Growth in composite technology drives change at CMT

Composite Metal Technologies Plc (CMT), the UK’s number one knowledge centre for Aluminium Matrix Composites (AMCs), announced today a change in primary focus away from R&D to consultancy and manufacturing. The move was prompted by the changing global landscape of metal matrix composite (MMC) technology. MMCs are set to make a significant contribution to environmental sustainability and advanced manufacturing. In order to deliver on the promise of metal composites, CMT has made a number of changes to its business and to the Board of Directors.

Gwen Ventris, appointed non-executive chairman in 2017, now becomes executive chairman, while John Bonas is promoted to managing director and Richard Thompson to commercial director. At the same time, Neil Collins is stepping down as CEO of CMT at the end of February. Neil will serve as executive director and special advisor. Gemma Christian will remain technical director.

Gwen Ventris, executive chairman, says: “CMT is entering an exciting stage, having recently received an order under stage 1 of the ‘Breakthrough Aerospace Materials’ project with Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems, in addition to the work CMT is doing in the automotive sector with Ford. All industrialised nations are working hard to reduce their environmental impact and metal matrix composites will be at the centre of most improvements in the built environment by providing lighter, stronger and more efficient parts across many industries. Some good examples include high-stress parts in cars, aircraft and machinery, to name but a few.”

She continues: “The brave new world promised by MMCs is at last here and CMT is now delivering the value of composites across a range of sectors. I am struck by the conversations I have with clients and potential clients: composites have clearly come of age and we are at a tipping-point where composites will change our future.”

CMT specialises in the design, development and production of advanced aluminium-based MMC components for high-performance engineering applications. AMCs are an advanced class of composite materials, offering significant weight and performance benefits over unreinforced metals. As conventional materials approach their performance limits, AMCs are attracting attention from a wide variety of different industries, including automotive, aerospace, defence, industrial and high-end consumer products.

Neil Collins, co-founder and outgoing CEO of CMT, commented: “This is an important time for CMT as the company transitions from a research-orientated organisation to a consultancy and manufacturing business. We have a burgeoning pipeline of sales opportunities with a number of major blue-chip companies across a broad range of verticals. Our management team have the expertise to deliver on the opportunities presented by our ground-breaking AMC technology and I very much look forward to supporting Gwen, John and the team as they lead the company through the next stage of growth.”

Management bios:

Gwen Ventris has many years of executive and non-executive management experience in small, start-up and large company environments. She is the former COO and Plc Board Executive of the AEA Group and was a founding director of BT’s Systems and Consulting business, Syntegra, which she helped grow into a £1 billion business. She has an impressive track record of managing companies in a diverse range of industries, as well as commercialising disruptive technologies.

John Bonas joined CMT in 2014 and has over 25 years of product design and manufacturing experience and has held senior positions in a number of cutting-edge manufacturing businesses, including Xtrac. He joined the Board as operations director in April 2017.

Richard Thompson is a strategic market development and engineering professional specialising in strategic marketing, technology commercialisation and innovation. He has worked for a range of companies from niche high-performance automotive and motorsport to new-venture companies. Richard joined CMT in October 2017 from Williams Advanced Engineering, where he held the position of senior market development manager.