IMechE appoints new head of NDT and corrosion inspection training


The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) has appointed experienced Chief Executive Officer and General Manager Chris Kirby as the new General Manager for its Sheffield-based non-destructive testing (NDT) and corrosion inspection training business, Engineering Training Solutions (ETS).

The Institution acquired Argyll-Ruane Ltd in 2012 and subsequently added the IMechE ETS corporate branding. The business has been enjoying a period of rejuvenation and resurgent growth in the last six months and is now showing 25% year-on-year growth in the UK. It has also opened a training centre in the Gulf region and invested in customer service, state-of-the-art NDT equipment and online learning.

Chris has a background in NDT. He founded his own business, NDT Solutions Ltd, and built it into a world leader in advanced ultrasonic testing equipment, with clients including Airbus, Boeing, Ford and Volvo, before selling it in 2005. He has subsequently been involved in spin-outs from the University of Sheffield, including Magnomatics Ltd, which he grew to 30 employees. He has a BSc (Hons) degree in electronics and computer science from Keele University and is a Chartered Electrical Engineer. He is also a guest lecturer in entrepreneurism at the University of Sheffield.

Chris Kirby said in response to his appointment: “I am looking forward to starting at IMechE ETS at such an exciting time for the business, with growth in both the UK and the Gulf region.”

Stephen Tetlow MBE, Chief Executive Officer of the Institution, said: “I am delighted with the appointment of Chris. His background in leading service and technology businesses in the NDT sector means he is perfectly placed to drive continued growth for IMechE’s ETS business.”

ETS is a leading NDT and corrosion inspection training organisation in the UK. The organisation has trained over 100,000 engineers in the UK and overseas who inspect oil and gas platforms, large civil structures, aeroplanes, nuclear power plants and chemical plants to ensure that they are structurally sound and safe to operate. ETS has seen significant growth, driven by investments in improving customer service, increasing the number of expert trainers, investments in new NDT equipment, enhancing the training facilities and developing online learning capabilities.