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Forgemasters' director appointed as Special Metals Forum chair

29 October 2010

Sheffield Forgemasters' Peter Birtles has been appointed chairman of the Special Metals Forum - a national organisation which improves the global competitive advantage of special metals manufacturers.

Peter, 63, is non executive Group Board Director at Sheffield Forgemasters International Limited and has more than 40 years experience in steel and engineering sectors.

He joined the Special Metals Forum in May this year and was elected by council members this month as chairman.

He takes over from fellow Forgemasters colleague and chairman Tony Pedder who stepped down from the position after serving a three year term.

Peter said: "The forum brings together the strengths, unique resources and capabilities of the special metals supply chain. Producers, fabricators, component manufacturers and original equipment manufacturers are all represented as well as research organisations and the wider academic community.

"The special metals sector has never been more important to the UK's increasingly knowledge-based economy. The aerospace, energy and bio-medical sectors are all critically dependent on special metals for their success.

"I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to chair this forum and be able to contribute my ideas and help develop market strategy at this critical time for British manufacturing."

The SMF is the membership arm of South Yorkshire-based NAMTEC (the National Metals Technology Centre), which has more than 100 regional, national and international metals and manufacturing companies as members.

Its aim is to improve the competitive advantage of special metals manufacturers, processors and users, opening up new global business opportunities for its members through delivery of market access, technical support and skills enhancement.

Chief Executive of NAMTEC, Alan Partridge said: "We are delighted to welcome Peter to the role of Chair for the Special Metals Forum. He is a high profile figure within the steel and engineering sector and has a wealth of experience in the special metals industry. We look forward to the positive impact that his chairmanship will bring to the Forum.

"Tony Pedder has done a fantastic job in leading the Special Metals Forum since its inception in 2007 and we wish him well as he steps down from the position as Chair."

Peter, who won the Institute of Directors' Yorkshire Non Executive Director of the Year 2010, also runs his own management consultancy firm working closely with major players in the steel and heavy engineering industry. He held previous positions as Managing Director of Sheffield Forgemasters and Production Director. Previous to this, Peter was Production Director at Firth Rixson Group after 15 years at Osborn Steels in Sheffield.

The SMF next event ‘Discover the Future of Offshore Oil and Gas' takes place on November 18 at the Bretby Hotel & Conference Centre in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

For further details on the Special Metals Forum contact Alastair Lang on 01709 724990, email or visit