The event, which took place alongside the Advanced Engineering exhibition, saw 300 people from around the world gather to celebrate the innovations of the UK composites industry and the people behind them. Guests included GKN Aerospace, Leonardo Helicopters, MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, R-Tech Materials, Shape Machining, Sigmatex, Cygnet Texkimp and more.
Eight awards were given out on the evening. The winners were:
- Trainee/Apprentice of the Year (Sponsored by GRP Solutions): Aaron Johnson, Leonardo Helicopters;
- Employee of the Year (Sponsored by MPM): Ben Jennings, Group Rhodes;
- Employer of the Year (Sponsored by Fluency Marketing): MPM;
- Environmental/Sustainability Award (Sponsored by Briar Associates): TRB Lightweight Structures;
- Innovation in Composite Manufacture (Sponsored by Axillium): Rockwood Composites;
- Innovation in Composite Design (Sponsored by the Advanced Engineering Show): TWI;
- Innovation in Composite Materials (Sponsored by the National Composites Centre): Gurit (UK);
- Outstanding Contribution to the Composites Industry: Professor Peter Chivers.
In addition, a Special Recognition award was given to MPM, with its Director, Ben Wilson, receiving an Outstanding Achievement award. Even when a fire devastated its former site in Pudsey, Leeds, the company did not ‘shut its doors.’ Its ISO 9001:2015 Business Continuity- Contingency Planning Procedure was implemented on the first morning. The company was given access to a meeting room at a neighbouring company with back-up systems and phone lines restored within 24 hours of the blaze. No employees were laid off. Those that did not have work immediately were, by secondment, sent to customers’ sites, making new moulds to replace those destroyed. Composites UK’s Board of Directors wanted to recognise the team’s commitment and Wilson’s leadership during this time.
An in-depth focus of the award-winning entries will be available over the next month on the Composites UK website.
The next Composites UK Awards Dinner will take place on 30 October 2019, again at the National Motorcycle Museum.