New CEO appointed at Hirst Magnetic Instruments Ltd

Hirst Magnetic Instruments ltd, is pleased to announce the confirmation of Dr James Mckenzie as CEO. James will lead the team at Hirst as the company focuses on commercialising its newly developed 8th generation PFM magnetic measurement products and EV motor production line solutions.

Dr James Mckenzie, the new CEO commented “I am very proud to be part of the Hirst team, it is an exciting time to be in magnetics”

James has a strong sales, marketing and business growth background and has been involved in bringing new technology and products to market over the last 25 years. James has held senior management positions and leadership roles in deep tech organizations from start-ups to multinationals. Most recently James co-founded Crossfield Fusion ltd in 2019 and prior to that co-founded and ran Photonstar LED group plc an AIM listed business for 10 years.

James is a Member of the Institute of Directors, Society of Light and Lighting, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, a Chartered Engineer and Chartered Physicist. James was also Vice President of Business for the Institute of Physics and was a trustee of the IOP from 2016-2020.
James takes over from interim managing director John Camacho who is no longer with the company. Prior to this, John Dudding the ‘father’ of Hirst Magnetics was MD from 1986, sadly passing away in May 2021. Since 1981, John Dudding devoted his career to building a thriving high-tech industry in his home county of Cornwall. For much of that time his focus was on the development of proprietary pulsed-field magnetometry (PFM) technology for the measurement of hysteresis loops in rare-earth magnetic materials.

John Dudding oversaw a number of changes in magnetiser and magnet measurement techniques including the development of the first microprocessor-controlled magnetisers in the 1980s. However, his innovatory focus was to introduce the pulsed-field magnetometer (PFM) as an internationally accepted standard method for the measuring of magnetic materials. He became a globally respected authority in magnetometry and was a project leader at the British Standards Institute and the International Electrotechnical Commission. The legacy of his work lives on at Hirst, with scientific research and the development of international standards now overseen by Dr Robin Cornelius.

Dr Robin Cornelius, Chief Technology Officer commented “Although I am deeply saddened by the tragic loss of my colleague and friend John Dudding, I am proud that his legacy lives on and excited to be pushing forward the technological advances that we had worked on over the last 20 years. It’s an exciting time for Hirst with the world rapidly expanding in electric vehicles and green energy generation, magnets are the future.”

Recently, Hirst has been developing a new generation of PFM instruments for characterising magnetic materials for high-yield volume manufacture of magnetic machines such as motors, generators, and transformers. In contrast to previous generations of PFMs, the new PFM08 magnet characterisation system allows closed-circuit equivalent magnetic measurements to be made using an open-circuit system. This is an essential step in the accurate and rapid characterisation of modern, high-coercivity magnetic materials prior to assembly and magnetisation and enables quality assurance in magnetic systems manufacturing.

Hirst won the Institute of Physics Business Innovation 2020 Award for the development of this closed-circuit equivalent technology. The availability of an accurate open-to-closed mapping is expected to usher in a new era in the measurement of magnetic materials enabling the characterisation of previously inaccessible, extremely hard magnetic materials in any geometry sample.

Dr Mark Scibor-Rylski, Chairman of Hirst commented “Hirst Magnetics is an important product innovator in a rapidly expanding sector, its products already set standards in China, and now it is ready to expand into an international market under its new CEO, who brings the skills and energy needed to raise Hirst to its proper place in international magnetics “