Meet The Team: Don Robinson

Over the coming weeks here on the blog, we will be meeting with and profiling some of the key members of the Advanced Composites team and sharing some of their vast experience.  This week, in the latest in this series, we chat with our Sales and Business Development Director – Don Robinson…

Hey Don how are you doing?

Delighted to starting this brand new venture and very pleased and proud to have been able to keep the whole team following the closure of our former employer.

Why was it so important to keep that whole team together for the new venture? 

I think it was just crucial for us to make sure we didn’t lose the collective experience we’ve built up as a team over the years. Collectively we bring over 200 years of Composites experience from our days including working with people like Dyson and Subaru – maintaining that experience in house has been crucial in enabling us to hit the ground running and still be able to offer our new clients an unparalleled resume.

What have been some of the key projects that you’ve personally been involved with over the years? 

There are two projects that particularly stick in the mind for me – the first was working with Prodrive 555 Subaru – being a bit of a motorsports fan then having the chance to develop a component for Colin Mcraes car is obviously a pretty memorable moment, but the other one that was really exciting was the chance to work with the team behind the international Space station via Space Cryomagnetics.

Can you tell us about that project a little? 

Well that particular project saw us using a special composite known as S glass. S-Glass is a stiffer/stronger version of E-glass which is also used in polymer matrix composites. S Glass has the highest strength, stiffness, and softening point of any of the commercially available reinforcement glass fibers. As a result – the material is able to cope with extreme pressures and environments – as a result the material is often used in very demanding products such as FRP lightweight armour.

In the case of the International Space Station, we were tasked as a team to to manufacture a sun screen move that utilised thermal expansion to power the shield itself. It was one that really pushed as a team to think outside the box as we are literally dealing with out of this world demands!

And what can you can tell us about the future for Advanced Composites – what will be your main role within the business? 

Well as my job title suggests, my main responsibility will be identifying and new opportunities to being our composites experience to new customers. Due to the specialised nature of composites – quite often a large part of that process of developing relationships with customers and potential customers is almost educational; where we can really draw on our collective experience to highlight issues and offer people solutions that they never have dreamt of otherwise. At the same time composites by their nature are of use across a wide range of different sectors, so we always feel like we are undergoing something of an education process as well as the manufacturer – as we learn more about how materials react in different situations.

And presumably that can also then feed into other projects that you are working on?

Oh absolutely – working inin the kind of extreme conditions that we have as a team over the years, you learn more and more about the limits of materials and how these boundaries can be pushed. It’s almost just as satisfying again, to then be able to take that learning and apply it to other businesses and applications afterwards.

And what are your priorities right now? 

Right now personally I am working on a number of very exciting new opportunities – including some exciting opportunities in the sustainable transport space which could be a very interesting application moving forward as I believe these kind of projects will be more and more important in the coming years.

Wider than that – as a business we are currently working hard to achieve ISO9001:2015 and are generally very busy settling into our brand new state of the art manufacturing facility. It’s a really exciting time here at Advanced Composites and we really look forward to showcasing more of our work and fantastic experience over the coming months and years.


Click here to find and connect with other members of the Advanced Composites team.