Former Nuclear AMRC Chief Technology Officer, Stuart Dawson has joined the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing as its Chief Technology Officer.
“I am passionate about aerospace technologies, so after six years in the nuclear industry I feel I have come home to my roots,” said Dawson. “I am genuinely thrilled to be able to take on a new challenge and I am confident my experience in the aerospace industry will help me support a growing AMRC.”
Prior to working at the Nuclear AMRC, Stuart has spent his career working in the aerospace industry, with his links to the AMRC stretching back to before its first days.
Dawson said: “Professor Keith Ridgway was one of my tutors at university and after graduating, I began working for a knowledge transfer programme at an aerospace cutting tool company owned by Adrian Allen’s father, to improve their production throughput.
Soon Dawson moved to work for Adrian, who was then Sales Director at Sheffield Company Technicut, now global leaders in the manufacture of solid rotary cutting tools for the aerospace industry.
“At Technicut I worked with Adrian as he developed his original plans for forming a partnership with Boeing. It was around that time that Keith and Adrian first met and began to forge the links between Boeing and the University of Sheffield, which have now culminated in the AMRC we see today,” added Stuart.
Dawson spent a total of 18 years in the aerospace industry, during which time he lead productivity improvement and cost reduction programmes across a variety of UK aerospace firms such as Kyocera Unimerco.
“I’ve worked on just about every UK aerospace wing project,” said Dawson. “From the composite wing for the Airbus A400M, to developing tooling solutions for Electroimpact’s A380 wing drilling and assembly machines in Broughton and developing portable drilling solutions for carbon metallic stacks on Bombardier C-series.”
Having joined the AMRC Dawson said he very much feels like he is standing on the shoulders of giants: “I am inheriting a very healthy situation from previous CTO, Professor Sam Turner, with a growing AMRC that is branching out and taking advantage of opportunities to work with new sectors.
“The aerospace and advanced manufacturing sectors are currently enjoying favourable support in the form of government policy and these sectors have never been more vibrant.”
Stuart comes to work at the AMRC, having spent six years at the Nuclear AMRC. During this time he established the centre’s machining group, became operations director for the manufacturing innovation team and oversaw the installation of the centre’s R&D capability from zero to over £30 million of state-of-the-art equipment.
“Whilst at the Nuclear AMRC we developed the research themes and technologies to support the UK’s aspirations to become a producer of Small Modular Reactors.
“This kind of work has many parallels with the work the AMRC is doing to expand into new sectors particularly in infrastructure and construction,” added Dawson.
Dawson very much sees his role as further supporting the diversification of new research themes: “My key aim is to not only to support the AMRC groups in delivering results, particularly in our core competence of aerospace, but also putting a strategy into place to ensure we exploit new sector opportunities, managing the challenges of future growth.”
AMRC CEO, Colin Sirett, welcomed Stuart: “It is great to have Stuart join the team at the AMRC. Growth of the enterprise has only been possible by staying true to the original values fostered by Keith and Adrian. Stuart has that knowledge, which will be invaluable as we bring new and exciting ventures on-stream.”
AMRC Executive Dean, Prof Keith Ridgway, said: “I first met Stuart when he started at the University of Sheffield as an undergraduate student and have followed his career as he has moved around the cutting tool industry. Stuart has vast experience cutting the materials used in the aerospace, automotive and nuclear industries and I am delighted that he is taking such a key role with us.”