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Welding Institute Annual Awards Winner: John Whittaker

Tue, 04 June, 2019

Having led the way in research, innovation, and training for welding and joining technologies since 1923, The Welding Institute grants annual awards highlighting outstanding contributions to materials joining and welding technology, as well as celebrating enterprise and acknowledge endeavour.

The 2019 awards are to take place on 2 July at The Wellcome Sanger Institute in Hinxton near Cambridge and will include the Continuous Learning and Development Award, which will be given to John Whittaker.

This award is sponsored by Professor Steven Jones, Chief Technical Operating Officer at the Nuclear AMRC Sheffield, and Chairman of the Welding Institute’s Professional Board. Focusing on individuals who have successfully combined practical skills in the workplace with traditional learning and educational achievement, this award recognises the wide range of routes that can be taken to achieve success.  The award reflects the efforts and personal sacrifices made by an individual in acquiring and applying the knowledge gained, and benefits realised to both the individual and company.

From 1984-88 John Whittaker began his career as an Apprentice Welder/Plater at Standard Railway Wagon Ltd, completing a 4 year apprenticeship and City and Guilds parts 1-3

He then went on to work as a welder in various industries, including aerospace, nuclear, oil and gas, military, construction and chemical. Whilst working overseas on many projects, John began studying for an Open University degree.  John completed his degree in 2001 after 6 years of study via distance learning. John went on to self-fund and complete CSWIP 3.1 visual weld inspection and PCN Level 2 radiographic interpretation, becoming a Welding Inspector, Quality Engineer and RWC at various companies in the aerospace and oil and gas industries.

John started at Lundy projects in 2014 as RWC and Quality Manager to help integrate the Factory Production Control System and ensure compliance with BS EN 1090.  He was instrumental in the planning, installation and commissioning of the robotic welding and cutting cell, developing new weld procedures and providing advice on quality and welding issues and procedures.

John then studied at Cranfield University to complete his MSc and was awarded Chartered Engineer status in March 2018 via the TWI portfolio route.  He has done research into laser hybrid welding at Fronius in Austria and given technical lectures on laser hybrid welding, robotic welding cells and liquid metal assisted cracking at the Manchester branch of The Welding Institute. John is Chairman of the Manchester Branch of The Welding Institute. 

John has advised Network Rail on various welding issues and is currently part of a think tank for Network Rail on reducing costs through design on overhead line electrification structures. John has now moved to EDF as a welding engineer working on the Hinckley Point Project.

John Whittaker
John Whittaker

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