Major changes as fast growing research centre plans for further expansion at home and abroad

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

Colin SirettColin 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, £50 million turnover operations of the AMRC and the Nuclear AMRC, the AMRC Training Centre, AMRC Casting Centre and Cti Ltd.

“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,” said Prof Ridgway.

“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.

Colin Sirett 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 Colin 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.”

Posted in Company News