Advanced Forming Research CentreLeadership team

Professor Keith Ridgway CBE

Keith is Executive Chairman at the AFRC. 

Keith worked in industry before moving to academia in 1980 at the University of Sheffield. He launched the AMRC with Boeing in 2001 and in 2009 helped launch the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

In 2005 he was awarded an OBE, followed by a CBE in 2011. He became a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2006.

Helen Lightbody

Helen Lightbody is the Chief Operating Officer at the AFRC.

Boasting a successful engineering career that spans almost three decades, Helen Lightbody graduated from the University of Strathclyde’s Department of Design, Manufacturing & Engineering Management (DMEM) in the early ‘90s.

After heading up various operational teams across Scottish industry leaders Babcock International, the Weir Group and Glenfield Group, Helen came full circle, recently joining the AFRC, which grew out of DMEM ten years ago, remaining part of it today.

In her role as Chief Operating Officer, Helen is helping lead the AFRC as it supports businesses large and small to embrace advanced manufacturing technologies, de-risk innovation and improve products and processes so that they can better compete.

John Reid

John Reid is the Chief Executive Officer at the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland.

John took up position in 2020 after successfully leading the Michelin-Scotland Innovation Parc (MSIP) in Dundee. Prior to leading MSIP John held the position of General Manager at the Michelin tyre plant on the same site.

He first started at Michelin’s UK headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent before spending time at Michelin in France. John moved to Dundee in 1992 as a Production Manager and went on to hold numerous roles including personnel manager and operations manager before leading the plant.

Dr Lynne O'Hare

Dr Lynne O'Hare is Chief Commercial Officer at the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland.

Lynne joined the AFRC as part of its launch team in 2009, delivering research in superplastic forming to some of the world’s leading aerospace companies. As a Senior Manufacturing Engineer at the AFRC, she went on to deliver full-scale production capabilities within the £60m centre that bring academic-level research to an industrial client base.

In 2014, Lynne moved from the AFRC’s engineering team to a new role focused on business development.  In 2016, Lynne took on full responsibility for the commercial business and continues to engage with the world’s leading manufacturing companies, across all sectors, helping to identify engineering solutions for the AFRC team to deliver cutting-edge R&D with real industrial impact.

Sarah Jardine

Sarah Jardine is the Chief Operating Officer at the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland.

Having gained a BSc (Hons) in Laser Physics and Optoelectronics and an MSc in Laser Engineering from the University of Strathclyde and Heriot Watt University respectively, Sarah’s career began as a laser engineer with Thales Optronics.  After seven successful years, she moved to optical device manufacturer, Optos, as a senior optical engineer.  Sarah held various roles within the company, including senior director of manufacturing from 2017 until her move to the National Manufacturing Institute (NMIS) in early 2020.

For the last seven years, Sarah has also been a member of the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Board (SMAB) and has been Chair of SMAB since 2015.  She was awarded Strathclyde Alumna of the Year in 2018, received a Top 100 award from The Manufacturer magazine in 2016 and was invited to join the Industrial Advisory Panel for Heriot Watt University School of Social Sciences in 2017.


Professor Chris Dungey

Chris is Research Director for the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland.