Founder and managing director of AESSEAL, Chris Rea has won the British Pump Manufacturers Association Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the pumps industry.
“Chris is not only a great figurehead for the business, but he is also a great accountant and a great engineer and has been responsible for making AESSEAL what it is today,” said the citation.
In a career spanning nearly 40 years, Rea has remained the driving force behind AESSEAL. Set up in 1979 with a staff of just five, the firm now designs and manufactures mechanical seals and support systems for a wide range of industries through 230 locations in more than 100 countries.
[It’s] the result of a team effort involving everyone from our top engineers to our newest apprentices
Chris Rea, founder and MD, AESSEAL
Responding to the award, Rea said: “To be given a Lifetime Achievement Award by my peers is a tremendous honour and one which came completely out of the blue.
“I’ve always considered the success of AESSEAL to be the result of a team effort involving everyone from our top engineers to our newest apprentices.
This month the company officially opens its new systems division HQ in Rotherham following a £460,000 upgrade, while its machining centre also starts operation at the AESSEAL Global Technology Centre and Special Product Division.
In the last year it has spent £5.5 million on new state-of-the-art machinery, and building refurbishments have totalled around £1 million.
Eight new machines have been installed at AESSEAL sites in Rotherham and Bradford in the past year, creating more than 20 jobs and increasing production by 17%.
During the BPMA gala awards dinner and presentation at the Crowne Plaza, in Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire, tribute was paid to Rea’s leadership and his efforts to further the engineering profession and especially the role of women within it.
The full list of winners is:
Technical Innovation of the Year –Product: Wilo UK Ceram-Teflon Coatings
Technical Innovation of the Year – Project: Xylem Water Solutions Foss Barrier Project
Environmental Contribution of the Year: Danfoss Drives for its contribution to the Aarhus Water Project
Distributor of the Year: Clyde Associated Engineers
Manufacturer of the Year: KSB
Supplier of the Year: ABB
Engineer of the Year: Luke Gardener, Grundfos Pumps
Judges’ Special Award: Danfoss Drives for Aarhus Water Project