Leading industrialist, Jon Bolton has been appointed as Chairman of Middlesbrough-based research and innovation centre, the Materials Processing Institute.

He replaces retiring Chairman Bob Ruddlestone, who will continue his long association with the Institute by remaining as an Executive Consultant to advise on ongoing capital development and capability enhancement projects.

Scarborough-born Jon, who lived on Teesside for more than 20 years, is internationally recognised as an advocate for the steel and metals sector.

He has worked closely with government both as Chairman of trade association UK Steel and as the first Chairman of the UK Metals Council. He has also co-chaired the UK Steel Council with the Secretary of State, providing strategic leadership for the sector.

With more than 40 years’ experience in the sector, he has led steelmaking and downstream facilities in the UK, USA, and Europe, including as senior executive with British Steel, Corus, Tata Steel and Liberty Steel. Since 2020 Jon has been advising steel and metals sector companies globally as an industry consultant.

He has also partnered with many leading companies to undertake research projects and remains a champion for the mass adoption of low carbon green steel.

In 2019, Jon was presented with the Bessemer Gold Medal by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining for his outstanding services to the steel industry.

Chris McDonald, the Chief Executive of the Materials Processing Institute, said: “We are indeed fortunate to have attracted a globally recognised industrial leader as our Chairman.

“Jon has enjoyed a long and distinguished career and continues to be sought after internationally as an industry consultant, advocating the move towards zero carbon steelmaking.

“He has a reputation for strong and sound leadership and is perfectly aligned to the Institute’s aim of transforming the sector through research and innovation.

“I’d also like to thank outgoing Chairman Bob Ruddlestone for his valuable contributions and insight over the past six years, and I’m delighted that he is continuing his long association with the Institute.”

Jon Bolton said: “I’m honoured to be appointed Chairman of the Institute, which I have had a long association with, and which is recognised as a global centre for the innovation, development and commercialisation of technology. Steel underpins virtually every aspect of our lives and I hope to be part of the Institute’s mission to reshape the sector, making it relevant to a modern, low carbon economy.”

Bob Ruddlestone added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as Chairman, and I’m pleased to welcome such a distinguished figure as Jon to the role and look forward to continuing to support both him and the Institute.”