Dr Dan Kells CEng FIMMM

Dan Kells is an internationally acknowledged expert in materials and structures with a track record of exploitation throughout the defence and manufacturing industry. He is an experienced consultant and has carried out extensive work for UK and European Government agencies as well as private industry.

Following a first degree in physics at the University of Bristol, Dan undertook a PhD at the University of Birmingham studying stress fields in glassy polymers, followed by a postdoc position at Brunel University on the subject of short fibre carbon composites.

During his subsequent career he has worked for a number of major engineering companies, including Courtaulds, Westland Helicopters, Austin Rover Group and BAE Systems.

At Westlands he was involved in the development of PEEK based composites as part of the company's tailplane development project and the introduction of aluminium-lithium materials and metal matrix composites. This was followed by a period at Warwick University as a founder member of the Austin Rover Advanced Technology Centre which was developing plastic and composite components for the automotive industry.

As Head of Materials Sciences at BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre, he was responsible for the Company's materials research programme in areas such as infra-red display devices, corrosion, composites, high velocity impact and smart structures. Exploitation was a key activity and his department developed the world's first silicon gyro which is now widely used in automotive and other applications.

Dan joined the National Composites Centre formed as a result of the UK Government's composites strategy. The purpose-built centre is developing composite manufacturing technology for both large and small engineering companies. As part of the Executive Team, his role was to set up and lead the engineering function and to establish the NCC within the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. More recently, he initiated the HVM Catapult's first Large Scale Project looking at the development of preforming for the automotive industry.

Dan is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of IOM3 and Chair of the British Composites Society. He is also a member of the Institute of Physics and a Chartered Physicist. He is on the Technology Working Group of the Composites Leadership Forum and chairs the HVM Catapult's Composite Manufacturing Forum. He is a member of EPSRC's Peer Review College and has been appointed to the assessment phase of the REF2021 academic assessment exercise.