orderForm.noItems OBITUARY

Alec Stanley Bowden 1945 – 2018

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of one of the true stalwarts of the global industry.


Alec was born in New Mills, Derbyshire in 1945 the only son of Marian and Stanley. Attending both primary and grammar school Alec remained in New Mills until

1964 when he crossed over the county border to study Ceramics with Refractories at Sheffield University. Before he left for Sheffield he met Kath on New Year’s Eve 1963 the start of a lasting, loving relationship which resulted in their marriage in 1970.

Upon graduating from Sheffield University Alec’s career path took him from G R Stein at Worksop via Ferodo, Morgans (Neston), Morgans (USA), Morgans (Worcester), Ceram RA, back to Morgans (Neston) to finally in 1995 Harbison Walker where he remained as Managing Director until his retirement in 2010. In amongst all this he always supported the industry as a whole and was elected President of the RAGB in 1999 a role he was very proud to have and one he carried with great aplomb.

Delegates to this years’ SGT Training Day and Furnace Solutions Conference will hear papers from several international speakers. The ‘Batch Guilty as Charged’ Training Day will focus on the delivery of consistent batch to the furnace. Which are relevant to glass makers. This was acknowledged, last year, by Nikolaus Sorg’s Sales Director, Fred Aker, who said:

“This was my first Training Day and Furnace Solutions and I was very impressed with the format and quality of the visitors. The format allowed for a lot of networking and the breaks kept the presentations fresh.

The organization was perfect and you kept things moving on time.

I don't know if I personally can attend regularly but I will recommend that someone from SORG does take part.”

Speakers for ‘Batch Guilty as Charged’ Training Day include, Peter West, Ardagh Group who will discuss potential defects and their cause and how to link back to the batch and batch plant. Dr Richard Hulme, Guardian Glass will review redox, managing sulphate load to the furnace and when and why to make batch changes. Dr Richard White of Lucideon, will show how glass and raw material defects are analysed for routine quality control and part of a post mortem programme. Trevor Wilson of DSF is presenting the Mellor Memorial lecture and will review the effect of Carryover on the Regenerator. Other well respected speakers, during the Training Day, include Martyn Marshall from GTS, Matthias Haas of Sorg.

The Training Day, as always, will be proactive event. With two panel sessions offering delegates the opportunity to ask the speakers specific questions.

A full programme of speakers has already been organised for Thursday’s March 2019 Issue ENGINEER THE REFRACTORIES 5

Alec and Kath were blessed with two beautiful daughters Claire born in 1976 and Elisabeth two years later in 1978. Claire and Elisabeth subsequently expanded the family further with the arrivals of Jade, Megan, Lydia, Aimee and James. The roving refractory guy was now the very proud husband, father and grandfather a role he loved more than any other.

Always a keen sportsman, cricket was his first love keeping wicket for Birch Vale Cricket Club, Eastham Cricket Club and finally Upton Cricket Club.

As his cricket career ended Alec discovered golf joining Bromborough Golf Club in 1984. Many of us will have had the pleasure of his company both at Bromborough and other golf courses around the UK. His enthusiasm for golf was infectious. As was his sense of humour out on the golf course irrespective of how the game was going. Many will remember his laughs ringing out across the fairways and greens, at full volume, as we hacked our way around. Memories we will keep forever.

A lifetime supporter on Manchester City (who managed to convert Kath who originally supported Manchester United) he was able to see them crowned Premier league champions in 2018.

We have lost a great professional and more importantly, a really nice guy. Those of us whose paths crossed his were very much the lucky ones.


Furnace Solutions Conference. Sebastian Woltz, EME, will discuss the challenges facing a batch plant supplier when a Batch Plant is upgraded. Virtual Reality is become part of our everyday life. British Glass’s Chris Sorsby with introduce delegates to a system developed for virtual machine training. Fives Stein’s Andy Reynolds will be speaking about refractory corrosion, prediction and prevention while electric melting.

The SGT always welcomes papers from glass producers and this year we are happy welcome Frank Schuurmans from Libbey, The Netherlands will share Libbey’s experience of using Optimelt at their Leerdam plant with contributions from contributions Praxair. First time speaker at Furnace Solutions will be Mrs Burcin Gul, from Sisecam. Mrs Gul will present her work modelling the Furnace.

The glass industry takes safety very seriously and is everyone’s responsibility. With this in mind, Andrew Bowker of the HSE has been invited to review the HSE’s plan for manufacturing in 2019/2020.

Representing the maintenance and installation sector are Hotwork’s Benjamin Koster and from the USA, Dave Boothe CEO of Allstates Refractory Contractors. Benjamin’s paper will ask the question ‘Is it possible to repair the Regenerator without loss?’ and Dave will talk about how US installers work with the plant owner to design and operate the furnace for the long term.

Furnace Solutions will again be held a Lucideon, Stoke-on-Trent

on the 5th and 6th of June. For more information visit our website or contact Christine Brown

Institute News

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