Cranfield University is delighted to announce the winners of the Manufacturing and Materials Alumni Awards 2023!

The Cranfield Manufacturing and Materials Alumni Awards recognise the special achievements and contributions of alumni while providing Cranfield with an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate those in the manufacturing sector who exemplify the values of the University. The awards also allow us to showcase the impact of Cranfield globally and highlight the accomplishments of individuals who may serve as role models to other alumni, students, and potential students.

Discussing this year's winners Professor Mark Jolly, Director of Manufacturing and Materials, said: "I look forward to congratulating our 2023 winners who are leading the way with innovative thinking and decision-making. Their accomplishments show there is no limit to what our ambitious graduates can achieve. It fills me with great pride to be able acknowledge and celebrate their accomplishments."

Congratulations to our 2023 winners!

The winner of the 2023 Distinguished Manufacturing and Materials Alumni Award is Steve Phillips (Fellowship in Manufacturing Management 1992). 

In his 25-year career as an information technology leader, Steve has set and delivered digital transformation strategies that propel innovation and top and bottom-line growth, as well as offer competitive differentiation. His career also includes leading companies through complex mergers and acquisitions, a process that requires knowledge and expertise from a tech perspective.

Since 2012, Steve has also been a part-time Board member at Wick Communications and is a recipient of the HMG Strategy Transformational CIO Leadership Award. In 2015 he was inducted into the CIO Hall of Fame, a lifetime achievement that honours IT executives and visionaries whose leadership has significantly impacted the field of IT.

The 2023 Excellence in Achievement Award for Recent Manufacturing and Materials Graduates is awarded to Wayne Thornton (MSc Operations Excellence 2014).

Wayne is an operations, engineering and change leader with extensive hands-on senior experience in food and drink end-to-end supply chains. He is currently supporting whiskey producers Chivas Brothers Ltd through a period of major change and modernisation as the acting Transformation Director.

His interest in how positive human relationships influence success led him down a career path that spans shop floor and senior leadership roles, starting within engineering and progressing into operations, continuous improvement and then into transformation for manufacturers such as Colman's, Britvic, Weetabix and Hovis. His credibility to support senior teams on change journeys derives from extensive personal experience leading operational FMCG change programs and full P&L recoveries.

Your 2023 Manufacturing and Materials alumni reunion

Join us on Tuesday 28 November 2023 for this year's Manufacturing and Materials alumni reunion!

All manufacturing and materials alumni are invited to come back to campus, revisit your student days and get to know other members of your alumni community.

The event is also a chance to celebrate this year's winner of the Excellence Award for Recent Manufacturing and Materials Graduates, catch up with your classmates over lunch and tour the campus facilities to see how Cranfield has changed.

Book your alumni reunion ticket