic Posts overseas for their unwavering export support.


In 2020 we were grateful to win the Governments COVID19 Emergency Technology funding to design and manufacture a new instrument for NHS hospital staff to monitor and control infection from negatively-pressurised hospital wards, to the rest of a hospital building. Our R&D track was judged “outstanding” by Innovate UK and we completed the work in 28 weeks. Portascanner™ COVID19 is a world first and allows the NHS to ultrasonically identify leak sites, measure their extent through structures and generate an air flow rate and an air permeability factor so that remedial action to contain infection contagion can be undertaken.

Because of that this year we developed Portascanner™ Airtight 520, so that large commercial buildings can check their airtightness so that the building can properly ventilate with pathogen-free air to help secure “safe working” for its occupants. This too is a world first and I wonder whether it would have been possible without that initial Government support last year.

This work in air flow dynamics on land is underpinned by our global expertise in fluid dynamics at sea and specifically in watertight integrity monitoring. Sadly sinking remains a primary reason for ships being lost at sea. Coltraco Ultrasonics lead the world in the ultrasonic identification and measurement of leak sites in ships and marine structures and generating a water flow rate for damage control purposes with Portascanner™ Watertight TOUCH, playing our part in the United Kingdom being a ”premier brand” in Maritime Safety as determined in the Government’s Maritime 2050 strategy.

Durham Institute of Research, Development & invention (DIRDI)

In July 2021 our brilliant Physicists and Scientists established our new laboratory which is co-located with the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation, Department of Physics, Durham University.

In December 2021, after 3 years work, and the kind support of the Vice-Chancellor, his leadership team and eminent Professors of Physics, Paula Chadwick and Douglas Halliday, Durham University kindly agreed for us to establish our Institute. It will comprise a “Newtonian Discovery” Team of Theoretical Physicists to undertake fundamental research into the physical laws of our Universe, which to me God created, alongside a far larger “Edisonian Commercialisation” team to diversify our technological base in ultrasonic, acoustics, electro-magnetism and information engineering.

On 17 December 2021 we signed the MOU with Durham University. I am most grateful to Professor Colin Bain, Vice-Provost Research, and Professor Jacqui Ramagge, Executive Dean of Science. https://www.durham.ac.uk/news-events/latest-news/2021/12/research- collaboration-at-the-forefront-of-new-partnership/ I wish to thank Julie Swinton, Christina Munn and the whole Research & Innovation Services team and Mr Andrew Harston, the Vice-Chancellor’s adviser and Director.


Whilst supply chains and global markets remain in flux, there has never been a greater opportunity for UK Industry to “think” through these complexities and to deliver combined “Export-Innovation” growth, where export-driven innovation occurs to maximise export success. If only 8.8% of UK companies currently export one can only imagine the export success of the UK if that relatively small number were to double. It is eminently possible. It will enable the UK to fulfil its science superpower and export success objectives. To all the Trade Association CEO’s and policy teams I thank you for your constant support.

Durham University

This year I was awarded Durham’s highest honour https://www.dunelm.org.uk/dunelmensis- award. I cannot thank enough the Senate of Durham University, the Vice-Chancellor and his adviser and Director, and Professor Paula Chadwick and Professor Douglas Halliday at the Department of Physics. Each of you “inspires the extraordinary”.

I thank our company team for their work in identifying our “gold-dust” graduates and undergraduates across Science and the Arts. Each one takes 7 hours of written tests and 2 hours of interviews to secure a place on our paid “Rolling Undergraduate Internship Programme” which we have run for 8 years. It distinguishes itself by generating a high number of them who graduate with both their First Class degree and their first career choice.

Thank you for your many kindnesses. I wish you a very Happy New Year.

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Coltraco Ultrasonics
NETPark Research Institute
Joseph Swan Road
TS21 3FB

United Kingdom


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