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69th Hatfield Memorial Lecture

69th Hatfield Memorial Lecture

69th Hatfield Memorial Lecture

Hatfield Memorial Lecture

The Hatfield Memorial Lecture is an annual event hosted by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield. It features presentations from noted academics and industrialists.

69th Hatfield Memorial Lecture

This years lecture will be delivered by Chris McDonald, Chief Executive Officer, Materials Processing Institute


Build More Factories: The Case for a Manufacturing Led Industrial Strategy

Britain faces economic headwinds not seen in a generation. With our economy still recovering from COVID and the full impact of Brexit yet to be felt, we are buffeted by high energy prices, the war in Ukraine, increased global uncertainty and now steep rises in the cost of borrowing. It is true to say that many of these factors are affecting other countries too, but with economic growth for the UK forecast to be worse than every G7 nation other than Russia, we also need to reflect on what makes our economy so uniquely fragile.

The consequences of this economic underperformance are being felt across the nation, not only in boardrooms, but in living rooms too. In 2005 the average Britain was better off than those in France and Germany, but the last 10 years has seen the wealthiest get richer, whilst those on average wages are forecast to fall behind Poland by the end of the decade and Slovenia shortly after.

The UK has become one of the most unequal and poorest performing economies in the developed world. But this is not just an economic story, it is also a human tragedy - with half of the children aged under 5 in my home region of the North East now living in poverty.

In this lecture I will address the major economic and social challenges facing the UK in the coming period, what we neglected in the past and what we need to get right in the future. I will make the case for a manufacturing led industrial strategy, a long-neglected part of British political thinking, to ensure that we secure the resources we need for our future economy, create the capability we need for our national security and deliver on the promise to improve life chances and opportunities for people, wherever they live.

Event details

Tuesday 6 December 2022


The Octagon Centre, The University of Sheffield, Clarkson Street, Sheffield, S10 2TQ

Registration Form:

What is the Hatfield Memorial lecture?

On 22nd August 1944, the University of Sheffield agreed to be the Trustees of a fund to establish a lecture series "as a memorial to the late Dr William Herbert Hatfield FRS and as a mark of appreciation of his distinguished work in connection with research into the qualities and uses of metals and allied branches of science".

The lecturer is appointed by the University Council on the recommendation of a Lecture Committee consisting of representatives of the University, the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and of a number of other local and national organisations who sponsor the lecture.

The lectures are held annually at the University of Sheffield, usually in the first or second weeks of December.

William H Hatfield (1882-1943) studied metallurgy at University College, Sheffield, under Professor John Arnold, who held the Chair of Metallurgy from 1889 until 1919. In 1902 Hatfield won the Mappin Medal and in 1913 was awarded the degree of Doctor of Metallurgy.

Author of numerous technical papers on many branches of metallurgy, in particular rust, cast iron and acid and heat-resistant steels, Hatfield succeeded Harry Brearley Director of the Firth-Brown Research Laboratories in 1916, where he developed several stainless steel compositions, including 18/8 stainless steel, and later joined the Board of Messrs Thomas Firth and John Brown Limited, and was a member of many scientific societies, including being elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1935.

25 November 2022