John Dudding, longtime leader at Hirst Magnetic Instruments in the UK, died suddenly in May. Since 1981, Dudding devoted his career to building a thriving high-tech industry in his home of Cornwall. For much of that time his focus was on the development of pulsed-field magnetometry (PFM) technology for the measurement of hysteresis loops in rare-earth magnetic materials.
Dudding oversaw a number of changes in magnetizer and magnet measurement techniques including the development of the first microprocessor-controlled magnetizers in the 1980s. However, his life’s work was to introduce the pulsed-field magnetometer as an internationally accepted standard method for the measuring of magnetic materials. He became a globally respected authority in magnetometry and was a project leader at the British Standards Institute and the International Electrotechnical Commission. The legacy of his work lives on at Hirst, with scientific research and the development of international standards now overseen by Dr. Robin Cornelius and Dr. James Clewett.
Also, Hirst has recently been introducing a new generation of PFM instruments that it says constitute an important advance for high-yield volume manufacture of magnetic machines such as motors, generators and transformers. In contrast to previous generations of PFM, the new PFM08 magnet characterization system allows closed-circuit equivalent magnetic measurements to be made using an open-circuit system. This is an essential step in the accurate characterization of modern, high-coercivity magnetic materials prior to assembly and magnetization.
Hirst won the Institute of Physics Business Innovation 2020 Award for the development of the closed-circuit equivalent technology. Executives introduced the completed system in April at a virtual meeting of the UK Magnetics Society. The availability of an accurate open-to-closed mapping is expected to usher in a new era in the measurement of magnetic materials, the company says, enabling the characterization of previously inaccessible, extremely hard magnetic materials in any geometry sample.
In June, the company announced its new senior management team. John Camacho, a senior executive with the company for several years with extensive experience in finance and systems management, has been named as the new managing director. Other senior managers are Cornelius, technical director, Clewett, operations director, and Graham Snow, who recently joined Hirst as sales and marketing director. For more info, see www.hirst-magnetics.com.