Mark Summers

Head of Technology (Manufacturing, Materials, & Structures)

Around one year on from when we first published a profile of Mark, we caught up with him to see what developments the last 12 months have brought.
1. What is your current job role and has this changed since your profile was last published? If so how?
I am responsible for the Institute’s manufacturing, materials and structures strategic research programme. My role is global, undertaking a strategic advisory role representing the ATI and UK aerospace sector internationally. The scope of work is becoming more integrated through product, factory, and through life engineering services considerations. This will ensure that the sector is in a position to maximise technology impact and Gross Value Added (GVA) opportunities, by understanding the end-to-end process which is absolutely critical.
2. Have there been any significant developments over the last 12 months in your area of work?
ATI business and UK initiatives have ‘collided’ and in many cases developed in parallel such as Additive Manufacturing, Future Factory, and Digital Economy. This has shown that many of the ATI technology challenges apply to multiple sectors. The ATI objective is to optimize the sector outcomes from national initiatives such as the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF). Manufacturing has dominated the government’s productivity agenda resulting in a number of specialist advisory groups being formed to formulate research requirements, translating in to a high number of proposals for the ATI Programme.
3. How do you see your role and work developing in the next 6 to 12 months?
Over the next 6 to 12 months my role will become more focused on supply chain capability, developing a number of key opportunities for legacy and future platform concepts. I will be developing business initiatives that focus on disruptive technology industrialization for bulk material, near net shape, and net shape products, providing key contribution to the efficiency improvements of the ATI end-to-end process transformation.
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As one of the ATI’s Heads of Technology, Mark Summers is responsible for the Institute’s manufacturing, materials and structures strategic research programme. Mark’s role is global: he undertakes a strategic advisory role representing the ATI and UK aerospace sector internationally.
Mark brings the benefits of his multi-sectoral and diverse career to this challenging role. A fourth generation engineer, Mark followed his apprenticeship in production engineering with roles in multiple industrial sectors in the UK and beyond, focusing on Factory of the Future technologies. While working Mark studied and gained a degree in Manufacturing Systems, leading to a move into a more research-focused role when he joined Airbus as a Senior Research Engineer in 2003 – later progressing to become Head of Manufacturing Research for Airbus in the UK. Mark joined the ATI in April 2015.
For Mark, the big achievements of his career so far have not just been contributing to manufacturing system innovation, but also forging life-long friendships along the way. He likes to bring his engineering skills to bear outside the workplace, most recently in the restoration of a vintage VW campervan he uses to explore the UK and Europe. Mark’s other big passion is the outdoors, whether hiking up the UK’s highest peaks or exploring the limits of his mountain biking skills.

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