SHEFFIELD, UK — The Institution of Mechanical Engineers appointed 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.

Kirby has a background in NDT. He founded his own business, NDT Solutions, 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, CEO 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.”

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