Positive Future for UK’s Technology Research & Development

01 Apr 2019

Published in: Miscellaneous

A Brierley Hill materials testing company is putting the Black Country on the technological map.

Phoenix Material Testing Ltd work with companies across the world, including Rolls Royce and, along with research work across universities, Swansea and Cranfield, oversee research and testing technologies in the aerospace and nuclear sectors.


Phoenix Material Testing Ltd work with companies across the world, including Rolls Royce and, along with research work across universities, Swansea and Cranfield, oversee research and testing technologies in the aerospace and nuclear sectors.


They offer a specialist in-house, sub-contract, UKAS accredited materials testing lab which allows full collaboration with customers, ongoing development of testing techniques and technologies to suit their requirements, as well as the added capacity for sub-contract overflow or bespoke work.


Vicki Wilkes, community director of Phoenix, said: “You can put a component out of a jet engine into our test chamber and we simulate the environments in service.


“Some of the conditions that we are able to simulate are representative of the very high pressures, temperatures and humidity’s; these conditions aren’t generally available anywhere else in the UK.”


The company is part of the Engineering Integrity Society which helps upcoming engineers to break into the industry by working with students from colleges and universities to develop their skills.


“Essentially, it’s make stuff to break stuff”, said Vicki. “We also refurbish, repair and upgrade test machines for materials to face high temperatures or other environmental challenges it can experience when it is used in the field.”


And despite fears over Brexit, the company is going from strength to strength. The government has invested money into the UK engineering sector with the aim of becoming the technological centre of excellence globally.


Vicki said: “For us, as a company, we are busier than we have been in the last three or four years, all of a sudden there’s a lot of money and research development in the UK which is a real positive.”


Meanwhile the business is currently designing and building test machines for industries including the aerospace, automotive and pharmaceutical sectors and is working with the nuclear industry for the new generation of power plants, developing new consistently tested items and capabilities to test the materials which have been subjected to radiation.


Vicki, and Phoenix, are also working hard to change the face of the industry.


In the UK manufacturing sector, just 25 percent of jobs are held by women according to the House of Commons Library, so Vicki regularly visits schools to encourage more girls to consider working in her industry, showing them that engineering can offer an exciting career.



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