Top honour for AMRC pioneer

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Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre founder and Sheffield University Professor Keith Ridgway has been made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Prof Ridgway becomes the 175th recipient of an honorary fellowship, which is rated as the world’s most prestigious and long standing aerospace award, honouring achievement, innovation and excellence.

Other honorary fellows have included Orville Wright, the first man to achieve powered flight; wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill; aerospace trailblazers AV Roe and Tommy Sopwith; jet engine inventor Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle; Geoffrey de Havilland, who produced the first commercial jet airliner and helicopter inventor Igor Sikorsky.

Sheffield University Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Keith Burnett said: “It is fitting that this award has been made to Keith by a Society which is today truly international and multi-disciplinary.

“I am sure that the sky is the limit for what he will continue to achieve together with the high-value manufacturing industry.”

The AMRC was established in 2001 by Professor Ridgway, who worked with local businessman Adrian Allen to develop a multi-million pound collaboration between the University of Sheffield and aerospace giant Boeing.

Since then it has grown into a major asset for the region, attracting support, business and inward investment from top global engineering companies, spawning new developments like the Nuclear AMRC and developing world-class centres of excellence in castings technology, composites, design, rapid prototyping and training.