On June 27th, 2018, Professor Chris Sutcliffe, Director of Research and Development (R&D) at Renishaw’s Additive Manufacturing Products Division (AMPD) was awarded a prestigious Silver Medal from the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE). The award recognises his role in driving the development of metal 3D printed implants for use in human and veterinary surgery.
The RAE Silver Medal is awarded to recognise an outstanding personal contribution to British engineering, which has resulted in successful market exploitation. A maximum of four are awarded each year. The Medal celebrates his successful commercialisation of additive manufacturing products as part of his work with Renishaw, the University of Liverpool, Stryker Orthopaedics and Fusion Implants Ltd.
Chris has worked in additive manufacturing for over 20 years starting at the University of Liverpool where he worked on the first direct metal 3D printing machine in the UK and on a variety of related research projects exploiting the technology in orthopaedics, structural light-weighting, heat exchangers/chemical reactors.
Chris’ desire to commercialise his research work led him to join Renishaw in 2011 to head up the additive manufacturing (AM) R&D activity. Renishaw remains the only UK manufacturer of metal laser powder bed fusion AM systems and has recently launched the multi-laser RenAM 500Q series. The Renishaw systems are now used across a variety of industries to produce complex metal parts.
As well as his work on AM products, a large part of his research has focussed on metal 3D printed implants for medical applications, particularly on developing a new class of porous bone-integrating implants. The implants were successfully commercialised with Stryker Orthopaedics, which now produces implants on a global scale. Sutcliffe is also the founder and Director of Fusion Implants Ltd, which produces veterinary implants using the porous bone-integrating technology.
“Throughout my career I’ve worked hard to commercialise additive manufacturing technology,” explained Sutcliffe. “As well as AM’s benefit to the aerospace and automotive sectors, commercialisation of AM and associated technologies has been lifechanging for those with musculoskeletal diseases. The award celebrates the successes of the engineers I have worked with to achieve this and I am grateful to receive the award to recognise our work.”
In his role at Renishaw, Sutcliffe runs AMPD’s work with funded projects and universities to extend R&D activities. He also runs a research group at the University of Liverpool, which is supported by Renishaw.