The Manufacturing Alumni Awards recognise the exceptional achievements of our manufacturing alumni while showcasing the global impact of Cranfield University.

Meet the 2020 Distinguished Manufacturing Alumnus of the Year

Dr Ayotunde Coker, FIOD (MSc Engineering and Management of Manufacturing Systems 1989)

Managing Director and CEO, Rack Centre

Dr Ayotunde Coker has over 30 years’ international experience across Europe, the USA, Asia and Africa. Born in Nigeria, he attended school in Lagos before continuing his undergraduate and postgraduate education at universities in the UK.

He had a distinguished career spanning 28 years in the UK with roles including Senior Analyst at Ford of Europe, Senior Management Consultant at Cap Gemini UK, CEO at eMCSaatchi UK, Director at Egg Bank UK, Global Applications Director at BP, Chief Technology Officer at the UK Criminal Justice and Group IT Director at the UK Ministry of Justice. In 2007, he was appointed Chair of the UK Government Enterprise Architecture Board.

Dr Coker returned to Nigeria in 2009 as Group CIO of Access Bank before becoming MD and CEO of Emerging Markets Payments Group. He is now Managing Director and CEO at Rack Centre, which he has built to be a household name and a leading data centre brand in Africa – achieving global recognition and numerous international awards. He is also Secretary General of the Africa Data Association.

During his time at Cranfield, Ayotunde won the Institute of Production Engineers Award. He was also named IT Man of the Year in 2015 and IT Personality of the Year in Nigeria in 2019. He is a Fellow at the Institute of Directors (UK) and the British Computer Society, and an Honorary Senior Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria. He also holds a PhD (Honoris Causa) by ESCAE University, Republic of Benin. His hobbies include golf and playing the pipe organ.

Meet the 2020 Excellence in Achievement Award for Recent Manufacturing Graduates Winner

Abdullah Alhuthlul (MSc Knowledge Management for Innovation 2011)

General Manager Branches Affairs - Ministry of Commerce and Investment, Saudi Arabia

Since graduating from Cranfield, Abdullah Alhuthul has demonstrated remarkable career development – being appointed into prestigious positions within the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Commerce and Energy, and the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Material Resource.

Abdullah began his career as a trainee with Aramco – Saudi Arabia’s national oil company. After completing his MSc in Knowledge Management for Innovation, and carrying out group research projects working with Airbus and Visteon, Abdullah decided to return to his home country to build up his career using the skills he had developed during his time at Cranfield. After just four years of working as a Senior Industrial Information Analyst at Saudi Industrial Development Fund, he was appointed into the prestigious position of Director of Business Development at the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Following this, he moved to the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources as General Manager of the National Industrial Information Centre, before returning to the Ministry of Commerce and Investment in 2018. He is now the General Manager of Branches Affairs and is responsible for all regional investments of Saudi Arabia from the Federal Ministry.

Meet the 2019 Distinguished Manufacturing Alumnus of the Year

Philip Wingrove (MSc Logistics and Transportation 1996, Fellowship in Manufacturing 2003)

Site Director, 'South Yard' Princess Yachts

Philip is a highly-experienced global operations director with international expertise across supply chain, manufacturing and aftermarket support in a range of regulated industries.

Previously he was Vice President of Operations at Orolia and took voluntary redundancy after restructuring the UK Business. He has now nearly completed renovating a house and is starting to provide consulting and interim management services.

At Orolia, Philip was responsible for forming an integrated operations team across eight sites and five countries. This also included three M and A integrations.

At Boeing Defence UK, he was instrumental in reducing aircraft turnaround time by 81% and at the UK MoD Philip increased Chinook maintenance output by 45% in one year. He also worked for Smiths Medical and took the Tijuana Mexico plant from worst to best performer in the division in one year.

Philip is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Fellow of the Association of Manufacturing Managers, and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Logistics and Transport.

Meet the 2019 Excellence in Achievement Award for Recent Manufacturing Graduates Winner

Svyatoslav Prokhorov (MSc Knowledge Management for Innovation 2011)

Head of Ecosystem Russia & CIS, Bombardier Transportation GmbH

Svyatoslav is an experienced and highly qualified expert in the transport sector with a proven track-record in developing and setting up new businesses in close cooperation with local partners.

He is Head of Ecosystem of Bombardier Transportation in Russia and CIS, where he leads a local team and a company-owned engineering centre aimed at creating value for major domestic and international projects. Bombardier Transportation is the world’s only manufacturer of planes and trains - from business jets and commercial aircraft, to sleek high speed trains and ‘smart’ public transport.

He is particularly interested in digitalisation, people management, and cognitive flexibility where he is trying to find and implement best practices.

Previous recipients of the Distinguished Manufacturing Alumni Award

  • Mahendra Patel (MSc Industrial Engineering and Administration 1973)
  • Dr Gareth Williams (Fellowship in Manufacturing Management 1988)
  • Andy Palmer (PhD School of Applied Sciences 2003)

Previous recipients of the Distinguished Manufacturing Alumni Award

  • Alexandra Brintrup (MSc Computational and Software Techniques in Engineering 2003, PhD School of Applied Sciences 2006)
  • Carlotta Rigatti (MSc Global Product Development and Management 2012)