Global paint manufacturer AkzoNobel has announced the appointment of Donna Armstrong as quality manager at its state-of-the-art manufacturing unit in Ashington.

Donna brings a wealth of expertise to the role, including more than six years with Almac, based near Edinburgh, where she progressed to the position of senior peptide scientist. This role involved leading a team of technicians during process scale-up and technical transfer for pharmaceutical product development.

She also has a Masters degree in forensic and analytical chemistry from The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

Regarded as the most advanced and sustainable paint factory in the world, AkzoNobel Ashington utilises cutting-edge manufacturing technologies brought together from its sites across the globe.

Donna said: “I’m delighted to join the team at AkzoNobel. The role appealed to me because it combines my passion for science and my experience in product development, testing and process scale-up.

“It’s been a steep learning curve switching from clinical peptides to decorative paint production but the principles of problem solving, high-quality product development and manufacture are the same.

“My focus is to support the strong team and expertise already present in the quality lab. Everyone has been extremely supportive and I am looking forward to making a significant contribution to the business.”

AkzoNobel is the world’s leading manufacturer of decorative paints and specialist coatings with brands including Dulux, Dulux Trade, Cuprinol and Hammerite. Since the plant opened in 2017, AkzoNobel has been systematically transferring manufacturing volume to Ashington from some of its older facilities to steadily build up the site’s resilience and product portfolio to become the new UK home of Dulux decorative paint.

Jeff Hope, head of manufacturing at AkzoNobel Ashington, said: “We welcome Donna at a very exciting time for the business. Her leadership skills and technical expertise will be of great benefit to the quality team.”

AkzoNobel Ashington currently employs more than 160 staff and its nine fully automated production lines can produce 250 litres of paint per minute.