Megazyme’s McCleary Wins Top International Achievement Award
The CEO of Megazyme, Professor Barry McCleary, has just been awarded the University of Sydney Alumni Award for International Achievement in recognition of his contribution to the enrichment of society through his commitment to improving food quality throughout the world. Barry graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science in 1972, followed by a PhD in 1975, after which he went to work as a Research Scientist for the NSW Department of Agriculture. During this period, he identified a need for improved methods of analysing cereal polysaccharides and developed a test for measuring beta-glucan (the soluble dietary fibre in oats and barley). The international success of Barry’s method, coupled with his identification of numerous other needs for good analytical methods in the cereals, fermentation, food and dairy industries, prompted him to resign his position as Principal Research Scientist and start Megazyme in 1988 in “the garage off the side of the family home”. A few years later he moved to Ireland and created Megazyme. Barry has combined scientific innovation, professional achievement and commercial success with great distinction. “I believe that, from the outset, I wanted my work to have practical relevance – I wanted to do something that would help the industry I supported. The major lesson I learned from the NSW Department of Agriculture was a realisation that what I did had to be of use to the industry – not just of scientific relevance.” Beyond the scientific acclaim and commercial success in his career, Barry says he has been lucky, “I am very fortunate that my job is my hobby. I have people who are paying me to do what I like to do. It is very satisfying to know that we are developing products that are quite unique – we are making a contribution.”
Over the past 7 years, Megazyme has more than doubled its staff and built a new research facility in their plant in the IDA Business Park, Bray to allow expansion of the molecular biology capabilities of the company and support its move into synthetic organic chemistry.
Prof. McCleary and Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson at the awards ceremony at the University of Sydney.