Composites UK, the Trade Association for the UK composites industry, welcomed 250 attendees to its Awards Dinner on 4 November 2015, a reported 55% increase on the previous year.
The event coincided with the Advanced Engineering Show and saw members of the UK industry come together to celebrate the achievements of colleagues in nine award categories, from personnel to innovation.
According to Composites UK, the 2015 winners, who were presented with their awards by Composites UK and event sponsors MPM, Dark Matter Composites, Composites in Manufacturing Magazine, National Composites Centre and Axillium Research, were as follows.
Trainee/Apprentice – Winner: Ben Freeman, Aircelle
Employee of the Year – Winner: John Dobbin, MPM
Employer of the Year – Winner: MPM | Prodrive
Health and Safety – Winner: CCT Hexion
Environmental – Winner: Techlan
Innovation in Materials – Winner: EcoTechnilin
Innovation in Manufacture – Winner: Trelleborg AEM
Innovation in Design – Winner: Far-UK
Marketing Director of EcoTechnilin, William Anthony, said of winning the Innovation in Materials Award, “We are thrilled to win this award and to pick it up at the Awards dinner, in front of the movers and shakers of the UK Composites Industry, was a real bonus. Such recognition of the high level of innovation within EcoTechnilin gives a real boost to our R&D team and extra credibility when we are presenting our bio-sourced materials around the world.”
Chris Taylor, Managing Director of Axon Automotive, picked up the award for Innovation in Design on behalf of parent company, Far-UK. Chris said, “I was very pleased to receive the award for ourselves and our supply chain partners, Scott Bader, Hyosung, Lotte Chemical and the end customer Hyundai. Together with the other applicants this demonstrates the amount of energy, and the importance, that weight reduction through the use of composite materials can bring to any form of transport.”
A ninth award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Composites Industry’ was given to Brian O’Rourke, Chief Composites Engineer at Williams F1, who the Association’s Board of Directors felt, after four decades at Williams F1, should be recognised for being highly instrumental in the huge success of promoting the use of composites within the company. In a video played as he received his award, colleague Ed Wood, Chief Designer at Williams F1 said, “Brian has been the pivotal person at Williams in terms of the use of composite materials and production techniques, and we feel that it’s a very fitting reflection of all that he’s done to be recognised in this manner.
Attendees of the event were welcomed with a drinks reception, which included entertainment such as a giant Scalextric and Beatles Rock Band. In return for participation in the evening’s games, attendees were asked to donate to the 2015 chosen charities – KidsOut and Whizz-Kidz- raising a staggering £2500 to be split between these deserving causes.
First time Awards Dinner attendee Nigel O’Dea, Founder and Director of OB2B Marketing and Industrial PR said, “We attended the UK Composites Awards Dinner this year for the first time and am so pleased we did. It was wonderfully organised, very enjoyable and well attended; being one of over 250, it was a great opportunity to network and socialise with lots of people I have got to know in the industry. We shall be going again next year.”
The next Awards Dinner will take place on 2 November 2016 with early-bird booking opening before the end of 2015.