Robin Wade


Where fire and ice collide! Innovative fire protection solutions which withstand the extreme cold

Sponsored through his studies at university in 1987, including a year looking at future technologies at International, launched a career in coatings technology and fire protection.

“Future technologies, I think, embodies exactly what AkzoNobel’s International brand has always been about,” Robin says. “Very innovative, very forward looking, leading the way. That’s the experience I had from the outset of my life with the company and one I continue to strive for today.”

By 1993 Robin had joined the protective coatings segment which remains his focus today. His early years saw him work on high-solid coatings including Intergard 475HS (still current in the market today) and a decade in the development of water-borne technology resulting in a series of primers, intermediates and top-coats (InterH20 280, InterH20 499, InterH20 699) which are installed on many wind turbine towers to this day.

In 2006 he moved to the fire protection team, where he managed the fire protection lab and led the support and development of the new fire protection facility at Felling, a few years after the period when AkzoNobel acquired the Chartek brand.

Instrumental in the design and development of the new labs, a drive in the development of technology has set new standards in fire protection for the oil and gas industries.

Robin explains: “The thing I’m most proud of is being part of leading the way in providing innovative cryogenic spill and fire protection solutions, backed up by innovative testing, to our partners in the industry.”
“We have been right at the forefront with cutting edge technologies and engineering services to provide the best solutions the market has seen.”

“It’s meant we’ve been able to build exceptional relationships with our customers through this process.”

Key projects have relied upon International’s technology used on oil and gas installations over the past 20 years including half a kilometre long production and storage facilities for liquefied gas.

It cemented International as the absolute leader in the field – and saw them heavily involved in the generation of new ISO standards as a result.

Robin says: “We were demonstrating the technology to a major engineering / owner consortiums being told directly we were so far ahead of the game.”

“That was a great vindication for all our efforts.”

Ground-breaking innovation cannot happen without the right framework and Robin believes this is a fundamental reason for the continued success of the International brand.

He explains: “Within AkzoNobel’s International brand there’s been a lot of support from every single level – from senior management all the way down.

“There’s a great collaborative spirit that drives these initiatives through. Employees are given the space to explore and do a thorough job on making sure we convert ideas into reality.

“This freedom allows us to work collaboratively with our clients to actually show them how we can make things better for their future. It’s a phenomenal way of working.

“At this company your future is in your own hands - you just have to have the appetite and enthusiasm to get there.”

As the energy industry changes and oil and gas use diminishes, new solutions will be required.

The prospect of continuing to innovate in partnership with clients is exciting for the future.

“Innovation is fundamental. It’s always been the ethos within the International brand. We already have phenomenal partnerships with industry – but as we go forward collaboration will become even more critical as we move from just supplying products to offering reliable solutions people can trust from the outset – allowing us to bring incredible value to their operations.”