BSSA and the SMEA Harry Brearley Stainless Steel Centenary Conference and Exhibition

British Stainless Steel Association and the SMEA Harry Brearley Stainless Steel Centenary Conference & Exhibition “The Development and Application of Stainless Steels” Sheffield, June 2013

June was a very significant month in the history of the UK stainless steel industry and the British Stainless Steel Association, with a range of highly successful events marking and celebrating the 100 year anniversary of Harry Brearley’s discovery in Sheffield. For those who were unable to attend, we thought it would be interesting to record the way in which the week unfolded. But first, many thanks to a number of people for their hard work and commitment in bringing such a range of significant events to Sheffield - our co-host, staff and volunteers, sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, chairmen and delegates.

Our various sponsors made it possible to create something of sufficient scale to attract influential speakers, media, Cabinet Ministers, an Ambassador and senior business leaders. In addition to being an appropriate celebration of the past, this has done much to bring key current and future issues to the fore and to solicit much needed support for the UK Stainless Steel industry and the multiple sectors it serves.


The Kelpies (pictured – are in position outside The Edge conference venue and look fabulous after their long journey. These initial sculptures are only small scale models of the real thing which, when finished, constructed from stainless steel, will be installed on the Forth and Clyde canal in Scotland.

The 28 exhibitor companies arrive to build their stands on the ground and first floors.

A delegation of over 20 representatives from a number of companies from the Chinese stainless steel industry arrives.


Rt Hon Michael Fallon

Day 1 of the Conference. 230 delegates assemble for an opening presentation by John Rowe, Secretary General of the ISSF and a speech from The Rt Hon Michael Fallon – Secretary of State for Business and Enterprise. Mr Fallon then went on to tour the exhibition, meet senior representatives of sponsor companies and to discuss current issues facing the UK stainless steel industry. Some excellent presentations from a number of senior individuals in their various fields of expertise.

Day 1 closes with a medal presentation by CBMM (Niobium producer) and a champagne reception in the ground floor exhibition area.

Mika Seitovirta

7pm – coaches arrive in time for the Celebrity Lecture delivered by Mika Seitovirta of Outokumpu Stainless to circa 350 people at the Firth Hall, University of Sheffield. After the lecture, a buffet supper and dramatic exhibition followed at the Octagon Centre.



Day 2 of the Conference. 11 more great presentations with the closing session coming from Doctor Peter Bonfield who recounted his Olympics 2012 role within the context of sustainable building.

6.30pm – 354 people (a full house) begin arriving for the Centenary Dinner in the magnificent main hall at the Cutlers Hall.




With speeches from:

- The Master Cutler – Neil MacDonald

- The Rt Hon Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister and MP for Sheffield Hallam

- Anne Brearley, the Grand-niece of Harry Brearley

- Principal Speaker - John Cridland, Director General of the Confederation of British Industry

- Graham Honeyman, CEO Sheffield Forgemasters International

A very memorable night for an extremely lively audience.


Works tours set off for Sheffield Forgemasters and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre followed by lunch at the Knowledge Transfer Centre (KTC) and the unveiling of a plaque by Warren Brearley (who had travelled with his wife from Australia). The plaque marked the official naming of the Brearley Suite at the KTC. In the afternoon, guests visited Outokumpu Stainless.

Overall a fitting celebration of Harrys pioneering work all those years ago – Thanks Harry!

Published 22/08/2013 14:12:44 Last Modified 22/08/2013 14:19:23

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