Glass industry consultant Neil Simpson said he was shocked but honoured after being named the 2023 recipient of the Hotbels Business and Technology United (BTU) award at the 36th Hotbels seminar.

Mr Simpson, an independent consultant at Simpson Combustion and Energy, has regularly attended and presented at the glass industry seminar since 2001.

He lived in the US at the time but continued to attend the event even after he moved back to the UK in 2006.

He was named the BTU recipient for his paper ‘In-Furnace Thermal Imaging for Process Optimization for Energy Reduction and Asset Protection’ at the conference in Lexington, Kentucky, USA.

“For me it is the best conference in the world because it is practical, papers are industry focused and tend to be real-life topics.

“In the past I’d been asked to go to events in other parts of the world but I have always said I would rather go to Hotbels event. There is a relaxed environment which allows for easier discussions with glass manufacturers.

“I feel honoured because when I see the list of previous recipients there are some names which are some of the most prominent in the industry.”

His paper was focused on energy and on practical tips to reduce energy in furnaces.

It combined recent research from his roles working with Land Ametek and Celsian, as well as research from his three-day training courses, which he hosts for the glass industry.

The BTU Award was established in 2007 to give distinguished recognition to an individual or a group that has contributed significantly to the evolution of Hotbels and education in the glass industry.

There have been 13 previous recipients of the award and Mr Simpson is the first from outside North America.