Steve Jones, professor of Manufacturing Systems and Processes at the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME) has been named The Manufacturer’s Employee of the Month February 2016.
What is your role and what are your main responsibilities?
I am responsible for leading Coventry University’s collaboration within the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering. I provide strategic leadership and vision in research collaborations; as well as lead and develop teams of academics within the field of joining and its allied sciences. I
provide specialist joining lectures to undergraduate and postgraduate students. My research programmes are heavily focused on lightweight automotive structures.
What are the key technical skills you use?
The specialised nature of my work means I use a whole host of technical and scientific principles, all underpinned by more than 35 years of industry experience.
Mathematics; physics; chemistry; metallurgy and materials science; welding process
principles; design; codes and standards; inspection, and integrity principles are skills I use every day.
What personal characteristics help you in your role?
An inquisitive mind! A good part of my time is spent trying to discover solutions to issues in the manufacturing process, so the ability to look past the obvious is a must.
I also have a natural understanding of detailed joining science and can communicate this knowledge in an engaging way.
What do you consider to be your biggest personal success at the company so far?
I have developed two specialised lectures for the undergraduate manufacturing and the postgraduate oil and gas engineering courses. This is closely followed by my contribution to AME successfully securing its first Innovate UK project.
PROVE (Production of Very Lightweight Exhausts) for Aston Martin has been a huge success and we are now close to having a process that produces parts that are nearly 50% lighter than their previous counterparts.
What are the most rewarding parts of your job?
Taking a problem and coming up with a solution. It’s the culmination of theory and lots of trials until you get that ‘eureka’ moment.
My work that supported the successful implementation of the Venice flood barrier was hugely satisfying and now I’m having a major say in how we help reduce emissions on some of the most striking cars in the world.
Do you have a career ambition?
The older you get, the more your attention turns to leaving a legacy as opposed to some really fashionable career goals. With this in mind, I’d like to think I’ll be a major driving force in embedding joining science within Coventry University’s education system as a key undergraduate module.