Being part of the IRE is significant for me both personally and professionally. To become president is a whole new honour altogether.
“Having grown up with a father who believed in the IRE, and who was an early member of the institute, it has been part of my journey into the refractory world to get involved. My aim is to try to make sure that the skills learned by generations present get passed down to the next.
In 2011, I took over the family business in difficult circumstances following the death of my father Robert Crossland. My previous career was in a financial and business background, so learning about such a specialist field has been, and continues to be, a steep learning curve.
I recognise that the refractory market has changed significantly since the IRE began. It is a global marketplace now and the scale of the market in the UK has declined massively with the loss of many steelworks and foundries around the country and in our local area. The way people work and interact has also altered – smart phones, the internet, cheap travel. We work harder and have less free time, communicating mostly through electronics.
It has also come to my attention that this year is 30 years since my late father was Vice-President of the IRE. In fact, it was a welcome surprise and quite poignant when I found an old journal in the filing cabinets testifying to that fact.
My aim as president is to make the IRE sustainable, engaging and relevant to its members and supporters. Modernising how we interact and bring on new talent is imperative to growth and being able to offer more to our members. With the help of the committee I am determined to ensure this happens, and hope to bring many changes over the next year.
What will I be remembered for in my presidency?
- Sustainability: Long may the IRE continue, I will do my best to understand it and make it sustainable.
- Engagement: We want to interact with our members and continually improve to benefit them and our growing membership as we evolve.
- Relevance: We want to give our members and supporters what they want, staying relevant and keeping them up to date with market developments. Remember this is your IRE.
Katy Moss, President