Left: Nicola Davies, Master of The Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers, presents Conrad with his certificate; Right: Conrad with his manager Paul Cockram
24 Mar 2022

Scunthorpe employee wins prestigious award

A Scunthorpe employee is celebrating after receiving a prestigious award to help support his ongoing professional development. Conrad Dunn, Customer Support Technologist at our Scunthorpe Rod Mill (SRM), has just received £1,250 from the Joint Education Scheme of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire and The Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers that he will put towards a series of visits to deepen his knowledge of the wire drawing sector.

In February, Conrad submitted his application for an engineering and design award, an award that’s open to engineering apprentices and students at Sheffield Hallam University and local industry. His application considered wire drawing, wire processing and cold heading operations and how he could advance his knowledge in these areas. After impressing the expert panel at interview, Conrad was declared the winner of the Pontifex Travel Award.

Conrad started out as a 16-year-old apprentice on the steelworks in 2015. Since then, he’s completed a range of qualifications and is now working towards a BEng (Hons) in Materials Engineering, which he’s due to complete next year. He said: “Through my studies and work experience I’ve been developing my metallurgical skills, but now I’m working in a new customer support role, my technical knowledge is being further tested and I’ve realised the benefit of developing my knowledge and expertise in the wire drawing sector. I believe having first-hand experience of downstream activities will really help in my current role and in future roles in the business.”

Conrad received his award last Tuesday (15 March) at The Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield and can now put his training plan into action. The Joint Education Scheme, which was established in 1926, is designed to encourage young people to improve production methods in their own companies and, particularly though travel, broaden their experience by learning about methods used elsewhere.

He said: “To help expand both my wire drawing and cold heading knowledge, I’ll be visiting our sister company FN Steel in the Netherlands. This will give me a great understanding of wire rod processing, including pickling, annealing, rolling and drawing. I’ve also arranged to visit 2 customers – Nedschroef is one of FN Steel’s customers and manufactures a range of end products including fasteners that go on to be used in the automotive and aviation industries.

“Bekaert, a technology leader in steel wire transformation, places a great emphasis on R&D and innovation. During my visit, I’m aiming to study Bekaert’s world-leading capabilities in cold rolling, wire drawing, thermal treatment and more.

“I’m really looking forward to the visits, they promise to be extremely informative and will give me a valuable insight into downstream processing as well as the challenges that come with these activities.”

Paul Cockram, Technology Manager at SRM, said: “This is great news for Conrad, many congratulations to him on receiving this award, it’s certainly well-deserved.

“As a business, we place a big focus on continued learning and there is no doubt how valuable this experience will be for Conrad’s personal development. We take a collaborative working approach with our customers, so Conrad’s enhanced understanding of their processes will help with both product development and technical support.

“I wish him well on his travels and hope he enjoys every minute.”