Dr Nicholas Longfield, a lead Engineer at Corus Strip Products UK, now part of the Tata Steel Group, has been awarded a prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal for his outstanding personal contribution to British engineering. Nicholas will receive the medal at the Academy Awards Dinner in London on Monday 7 June from Nigel Whitehead FREng, Group Managing Director of Programmes & Support at BAE Systems, title sponsors of the event.

Nicholas, aged 35, has been working on the development of coil joining processes in Corus’s continuous production lines by optimising weld strength and formability to minimise the number of weld breaks. Each weld break impacts on the profitability of the business as it results in line downtime and therefore a loss of saleable product.

Nicholas also started working on the development of laser cladding in order to increase the lifetime of critical components within Corus Strip Products UK. Initial work undertaken jointly with researchers at Corus RD&T that showed the laser cladding process was capable of achieving unprecedented component lifetimes.

The results of his work have led directly to the decision to build Europe’s largest laser cladding facility at Port Talbot. This facility is now being used to further develop the process, optimise the coating chemistry and hardface full scale components with wear and corrosion characteristics that will reduce costs and significantly increase the profitability of steel making in South Wales.

“The laser cladding work that Dr Longfield has developed and is applying within the steel industry in South Wales will undoubtedly yield notable commercial success”, says Stephen George, Works Manager Mills and Finishing.

“The commercial success of this process cannot be over-estimated and Corus are keenly focused on making this a success not only in Port Talbot but throughout the organisation.

The quality of Nicholas’ work, already outstanding, gives a clear indication of his potential to become a truly exceptional engineer.”

Notes for editors

  1. This year’s other Silver Medallists are Colin Treganza Dancer of Metaswitch Networks, Roger Ridsdill Smith of Arup and Andrew Harter of Real VNC.
  2. The Academy's Silver Medals were instigated in 1995. They are awarded annually to engineers who have made outstanding contributions to British engineering but have been working as an engineer for no more than 30 years. Up to four medals may be awarded each year.
  3. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.

For more information please contact

Jane Sutton at The Royal Academy of Engineering
Tel. 020 7766 0636; email: Jane Sutton