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Steel man brings gold medal back to Sheffield

03 May 2012

The chief executive of Sheffield Forgemasters International has been awarded a gold medal for his outstanding services to the steel industry.

Graham Honeyman has been named winner of the Bessemer Gold Medal by The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) after judges decided his work has promoted the manufacture of engineering components of national and international importance.

The award makes a welcome return to Sheffield as previous city-based winner Harry Brearley was given the award in 1920 following the discovery of stainless steel.

Graham said: “I am absolutely delighted with being honoured with such a prestigious award and I am so proud to be able to bring it back to the steel city.

"The award is not just about my work, but rewards the dedicated and skilled team at Forgemasters that has worked hard to turn the company around and become a world leader.

“This accolade adds to the company’s creditability and is recognition of innovation and success."

Graham, 60, studied Engineering Materials Technology at the University of Aston and complemented this degree with a PhD for his study of armour plate welding from Teesside University.

Previously, Graham has been presented with a silver medal from the Royal Academy of Engineering, a CBE for his services to the steel industry and was named Overall Director of the Year at the Institute of Directors in 2010.

According to the award citation - “Graham has promoted the development and application of metallurgical processes to enable the manufacture of engineering components of national and international importance.

“His understanding of metallurgical aspects of the business has led Sheffield Forgemasters International to profitability, with an export market of over 75%.”

The Bessemer Gold Medal was established by Sir Henry Bessemer in 1874 and is now included in the Institute’s annual award ceremony, which recognises members of the steel industry who have contributed significantly to innovation in the use of steel.

Bessemer was an English engineer and inventor who is renowned for inventing the Bessemer Process, which was the first method of manufacturing steel on a level of mass production. A statue of the Bessemer convertor can be found on Kelham Island.

The accolade will be presented to Graham in July and he will deliver the Sir Henry Bessemer lecture in October.