Monday, November 30, 2015

News: Airbus research boss lands new job at AMRC

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The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing, is gearing up for further growth at home and abroad, unveiling a new corporate structure and appointing a high-flying chief executive officer.

Based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) and a partner in the HVM Catapult (the government's strategic initiative that aims to revitalise the manufacturing industry), the AMRC focuses on advanced machining and materials research for aerospace and other high-value manufacturing sectors. It is a partnership between industry and academia, which has become a model for research centres worldwide.

It is a year since Prof Keith Ridgway CBE, executive dean of the AMRC, outlined plans for the ground-breaking centre to more than double its turnover to in excess of £80m over the next five years.

Colin Sirett head of research for Airbus in the UK and a long-time supporter of the work of the AMRC will take over as CEO from the start of February.

Following his appointment, executive dean Prof Keith Ridgway, CBE, commercial director Adrian Allen, OBE, and projects director, John Baragwanath, OBE, will become executive directors of the AMRC Group.

The group spans all of the 560 employee, £50m turnover operations of the AMRC and the Nuclear AMRC, the AMRC Training Centre, AMRC Casting Centre and Cti Ltd.

Prof Ridgway, said: "We've experienced phenomenal growth since we started out with just a dozen people 14 years ago, but every time we think about consolidating, more opportunities come along.

"This year alone we have embarked on a major development on Sheffield Business Park, expanded our training centre, started building the biggest facility for making aerospace components in Europe and launched a joint venture to establish an AMRC in Korea.

"We are in talks about taking the AMRC brand to other regions and other parts of the world and we continue to see opportunities to expand our core operations.

"As executive directors of the AMRC Group, Adrian, John and myself will focus on developing the AMRC brand, expanding the AMRC in new locations and developing major new initiatives – all of which should bolster the Sheffield region's place at the heart of global innovation in advanced manufacturing.

"Colin Sirett will be a tremendous asset for the AMRC. He shares the AMRC's aims and ambitions and understands our culture.

"He has already made a major contribution to our success, not least as a key member of the team that helped Messier Dowty win the order to supply the landing gear for the Boeing 787, which was a critical event in the formation and growth of the AMRC."

In addition to being head of research for Airbus in the UK, Colin Sirett is chairman of the National Composites Centre steering board and deputy chairman of the Aerospace Technology Institute Technology Advisory Group. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and sits on the Learned Society Board. Prior to becoming director of research for Airbus, he was head of the landing gear product delivery team for the A350XWB Programme.

Airbus joined the AMRC as a Tier One member having previously worked together on the Integrated Wing Project, a previous R&D project lead by Airbus. They are both partners in a project to develop a new corrosion-resistant stainless steel alloy for the possible use in future landing gear components.

Colin Sirett (pictured) said: "The AMRC has grown over the last 14 years by delivering technology and productivity impacts direct into global industries. This growth will continue, and it is an honour and privilege to be part of steering the enterprise through its next chapter, and ensuring the next generation of engineers are an intrinsic part of that growth."

Professor Ridgway added: "With Colin now in post and Mike Tynan, former CEO of Westinghouse leading nuclear developments as the CEO of the Nuclear AMRC we have a tremendous management team in place with experience of leading major global organisations and a team capable of taking the AMRC to our next stage of development."

In addition to Sirett's appointment, the head of the AMRC's Machining Group, Dr Sam Turner becomes AMRC chief technical officer. Dr Turner is an authority on machining Titanium alloys, and holds a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Sheffield in addition to his PhD in Titanium machining.

As CTO he will develop technologies and projects across the AMRC and work closely with the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, a consortium of seven leading manufacturing and process research centres, backed by the UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK.

In addition to becoming an executive director, John Baragwanath becomes interim director of the Medical AMRC, following the retirement of Derek Boaler. Prof Ridgway said: "Derek did excellent setting up both the AMRC's Design & Prototyping Centre and the Medical AMRC and we wish him well in his retirement."

AMRC website

Images: AMRC

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