At the end of 2016, Trend Industrial Ceramics, manufacturer of cordierite kiln furniture, bid farewell to its employee Brian Dodd, who has retired after 42 years in the ceramics industry.
Brian joined Norton Advanced Ceramics in Stoke-on-Trent back in 1974 as a project engineer. Brian’s brief was to rationalize labour-intensive production steps by introducing automation. In all, Brian spent 24 years at Norton’s facility in Fenton, becoming factory manager in 1985.
A tumultuous period in the late 1990s eventually saw all four Stoke-based kiln furniture companies – Norton, Diamond Refractories, Hewitt Refractories and Acme Marls – coming together as part of Sheffield-based Dyson Ceramic Systems by mid-2000. Brian spent a short time out of the industry but rejoined Dyson to help with the transition of the Acme business to the Diamond site in Hartshill.
After a period of unemployment, he took up Trend’s offer to assist with the promotion of its products on the worldwide market. Brian Dodd did this for several years through a company called Cornerstone Ceramics and then, when Dyson struck up its partnership with Trend, he was asked to move to China in the role of Production Director. Jumping at the opportunity, Brian moved to Beijing with his wife, Annette, and in time was appointed to a technical sales position – a role that he has undertaken for the past 10 years. Through his global travels, he built up an extensive network.
Steve Tingay, Trend’s International Sales Director, bid farewell to Brian Dodd with the words: “Across a long and varied career, Brian has made a major contribution in production, quality, management and sales roles throughout the industry. We wish him and his family all the very best for the future.”