College welcomes latest recruit, a former steel specialist to its engineering department

In In the Press, News, on the 1st, December 2015

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Darlington College’s latest expert recruit Dr Alan Taylor, a former operations research specialist with steel company SSI

Students will be given an invaluable insight into the highs and lows of a global industry by a research specialist who proved his mettle in the world of steel.

Dr Alan Taylor has joined the engineering department at Darlington College fresh from Teesside steel manufacturer SSI.

For the Middlesbrough research and development expert the appointment marks a welcome return to teaching, for the second time at Darlington College.

Dr Taylor, who now lives in Yarm, was educated at Acklam High School before reading a BSc honours degree in applied physics and statistics and a PhD in thin film physics at De Montford University Leicester.

He worked for 18 years in R&D for British Steel in Middlesbrough before joining the Teesside Education Improvement Service, studying a PGCE and teaching computing at Darlington College.

At SSI he became senior operations research specialist until its closure this year. He was responsible for making the steel making process more efficient.

“We became the leaders in taking poor quality raw materials but producing high grade steel,” he said. “We were good at buying cheap and maintaining standards. But you can only do so much with high energy costs and CO2.”

SSI were making an EBITDA profit during the last half of 2014. Then in 2015 Chinese manufacturers swamped the market with cheap steel.

Dr Taylor will use his vast experience of the industry to lecture in materials, project management and engineering to L3 BTEC students and part-time students taking HNC and HND qualifications.

Curriculum manager for engineering, science and automotive technology Neil Bowen said: “Dr Taylor will be able to give his students incredible insight into the ups and downs of global industries like steel and engineering.

“The college is there to provide re-training opportunities for the many skilled people who once worked for SSI. We can help them regain their self-confidence and identify how their skills can be transferred to other jobs. Our students can’t fail to benefit from his knowledge and experience.”


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