Renowned welding expert Professor Steve Jones has joined the Nuclear AMRC as its new chief technology officer (CTO).
Professor Jones joins from Coventry University, where he held the post of professor in manufacturing systems and processes at the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Institute. He previously worked at Rolls-Royce as global engineering specialist for joining sciences, where he worked closely with the company’s civil nuclear division to secure the ASME N-stamp qualification, and worked with the Nuclear AMRC as visiting professor of welding engineering.
As CTO, Professor Jones is responsible for ensuring that the Nuclear AMRC is focused on providing innovative technical solutions that will give the UK supply chain a competitive advantage in the global nuclear market.
“The CTO is a fundamental position in the organisation, and Steve will be a great addition to the centre and the team,” says Nuclear AMRC chief executive officer Andrew Storer. “I am really pleased to welcome Steve, who will be responsible for ensuring our technical strategy is directly linked to the market, to make sure we are delivering the right applied research for UK industry.”
Professor Jones will lead the development of the technology strategy at the Nuclear AMRC, ensuring that the centre is delivering truly advanced manufacturing methods to the nuclear industry. A fundamental part of this is to make sure that the centre is meeting the current needs of the supply chain to improve productivity and reduce manufacturing risk in machining and fabrication.
“Our sector is understandably very conservative, so introducing new technologies that challenge existing codes and practices requires extremely strong de-risking procedures reinforced by substantial data to justify their inception,” Professor Jones says.
“I believe there are still significant benefits to be realised through optimising current practices and competences. This will accelerate performance and improve capability, without the need for a step change in skills and unnecessary costs.”
Jones started his manufacturing career in 1980 as an apprentice welder with Rolls-Royce Motors in Shrewsbury. He studied for 17 years with the Open University while working in industry, achieving his doctorate in materials and welding engineering in 2003.
“Combining engineering practicality with long-term academic training allows me to describe myself as a ‘pracademic’ – a word I am cautious about using in potentially tongue-tied situations, but a credential that I hope will add to the already highly proficient skills set at the Nuclear AMRC,” he says.
Professor Jones is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of The Welding Institute. He succeeds Stuart Dawson as CTO, who has moved to the same position at the Nuclear AMRC’s sister centre, the AMRC with Boeing.