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2 minute read • published in partnership with KUKA

Mike Russell joins KUKA Systems UK

With an impressive background of business development in advanced welding and a passion for cultivating strategic partnerships, Mike brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our organisation, supplemented by formidable academic credentials that include a Master’s Degree in Materials Engineering and Ph.D. on the ‘Development and Modelling of Friction Stir Welding’.

Mike has a proven track record of driving growth and establishing successful collaborations in diverse markets that will elevate KUKA’s presence in the international advanced welding arena. With a deep understanding of market dynamics, coupled with his innovative approach, Mike will enable KUKA to identify and capitalise on new opportunities overseas.

Mike Russell has joined KUKA Systems UK with a focus on developing welding portfolios and overseas channels / Picture: KUKA UK

Jeff Nowill, KUKA Systems UK CEO, said: “We are thrilled to have Mike on board, and we are confident that his contributions will propel our company towards greater achievements in the advanced welding solutions marketplace. His keen eye for identifying emerging trends and consumer demands will guide our company’s portfolio development, ensuring that we remain at the forefront of the industry.

“Advanced welding is a rapidly growing market due to several factors that have contributed to its increased demand and adoption. One of the key drivers is the advancement in technology, which has led to the development of innovative welding techniques and equipment – Mike’s proven experience and deep understanding of these techniques, their features and benefits, will enable us to navigate new, international markets”.

With project delivery successes in collaboration with some of the world’s biggest brands, such as: Airbus, Apple, Boeing, Bombardier, Lockheed Martin, Sapa and Tesla, plus many others, Mike’s experience of strategic portfolio development is impressive.

Mike Russell, CSO and Head of R&D at KUKA Systems / Picture: KUKA UK

Mike said: “I would like to develop and deliver an R&D roadmap and research programme, to support the generation of new capabilities and new market opportunities for the business. My ambition is for KUKA’s solid-phase team to be unequivocally recognised as being the best in the world at what we do”.

Advanced welding finds application in a wide range of industries where the joining of high performance materials is crucial, and the demand for high-quality, energy efficient welding solutions is paramount. Rotary friction welding, linear friction welding, and friction stir welding are much sought after, with demand arising from the need for stronger, lighter, and more durable materials in sectors such as automotive, aerospace, energy, construction, and manufacturing. These industries also require welding solutions that can support the transition to Net Zero manufacturing, via the efficient fabrication of high-performance components, and the tailoring of products by incorporating dissimilar materials. Solid phase joining processes have unique capabilities in this field.

Mike concluded: “Having worked with KUKA in the past, I have always been impressed by the quality of the equipment produced and the business’s strong focus on customer service. This role is a great progression for me from the world of solid-phase research, and an opportunity to experience, first hand, the supply of specialist equipment and solutions”.