Thursday, November 19, 2020

News: AESSEAL MD Chris Rea awarded highest accolade by IMechE


Chris Rea, Managing Director of Rotherham based AESSEAL plc, has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

IMechE is an independent engineering society working to raise the profile of mechanical engineering. The organisation's highest accolade makes Chris one of an elite group of people who were already Fellows prior to becoming an Honorary Fellow.

The Honorary Fellowship recognises how Chris has grown a small mechanical seals design and manufacturing business with a staff of just five in 1979, to a global group of companies, AES Engineering Ltd, which now operates in 230 locations worldwide, with 1,700 employees and annual sales of £191m. The Templeborough-based company designs and manufactures mechanical seals and support systems.

Dr Colin Brown, Chief Executive of IMechE, said: "Chris has chosen an inspirational career route, being both an economist and engineer.

"His skills and business acumen are shown in how he grew AES Engineering to become a leading manufacturer, developing UK engineering excellence while at the same time promoting a wider interest in science and technology in Yorkshire."

Chris gained a degree in Economics from Queen’s University Belfast before later qualifying as a Chartered Engineer with the Institution.

He said: "I am humbled to have received this honour, which is the highest accolade you can receive from IMechE. Being a Chartered Engineer and Honorary Fellow is rare and highlights how engineering and entrepreneurship are jointly so important to building the UK’s manufacturing base in the face of global challenges."

Chris is a Deputy Lieutenant for South Yorkshire and was awarded a CBE for services to business, innovation and exports in the 2020 New Year’s Honours. AESSEAL has twice been named Overall Winner in The Manufacturer MX Awards, which are run in association with IMechE.

Rea purchased Aurora Engineers Supplies (where the "AES" comes from) in 1979, as a small distributor of mechanical seals, with ten employees and an annual turnover of £400,000.

By 1983 AESSEAL built its first manufacturing site on Mangham Road, Rotherham. Over the following years the mechanical seal range expanded, turnover grew to £2m and the company received the first of its 13 Queen's Awards. Export sales grew, overseas offices were opened, and turnover increased year on year.

The company has recorded near constant growth over the four decades, investing in wide ranging innovation including the development of its modular range of seals and processes that ensures customers receive the same product no matter where they are in the world. In addition, the business has been lauded for its community work, extensive apprenticeship programme and education outreach - which runs from primary schools right through to doctorate level.

AESSEAL website

Images: IMechE


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