Prof Michael Wisnom Named as Winner of the 2022 Outstanding Contribution Award

A Special Recognition in this category has been awarded to PRF Composite Material’s Robert Burnell.

Composites UK is delighted to announce that Prof. Michael Wisnom has been named as winner of this years Outstanding Contribution to the Composites Industry Award.

The award will be presented at the Industry Awards Dinner on 2nd November 2022 at the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham, which coincides with the Advanced Engineering Show.

Prof. Michael Wisnom has made a massive impact in the international composites arena across his career. In the education sector, not only has he taught cohort after cohort of the next generation of composites engineers but with his work at the University of Bristol where he set up the Bristol Composites Institute (formerly known as ACCIS) he took it to world ranking. Michael has also been a strong voice in the UK’s composites research groups, bringing together academics from all of the UK and further afield to drive forward research that has unlocked some of the potential of composites that we see today.

His research work at Bristol spans over 242 articles and close to 200 conference contributions. Michael’s approach to applied research sees him collaborating with virtually every composite OEM imaginable and the legacy of his research in the modelling of composites, fatigue behaviour and ductile composites will feed generations.

At a national level, Michael led some of EPSRC´s largest collaborative programmes, like HiPerDuCT and was instrumental in the creation of EPSRC Future Composites Manufacturing Research Hub in close collaboration with all the UK´s leading composites academics. He also played a key role in the creation of the National Composites Centre and its integration into the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

He is an internationally recognised composites leader, being one of the ICCM World Fellows (Life Member since 2015) and also an Honorary Member of the ICCM´s Executive Council. He has also been the Editor-in-Chief of Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing.

Jools Granville, Director of Marketing and Communications at the National Composites Centre said: “In a stellar career Prof. Michael Wisnom has been an instrumental part of the UK’s and the international composites eco system. In the year that he steps down as Director of the Bristol Composites Institute we wanted to nominate him for Outstanding Contribution to Composites based on his career that spans decades. We are over the moon that he has been announced as the winner.”

Special recognition within this category has been awarded to PRF Composite Material’s Robert Burnell.

For over 40 years, Robert has been a leading advocate for the UK composites industry. Since forming PRF in 1982, Robert has been at the forefront of innovation and product development, which is something he is particularly passionate about and is still – in his 40th year of business – introducing new products to the market, including a unique product that is currently patent-pending launched this year. He is a dedicated entrepreneur who is focussed on supporting his employees. For example, through the pandemic, PRF maintained manufacture and retained all staff without furlough. Robert’s guidance was instrumental in supporting PRF’s customers through lockdowns and keeping staff safe; PRF saw no COVID cases until post-vaccinations in 2021.

Hannah Khusainova, PRF’s Marketing Director said: “PRF’s motto is ‘Doing things differently’ because that is what Robert does; he looks at customer needs and how he can support them through quality, product development and technical advances, always striving for continuous improvement. Under his leadership, PRF has developed and grown from a pioneering rapid-response material supplier to a leading manufacturer exporting globally, and remains an independently-run family business. Above all, Robert is exemplary in his integrity; he has built 40-year-long relationships throughout the industry, with suppliers and customers, which remain to this day.”

Composites UK offer its congratulations to both Robert and Michael for the accolades they receive.

Bookings for the dinner will remain open until a week before the dinner (26th October) with all the details available through the website.