Wednesday, August 21, 2013

News: Man of Steel on the AMP

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The scale model of the iconic Man of Steel has gone on display at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, surrounded by a number of companies that are working to make the final version a reality.

Last year, planning permission was granted conditionally for the 27.3m high art installation based on work by local sculptor Steve Mehdi, on a former land fill site in Rotherham.

The iconic piece of art has been designed to be a landmark gateway sculpture close to the M1 that "will recognise the history of steel and coal in the region, and preside over a new age of technology and specialised steel production."

The Man of Steel is also set to play an important role in promoting education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The project has been assisted by expertise from AMP-based organisations, Performance Engineered Solutions (PES) Ltd and the University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

The two metre model is made from polyurethane resin board, a material normally used for creating prototypes and models of automotive and aerospace structures. This was sculpted at the AMRC Composite Centre on its CMS five-axis machining centre (pictured).

Experts at PES are developing rapid prototyping to examine the potential of creating the monumental version of Man of Steel.

Steve Mehdi, creator of the Man of Steel (pictured, centre), said: "The Man of Steel project honours the past and embraces the future, bringing together the heritage of the old industries and signposting the new technologies of the region.

"These world-leading developments in advanced manufacturing and materials are led by the organisations on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) and I am delighted that both the AMRC and PES are supporting the project, and have used their expertise to create this version of the Man of Steel."

Simon Spode, marketing manager at the AMP, added: "We are pleased to have this model back at the AMP, both to support the Man of Steel project and to showcase the fantastic technical knowledge and capability that we have here at the park.

"There are similarities between the AMP and the Man of Steel project in that both will have reach and benefit outside their immediate geographical areas. The AMP is an asset locally, regionally and nationally, and similarly the sculpture is set to become an icon for the whole Yorkshire region; providing a gateway to the county in the same way that the Angel of the North is seen as the gateway to the North-East."

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council has shown their support to the Man of Steel project, and Councillor Gerald Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration & Development was on hand to welcome the sculpture back to Rotherham.

Cllr Smith (pictured, second from the right), said: "We believe that project will provide a striking piece of contemporary public art and a real landmark sat at the heart of the area's great traditional industries of coal and steel. It is also important that the sculpture will be made using local materials and locally developed manufacturing processes, showcasing the region's current and future industrial capabilities.

"It is also good to see so many private sector partners coming forward to support the project and it's looking positive that the cost of the project will be met by private contributions and funding from bodies such as good causes distributor the Big Lottery Fund and the Arts Council."

The model of the Man of Steel will be on display in the reception of the AMP Technology Centre until August 30.

The full scale man would sit on the FCC Environment Group's site on Meadowhall Road in Rotherham, overlooking the M1 and Meadowhall Shopping Centre, close to where the Tinsley Towers used to stand. It almost five years to the day since the old towers were demolished.

Man of Steel website
AMP website

Images: AMP

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