Staff in heat protective clothing in a metal forming lab

Metal forming technology: breaking the mould with superplastic forming

NMIS Insights is a series of online and face-to-face seminars from the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS)

Metal forming is one of the most widely used manufacturing processes in the world. This age old process has undergone numerous technological developments in recent years, yet still faces a number of key challenges, particularly when it comes to hot forming. 

What are the current industry challenges for hot forming, specifically in superplastic forming (SPF)?  What technology and expertise is available to help confront these challenges?  Why choose SPF over other metal forming processes?

Join us for part one of a series of webinars on metal forming that will get you thinking about the current superplastic forming challenges facing industry and gain valuable insights into the specialist metal forming technology and expertise available at the globally renowned Advanced Forming Research Centre, one of the specialist technology centres in the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) Group.

Hear from experts in the technology who are focused on addressing the typical challenges SPF brings, including long process cycle times, energy efficiency and process understanding. They will share unique vision and expertise on this rapidly evolving area of manufacturing.  You will have the opportunity to ask the experts how the AFRC addresses real industry challenges by using its unique set of skills to improve quality and overall efficiency of the SPF process with a focus on process optimisation to maximise cost saving and time.

This webinar will be of interest to anyone working in the metal forming industry, whether you are an expert or a novice.  It will appeal to a wide range of sectors, particularly aerospace, defence, nuclear and automotive.


Paul joined the University of Strathclyde in 2010 and is currently Director of Knowledge Exchange based in the Design, Manufacturing & Engineering Management department.  For three years, he held the position of engineering director of the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), one of the specialist centres within the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland where he played a major role in building and leading the then 80 strong research and engineering team. He is Chair of AFRC’s Technical Board that is responsible for the definition and governance of the £1.8m per annum core research programme. Paul is also Principal Investigator for a range of CR&D projects collectively worth about £3m. His background consists of a combination of industrial and commercial research with particular areas of expertise around metallurgy and manufacturing. 

Paul has worked in both industrial (Doncasters and Mettis Aerospace) and commercial (QinetiQ) research as well as previously spending time in academia at the Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IRC) in high performance materials at the University of Birmingham.

John graduated from the Department of Design, Manufacturing and Engineering Management at the University of Strathclyde with a Master’s degree in Product Design Engineering. He joined the Advanced Forming Research Centre in 2014, following previous internships at the centre throughout his time at University.

John is a Senior Manufacturing Engineer in the Forming Team and is responsible for the delivery of work programmes for superplastic forming (SPF).  John has considerable knowledge and practical experience in evaluating customer manufacturing processes and optimising SPF applications to improve process efficiency and production throughput for aerospace.  He is experienced in design for manufacture assessment and new product introduction for SPF applications, with knowledge of design and manufacture of bespoke SPF handling systems.