Dr Gerard Stephens, director of operations at the Materials Processing Institute, has been appointed a Fellow of the Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE).

The highest level of membership open to Chartered Chemical Engineers, a Fellowship is granted to those who have made a significant contribution to the chemical, biochemical and process engineering industries.

Dr Stephens has extensive experience in the steel industry, a sector in which he has worked for 23 years, and was instrumental in establishing the Institute’s SME Technology Centre, supporting SMEs mainly operating in the local process and manufacturing supply chains.

The Institute supports organisations working in advanced materials, low carbon energy and the circular economy and is recognised as a leading research and innovation centre for the global steel industry, with expertise in the development and upscaling of materials and industrial processes.

Dr Stephens is accountable for the resourcing, delivery, quality and environmental impact of research activity, as well as health and safety. He leads five research group managers together with a further 35 graduate or postgraduate engineers and scientists.

He previously led two regional development projects to promote innovation and entrepreneurship within the Tees Valley and is closely involved in the Institute’s recently launched Digital Technologies Group, which helps organisations meet the challenges of the digital revolution.

He sits on the Institute’s Management Board and shares collective responsibility for the development and implementation of strategy.

“It is an honour to be accepted as a Fellow of IChemE and to follow in the footsteps of so many talented chemical engineers associated with this prestigious global organisation, Dr. Stephens said.

Chris McDonald, CEO of the Materials Processing Institute, commented: “I’d like to congratulate Gerard on achieving this esteemed position. It is not only testament to his leadership, talent and expertise, but is recognition of his outstanding contribution to his profession.