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WGU ten years

Engineering group aims for even greater heights in 2015


March 17 2015


One of a university’s “best-kept secrets” is aiming to reach even greater heights in 2015.

As the OpTIC centre in St Asaph celebrates its 10th year, the award-winning team at Glyndŵr Innovations is preparing for further growth.

Named among the fastest-growing companies in Wales for two years in a row, the business has gone from strength to strength but is looking to expand its operations to incorporate more design, engineering and research in the future.

Led by principal engineer Ian Baker and new technical sales manager Richard Hazelwood, from Formby on Merseyside, the Engineering and Design arm of the operation is renowned for its R&D work, notably in constructing the only optical test tower in the world that is compliant with ESO (European Southern Observatory) specifications, supporting the work of the National Facility for Ultra Precision Services in polishing mirror segments for the £900million European-Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) project.

One of the driving forces behind the OpTIC facility - Glyndŵr’s revolutionary high technology, design and research complex – the engineering and design group are planning to widen their scope to offer their services to the manufacturing sector.

 “Glyndŵr Innovations’ Engineering and Design team has produced incredible work in engineering over the years, but many people still don’t know exactly what we do or that the business has transformed into a viable consultancy serving a wide range of industries, perhaps because so much of the R&D work we do remains confidential,” said Richard.

“We can be an extra engineering resource for companies of all sizes - locally, nationally and internationally - researching, testing, measuring and taking ideas from concept to prototype.

“We have a strong name to build on given the many achievements of Ian and the team over the years, particularly their work in engineering and design as part of the E-ELT project.”

He added: “Although originally specialising in the field of opto-mechanics the team has a broad skill set and successfully completed projects for many external companies.

“As everyone at Glyndŵr University celebrates OpTIC’s 10th anniversary the engineering and design team is planning to reach even greater heights this year and build new partnerships for the future.”

In past weeks, scientists at the Optic Centre produced the third mirror segment for E-ELT programme, just a few months after completing the second prototype.

Speaking about this latest success, Project manager Caroline Gray said: “This is another major success for the ESO project team and for the University, further securing our reputation as a world class optical manufacturing group.”

Phil Storrow, Head of Engineering, Computing and Applied Science at Glyndŵr University, praised the teams and other research projects at the Denbighshire site, such as CSER (Centre for Solar Energy Research) and the UPS2 Diamond Drum Turning Facility.

“There is some incredible and pioneering work taking place at the OpTIC Centre, particularly that of Ian Baker and his team. They are very well-known in engineering circles, nationally and internationally, and I’m looking forward to seeing them grow further in other sectors.

“They are certainly one of the University’s best kept-secrets and it’s time we started to shout about them more.”

For more information on Glyndŵr Innovations, visit

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