2018 Rising Star Awards

A young professional under the age of 35 who has achieved something noteworthy in their career to date.

This year's Manufacturing Rising Star Awards nominees are: 

Thomas Connolly 

Global Technology Director

Morgan Advanced Materials

After obtaining his Green and later Black belt in lean six sigma, Thomas was tasked with entering the company’s italian operations. Thomas spent 3 years developing a process engineering group from zero to 5 people, introducing continuous improvement throughout the site and also taking responsibility for the R&D department.

Morgan Italy was a £10M business in 2012 with very poor EBITA conversion but is now a £18M business in just 6 years and is one of the best performing sites in Morgan.

After Italy he was asked to take on a global role as the global technology and continuous improvement manager. In this role he project managed the transfer of £2.5M business streams, relocating technology and processes outside of the UK, to Korea, the US and Italy. He also co-developed a complete lean six sigma training program for the company’s global operations teams in yellow, green and blackbelt topics.

In 2017 Thomas was asked to be the CTO of Morgan’s Seals and Bearings division where he continues to look at innovative and technical solutions that can help differentiate and improve Morgan’s manufacturing processes globally.

Connect with Thomas


Jose Miguel Dominguez Gonzalez

World Class Manufacturing Plant Support 

Iveco Madrid

José Miguel Domínguez, is World Class Manufacturing Plant Support at Iveco Madrid plant. Since 2016 as manager in the department of Lean Manufacturing. The contribution to the continuous improvement in the last 3 years has been excellent. The greatest achievement is the GOLD AWARD in World Class Manufacturing methodology (lean manufacturing methodology followed by CNH Industrial). Iveco Madrid plant was the first factory in achieve this award in CNH industrial group and currently continue to be the only one. 

Also in the last 3 years the lean methodology applied at Iveco Madrid has been awarded with external recognitions as: “Excellence in continuous improvement system” in 2016 by Kaizen Institute, “Excellence in productivity” in 2017 by Kaizen Institute and “Excellent Enterprise Lean System” in 2018 by Agamus.

During this period José Miguel has applied his knowledge, he is industrial engineer by Seville university, currently he is doing a Master Business Administration master degree and also he is Black Belt Six Sigma.

Since October 2018 he is starting as production manager at Iveco Madrid Plant.

Connect with Jose Miguel


Ernest Sugier

Unit Manager

Symington's Limited

Ernest joined Symington’s in 2015 as a Senior Unit Manager with responsibilities for production from two distinct units. He coordinates and leads a fantastic team, which includes driving continuous improvements and problem solving.

Prior to moving to the UK, Ernest completed training as a Paramedic in his native Poland. He decided to seek a change in career and came to the UK to enter the FMCG sector. His first role was as a Blending Operative at Golden Fry and from there to Symington’s as a Trainee Unit Manager. He was promoted to Unit Manager in 2016 and has proved himself, developing into a great Unit Manager with hunger for success.

Ernest has invested his own time into recently accomplishing CMI Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management and is being sponsored by Symington’s to achieve Executive Level 7, aspiring to become a Chartered Manager in the future. He has a strong social conscience and gives of his spare time to support local charities.

Connect with Ernest