MPI's Chris McDonald
Ellen Forster

Member Article

Teesside R&D boss to address conference in China

Chris McDonald, managing director at the Materials Processing Institute, will pass on his expert knowledge when he addresses delegates at a high-profile Far East conference later this year.

Mr McDonald will head to China in October to take part in the 10th Biennial Conference of the Chinese Society of Metals.

The Institute, which was founded 70 years ago, evolved to become the research and development arm of British Steel and then Tata Steel before returning to independent status towards the end of the last year.

During his visit, Mr McDonald will present a keynote paper and will also chair a conference session. China is responsible for more than half of the world’s metal production and is innovating quickly to support its manufacturing supply chain.

Mr McDonald is looking to have the Teesside-based Institute recognised as a catapult centre, and has opened its doors to companies outside of the steel sector to make use of its research and development facilities.

This ambition has been boosted thanks to a recent £3m grant from Local Enterprise Partnership Tees Valley Unlimited, which is being used to upgrade the facilities and create new office space for up to 15 fledgling businesses involved in the supply chain.

Mr McDonald, who also took part in the last two conferences, said: “I’m delighted to be able to get the opportunity to go to this particular conference, as the Chinese market is so important in this sector.

“Key issues are improving product quality, reducing emissions and reducing costs.

“The Materials Processing Institute is recognised as a world leader in supporting metals innovation and has been engaging with industry and academics in China for many years.

“This will be my third visit to this conference and it is an excellent opportunity to present a key note paper and chair an important briefing.

“I now have a wide network in China, having travelled to Asian research conferences and industry since the mid-2000s.

“Over that time I have seen rapid development of research and manufacturing capability, yet the latest research from China is still not well known in the West.

“With our wide network, the Materials Processing Institute can act as an effective source of information on published research from China, whilst maintaining confidentiality for our clients.”

Mr McDonald is hoping his presence at the conference will encourage engagement with other companies, not just in the Far East but also across Europe.

He added: “I would be interested in talking to companies in Europe that want to find out more about what research is taking place in China and also to companies, conference delegates and others when I’m in China to understand better how the Materials Processing Institute can support their businesses.”

The 10th Biennial Conference of the Chinese Society of Metals takes place in Shanghai from October 21-23.

The theme of the conference is Better Steel, Better Life, and all of the lectures will focus on steel industrial structure adjustment and transformation, technological innovation and eco-friendly steel industry.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ellen Forster .

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