Performance Engineered Solutions Ltd [PES], an engineering design solutions business, has been based at the AMP Technology Centre since 2008 and is the brainchild of Mike Maddock, a former Operations Director, bomb disposal expert in Royal Navy diver and member of the GB Skeleton Bobsleigh team and Dan Fleetcroft, who learnt his craft as an engineer under John Barnard with Ferrari’s Formula One racing team.
Working with an incredible pedigree of clients, the team at PES use their varied skills and practical knowledge to turn a new concept into a reality or improve the performance of an existing product. PES combines the team’s unique skillset which encompasses composite and aerodynamic designs, testing and simulation, reverse engineering and manufacturing which can beapplied to anything from a single component or tooling for mass designed products or aerospace part, to the full optimisation of a MotoGP bike or Formula One car.
Comments Mike Maddock, Managing Director at PES: “Dan and I first met when we were working together as directors for a sports product business which fused what we’d learned in Olympic winter sport and Formula One World Championships, but as time went on, we were receiving more inquiries for engineering solutions across a variety of sectors. We decided to segment the business, leaving the winter sports element behind in the capable hand of our ex-partners and re-locating PES at the AMP Technology Centre as we knew of its reputation as a hub for engineering start-ups: it’s like a Kensington address for advanced engineering. Dan and I now deliver engineering solutions for a range of local, national & international clients and there is no job too big, too small, or problem too great, that cannot be solved given the right amount of time and investment.”
The current team work across a multi-disciplinary platform of design and performance engineering, covering a range of sectors including motorsport, automotive, elite Olympic sport, Americas Cup yacht racing, marine, medical & Manufacturing technology and the company regularly works with other businesses at the AMP Technology Centre.
Current projects include the development of the world’s most technically advanced golf driver as part of the ‘Zen Work’ team on ‘The Bloodhound Driver’; helping Karl Woodward, the current Guinness World Records holder for the longest distance drive, to break the record that he has held for the last 10 years. The new record attempt is planned to take place in South Africa within the next two years.
The PES team is also developing rapid prototyping to help bring to life the monumental Man of Steel, a 38 metre landmark sculpture set to become an icon for Yorkshire, and the vision of local sculptor Steve Mehdi. As part of the project, Mike and Dan are working with Steve and other partners, including Sheffield University & UTC, to create a legacy for the area to set up an apprenticeship scheme that will involve young people in the project. The duo believe that changes in education and the way engineering is taught in schools will be vital in attracting the next generation of engineers.
Dan comments: “Advanced engineering is a growth sector in this country but young people just don’t realise the opportunities there are – we need to change their perceptions of what engineering and manufacturing are about. Engineering is the foundation of any economy and the sooner we can engage the next generation, the better. There’s also a problem with a lack of high-quality graduates coming into the workplace without practical experience – it’s not just about sitting at a computer and looking at the stats and theory – you need to have a level of practical input and knowledge to design anything for manufacture and we believe some of the basic engineering principles are being missed. Sheffield has recently become home to one of the first University Technical Colleges [UTC] in the country, offering specialist courses designed in partnership with employers like us, where students will learn both the skills and how to apply them in the real world.
“South Yorkshire will continue to play a vital role in the future of advanced engineering and manufacturing, and we hope to become a magnet for talent in the region.”
The company has future plans to create a number of employment opportunities for students coming through educational institutions like the UTC, as well as graduate engineers from universities, over the next five years. The business also has ambitions to develop and launch its own dynamic range of products and technologies to market, to drive revenue streams back into the company.