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Priestley College on the road to discovery with Colas


A COMPANY that uses clever chemistry to help build the UK’s road infrastructure has shared some of its secrets with young chemists from Priestley College.

The team at Colas invited A-Level students into its factory to discover more about the chemistry it uses, how production lines operate and the best ways to ensure quality control in a laboratory.

“It was inspiring to see chemistry used in a real situation instead of just in theory,” said Jake Higgins, who studies A-Levels in Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and Physics.

Former Bridgewater High School pupil Matthew Turton enjoyed discovering more about the innovation that happens on the site next door to Priestley College.

“The most interesting part of the trip for me was seeing how the labs worked,” said Matthew, who studies Chemistry, Further Maths and Physics.

“There was a lot of cool equipment that we got to see in use, which gave a useful insight into what a normal working day would be like.”

Using clever chemistry Colas has developed sustainable products which can be applied through a variety of equipment to enable roads to be resurfaced and repainted faster and with less fuss.

It provides safe, innovative and sustainable solutions for the design, building and maintenance of transport infrastructure.

During their visit Priestley’s aspiring chemists found out more about the history of the award-winning company, which was founded in 1923.

Its team explained how a strong emphasis is placed on the importance of research and technical development at Colas, which is part of the world-leading International Colas Group.

Paul Cadel said it was one of the company’s aims to work with inspiring people – including the next generation of chemists.

“We possess the qualities in our people – their talent, passion and vision – to deliver excellence in everything we do,” he said.

“That is one of the reasons we think it is important to work with Priestley’s students because they are the next generation of scientists who could one day be making great discoveries themselves.”


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Journalist and sport content specialist, who is also editor of Love Rugby League. Formerly ran the official website of the Carling Cup, as well as operating a digital services business in Warrington.

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