Meet The Manufacturer Top 100 2020 Exemplars: Martin Cross

The Manufacturer TOP100 is an annual celebration of one hundred people working in the UK manufacturing industry that are making a significant impact. As we ask you to nominate someone you think deserves to be recognised this year we take a look back at some of our winners from 2020.

The Manufacturer TOP100 celebrates people going that extra mile in the manufacturing industry. Registrations are now open to nominate someone you think deserves to be recognised in 2021. As we look forward to this year’s winners being announced during Digital Manufacturing Week 2021 in Liverpool in November, we take a look back at some of our 2020 Exemplar award winners. Each year, a select number of the TOP100 are chosen by our judging panel for special recognition, we call them ‘Exemplars’.

Martin Cross Engineering Infrastructure Manager, Niftylift Ltd

Martin works in product development at Niftylift – a privately owned UK business that designs and manufactures mobile elevated work platforms exported globally, helping the business to grow nearly tenfold and contributing towards their four Queen’s Awards for Enterprise. Martin’s supervisor at university made him aware of Niftylift and his association with the company began when he did a work placement and undergraduate final term project testing a machine at the business. After a short period of travel Martin returned to them and now, as a graduate, designed a novel lifting mechanism for a mobile elevating work platform, which is a key subsystem of a number of Nifty’s products today.

In their own words

What is your favourite engineered/manufactured product?

I am proud of all the Niftylifts I have been involved in developing. My favourite non-Nifty product is the Honda HRX 476 QY 19” Rear Roller Lawnmower.

Please give one interesting fact about yourself that not many people know.

I have an amazing pet runner duck called ‘Mr Quickie’ who follows me everywhere.

If you weren’t in manufacturing what would your dream job be?

Running my own business, Consultant, Groundsman, Rally Driver and Scuba Diving Instructor. 

Since then, Martin has been fortunate to design machines, manage projects, programmes, facilities, engineering human resources, process improvement, and standards compliance. He gained a first class engineering degree and achieved professional registration as a Chartered Engineer in 2005 and was
awarded a PhD in 2008, having studied part-time whilst working in industry.

Martin setup the IMechE accredited Niftylift Monitored Professional Development Scheme, in addition to mentoring developing engineers and helping them to achieve their professional registration. He also supported many more through work experience placements. In 2012 he was awarded Fellow of the IMechE and was invited onto the IMechE Manufacturing Industries Division board in 2015, taking over as Chair in early 2020. Martin says, “I enjoy the commercial and technical challenges that product development presents.”

“I always strive for excellence, and to find improved ways to work by embracing best practice and new technology.” Martin continues. “I am proactive and try to balance sound theory with a pragmatic approach. I am thankful for all the opportunities I have had, to my academic supervisor, and to my colleagues at Niftylift and for their continued support. Product development is definitely a team sport!”