Meet the Management Team
Dr. Ian Barnabas - BSc (Hons), BA (Hons), PhD, CSci, CChem, FRSC
Head of Laboratories and Sampling


Overview of current role: Responsible for the management of all laboratory activities across Northumbrian Water. Also responsible for the maintenance of key quality standards including ISO 17025, DWTS and MCERTS.


Past experience / career in brief: Ian has over 20 years experience in the environmental testing industry. Following completion of his Doctorate in environmental organic analysis, he worked as an analytical chemist in both clean water and environmental labs focusing on the analysis of trace organics before moving into various operational and management roles within Northumbrian Water.


Outside Northumbrian Water, Ian has many years of experience participating in various groups including SCA, CEN and ISO committees, where he is the chairman of the BSI committee for Physical and Chemical analysis in the area of Water Quality. A Chartered Chemist, Scientist and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, he also has a keen interest promoting Water Science to a wider audience and is Vice Secretary of the RSC’s Water Science Forum.

Rick Kirkpatrick - BSc (Hons), CSci, CChem, MRSC
Technical Manager


Overview of current role: Responsible for the technical management of Howdon laboratory, working with the Howdon Laboratory Manager to ensure that the maintenance of key quality standards including ISO 17025, DWTS, MACS and MCERTS. Also providing support to other areas across Northumbrian Water on chemistry and sampling aspects.


Past experience / career in brief: Following completion of his Degree in environmental chemistry, he worked as an analytical chemist in both inorganic and organic laboratories before moving into the internal auditing team. Recently Rick has started a new role as Technical Manager of Howdon laboratories, bringing with him 5 years laboratory experience and 8 years in the Accreditation team.  


Rick has recently joined the Standing Committee of Analysts (SCA) starting with his involvement with the publication of a new book on the stability of determinands in waters. Outside Northumbrian Water, he is keen on promoting Water Science to a wider audience through STEM activities and is an active member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) as well as a Chartered Chemist and Scientist.

Helen Routledge - HNC Chemistry, CChem MRSC
Laboratory Manager Howdon Inorganics


Overview of current role: Responsible for the management and motivation of a team of specialist inorganic staff in an ISO / UKAS / MCERTS accredited analysis laboratory.


Past experience / career in brief:             


Educational Qualifications:

HNC Chemistry


Professional Affiliations:

Royal Society of Chemistry, CSci, CChem MRSC


  • Supervisory and Human Resource management - 12 years
  • Purchasing: supplies, instruments and laboratory services - 15 years
  • Problem solving, client and laboratory - 15 years
  • External audits (customers, regulators and accreditation bodies) - 15 years
  • Inorganic analysis and method development - 25 years
  • Involvement with CEN/ISO/SCA committees - 2 years
Jonathan Kenefec - BSc (Hons)
Laboratory Customer Manager


Overview of current role: Responsible for the management of the Laboratory Customer Team, a team dedicated to all aspects of laboratory customer service for commercial clients. Responsible for developing and delivering the commercial strategy for Northumbrian Water Scientific Services.


Past experience / career in brief:           


Educational Qualifications:

BSc (Hons) Applied Biology


  • Extensive experience of developing customer service protocols in the laboratory industry
  • Extensive experience of managing client projects
  • 16 years experience with the laboratory customer team
  • 12 years management experience
  • 3 years experience managing IS based projects
  • 10 years experience in microbiology and inorganic chemistry laboratorie
Bob Wilson- BSc (Hons) Genetics
Laboratory Manager Horsley Microbiology


Overview of current role: Responsible for the management and motivation of a team of specialist microbiological staff in an ISO/UKAS/DWTS accredited laboratory.


Past experience / career in brief:

Educational Qualifications:

BSc (Hons) Genetics


Professional Affiliations:
Member of The Royal Society of Biology


  • Over 15 years of experience in the in vitro diagnostics medical devices industry (Helena Biosciences Europe).
  • 4 years in various roles within Quality Control and Technical Production.
  • 8 years developing Haemostasis Assays as a Senior Applications Specialist.
  • 3 years as the New Product Development Manager developing novel assays and working with stakeholders worldwide to deliver Haemostasis solutions into target markets.
  • 15 years auditing experience to ISO 9001 and ISO 13485.
  • Over 10 years providing international technical support and training.
Sarah Alexander - BSC (Hons) Chemistry, CQP MCQI
Accreditation Manager


Overview of current role: Overall responsibility for the maintenance of ISO17025, DWTS and MCERTS accreditations for sampling and analysis and for the management of a small group of internal auditors. Direct liaison with other Scientific Services managers and supervisors to gain continuous quality system improvement.


Past experience / career in brief:             


Educational Qualifications:

BSC (Hons) Chemistry.


Professional Affiliations:



An experienced, professional with 26 years in scientific services, 19 years in a quality discipline including 11 years managing an effective accreditation team. With a proven track record for the design, implementation and maintenance of quality systems and effective management of the audit programme. With a primary aim to ensure compliance within the regulatory framework and provide assurance to the business and external stakeholders.