Honorary Doctorate for Manufacturing Technologies Association president Mark Ridgway

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Manufacturing Technologies Association president Mark Ridgway OBE is to receive an Honorary Doctorate of Technology from Leeds Metropolitan University.

The award will be made at 5 pm on Wednesday 23 July at the university's Headingley Campus, and recognises his contribution to industry and commerce, as well as to public life and the voluntary service. Ridgway is managing director of Wakefield-based Group Rhodes, which has seven engineering companies serving the aerospace, metalforming, precision engineering, advanced automation, environmental, heavy ceramics and oil and gas markets. Group Rhodes is one of Europe's largest original equipment manufacturers in its field. The main divisions of the Group consist of Joseph Rhodes, Beauford Engineers, Slater and Crabtree, Rhodes Interform, Rhodes Environmental, Rhodes Technical Services and Craven Fawcett. Apart from his MTA position, Group Rhodes' managing director also sits on the UKTI's Aerospace Growth Partnership and the department of Business Innovation and Skill's Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative. In 2010 and 2011, he led a UKTI trade missions to India and China focused on developing sector trading links, and in 2013 was invited to join a further trade mission to India, headed up by Prime Minister David Cameron. At a regional level, Ridgway represents private sector business on the Board of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and served as a director of Wakefield First, the Development Agency for the District from 2004-2011. He subsequently chaired the Wakefield Enterprise Partnership and has previously completed a two-year term in the Chair of the West Yorkshire branch of the Institute of Clay Technology. In yet another role, he was appointed the UK's Advanced Engineering Sector Champion for the London 2012 Olympics, his role being to encourage business engagement within this sector and to develop a business legacy. Ridgway himself ran internationally as a student and held several Yorkshire distance titles. Leeds Metropolitan University Vice Chancellor, Professor Susan Price, said: "A respected international businessman, Mark's inspiring career and success are underpinned by his long-standing commitment to manufacturing and engineering. We are delighted to recognise his contribution to industry and commerce as well as to public life with this Honorary Doctorate and are very much looking forward to welcoming him to our Headingley Campus to celebrate with us as we honour the achievements of our graduating students." The Manufacturing Technologies Association represents manufacturers and importers of manufacturing technology, taking in machine tools, tooling, workholding and CADCAM, plus it also has a subcontract machinist contingent.