Written by

The Institute of Spring Technology
Why Train with IST?

Published: 15 Feb, 2022

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With an outstanding reputation for metallurgy and steel-making expertise, it’s no surprise that over our 80-year history we’ve trained thousands of delegates worldwide. However, what makes us the spring experts, and why should you choose to train with the Institute of Spring Technology?

1. Taught by the Spring Experts

Our esteemed teachers, Dr Richard Dignall and Dr Conor McCaughey together have decades of industry expertise backed by academic prowess.

Dr Richard Dignall

Richard joined IST in 2005 after completing a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Sports Engineering. He initially joined as a software engineer and finite element analyst, but development of IST’s spring design software soon became the main focus. After taking over the running of all design consultancies, Richard was offered the role of Technical Director in 2016 and now is responsible for the strategic direction of all technical and research work, as well as continued involvement in the software development and support.

Dr Conor McCaughey

After graduating with a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, swiftly followed by a Ph.D in Advanced Metallic Systems from The University of Sheffield, Conor has gone onto complete a fellowship at the European Space Agency. In 2017, Conor joined IST and has never looked back. Utilising his academic background, Conor now pursues consultancy work, completes failure analyses and answers technical questions from members across the globe.

2. Enriched in Extensive History

Established in 1942, the CSF (Coil Spring Federation) was created to meet demand for various spring types driven by the war effort. Only three years later, in 1945, the CSF was determined to be advantageous to the entire industry, and so the Coil Spring Federation Research Organisation (CSFRO) was founded.

The years passed and in 1961 the CSFRO was renamed once more to reflect its recognition as a Research Association, the Spring Manufacturers’ Research Association (SMRA) was born. Developing once again, five years later the SMRA transitioned into the SRA, becoming inclusive of the services to the entire spring industry. Alongside the SRA, the SMA then became responsible for commercial interests of the industry.

In 1974 the interdependent SRA and SMA unified, becoming the SRAMA. Two decades passed and following funding cuts from the Government, the technical division was relaunched as the Institute of Spring Technology. And so began the IST we know today.

A quotation that reads, "Our esteemed teachers, Dr Richard Dignall and Dr Conor McCaughey together have decades of industry expertise backed by academic prowess."

3. Backed by Real-World Data

Our unique repertoire comprising of software, training and testing is underpinned by state-of-the-art services. Located in the UK’s steel city, our headquarters and laboratory are situated in the heart of Sheffield. Equipped with machines to perform nineteen different testing methods, from common fatigue and load testing to niche wrapping, simple bend and reverse torsion testing, our labs are fully prepared to handle all corners of the spring industry.

This consistent flow of testing and exposure to new materials and technologies keeps IST at the forefront of the spring industry, and it doesn’t stop there. Our testing data is fed into our in-house produced software, Spring Calculator Professional, the industry leading spring design software used both nationally and internationally.

We hit every touchpoint in the spring testing industry, ensuring our course content is consistently at the cutting edge of advancement and backed by real-world data.

A quote that reads, "At IST, we have been at the forefront of spring industry research, conducting internal research for over 70 years."

4. Education at the Click of a Button

Striving to make our learning more accessible than ever, our courses are now delivered over the Zoom platform. Still as interactive as ever, Zoom retains the capability to answer questions and spark discussions from the comfort of your home or office.

Zoom takes away the strain of taking notes in real time. All our training courses are recorded and emailed to all trainees upon completion. This gives you the freedom to watch the course again at your own pace, and if you have any follow-up questions, our course tutors are on-hand to answer anything that springs to mind.

Thanks to our online SCP resource, you can utilise a free trial to support you during your course and immediately afterwards. Follow along with Richard and Conor or look back on recordings and get to grips with SCP.

5. Research & Development Contributors

In addition to our testing services, software and training, we also regularly contribute to research and development in the spring industry. At IST, we have been at the forefront of spring industry research, conducting internal research for over 70 years.

In that time, we have worked on a surplus of 400 projects, most notably, our work on the Techspring Project, which developed an EU framework to help customers design novel, lightweight springs.

If you’d like to contribute to a research project, get in touch at marketing@ist.org.uk.

To learn more about the training we offer, visit our Training Hub.

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