and foundry suppliers benefit direct- ly from the knowledge and learning gained, access to cutting edge testing and characterisation facilities, and the ability to tap in to the minds of some incredibly talented academics. Collab- oration also provides an ideal opportu- nity for foundries and foundry suppliers to weigh up the potential employabil- ity of research students who, on com- pletion of their research project, are looking for their first substantive role in industry. It’s a fantastic recruitment pipeline for the next generation of cast- ing specialists.


In addition to your role as Casting Specialist, you were

also a member of the Rolls-Royce Engineering Fellowship and a Global Process Owner (GPO) for casting. Can you give us an insight into these roles?

At any one point in time, the Rolls-Royce Engineering

Fellowship comprises around 80- 100 members, with each member recognised at the highest levels of the company as a singular source of business-critical expertise in an area which is fundamental to the business. Given its importance to Rolls-Royce, it’s not surprising that casting is included in the company’s Fellowship Taxonomy - the definitive list of business- critical engineering disciplines. I was appointed Associate Fellow in 2013 (within the Fellowship there is also scope for further progression to Fellow, then Senior Fellow level). As a member of the Fellowship, you are expected to be internationally recognised for your expertise and influence, to have an impact at company level, and to make a contribution to the realisation of long-term competitive advantage for Rolls-Royce. Fellows also drive the development of future technology and global capability in their area of specialism. The GPO role is subtly different,

although there are significant overlaps in terms of Fellowship criteria, hence a number of Fellows also act as GPOs in their respective disciplines. As a GPO for casting, I was responsible for leading Rolls-Royce’s global


casting community which, amongst other things, involved arranging and facilitating biannual Community of Practice (CoP) workshops, where Manufacturing Engineers and Technical Specialists from each of the plants would come together to hold a week-long series of themed, interactive workshops focusing on process standardisation and the sharing of best practice. We also developed a training curriculum to fast-track the development of the newer members of the team. I

found rewarding, both roles especially when

hugely a CoP

workshop successfully devises a novel solution to a problem, then deploys it globally for the benefit of all of the foundries in the group.


Attracting and retaining talent is key to the success of any

industry. How can we best appeal to the next generation of professionals considering a career in investment casting?

First of all, we need to appeal to the next generation of cast metals

engineers who are still in secondary, further or higher education. They’re going to love a career in investment casting … they just don’t know it yet! We need to tap in to the innate desire that we all have to make a

difference, to make an impact and to help others. The UK’s Cast Metals Federation (CMF), in conjunction with the Institute of Cast Metals Engineers (ICME), have produced some great supporting material, including a ‘Casting the Future Foundry Kit’ – a self-contained box comprising all the tools, equipment, materials and safety gear to demonstrate casting as a route to manufacture, and hopefully ignite a long-lasting spark of interest that, one day, might lead to a career in casting. The CMF and ICME have also

produced a careers leaflet which plays on the fact that engineering skills are in high demand and castings are essential in all areas of everyday life, from fast- paced motorsport to aerospace; in all forms of

transport, electrical goods,

mobile phones, marine projects, medical equipment and the art world. It’s a great vocation if you’re a creative thinker and enjoy practical problem solving. We need to convey the sense of excitement and satisfaction in taking a design concept and seeing it all the way through to a finished cast article. In short, cast metals engineers are needed to shape how we live, travel, work and play … we melt and pour metal, which is exciting in itself, and

December 2020 ❘ 15 Continued on pg 16

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