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Ron William Mellor CBE

Ron Mellor

Areas of Interest

Business, Education

Honorary Award

Honorary Fellow, 2003


Ron Mellor served as a Governor of this University from 1988 to 2002. In his remarkable career with Ford he served as Vice President, Car Engineering, Ford of Europe Inc. and as Executive Director of Product Development, Ford Motor Company Ltd. He retired from the company in 1987, but went on to play a pivotal role in the development of Anglia Ruskin. His initial involvement came as a member of the Joint Formation Committee which was responsible for bringing together the Essex Institute of Higher Education and the Cambridge College of Art & Technology. After the successful completion of the merge he continued to support the newly formed institution as a member of the Personnel Committee, the Joint Welfare & Student Affairs Committee and the Audit & Compliance Committee. He has also been the Secretary of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and a visiting Professor in Mechanical Engineering to King's College, London University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

In 2003 Ron William Mellor was appointed an Honorary Fellow of our University.


"The Senate of Anglia Polytechnic University has great pleasure in recommending the award of an Honorary Fellowship of the University to Ronald William Mellor, CBE, FREng, FIMechE (known universally as Ron, or Mr Ford - Europe) professional industrial engineer par excellence, amateur yachtsman, ex-"Gunner" and lately Member of the Board of Governors of this University.

Ron was born in Battersea, London, son of a journalist/author/orator and Labour Party activist father and peace pledge worker mother and was educated at Highgate School, London. After school, he undertook military service as a Royal Artillery Officer, then went up to London University to read Mechanical Engineering, at King's College.

A most distinguished career began when he joined the Ford Motor Company as a Graduate Trainee, in 1955 and his professional pathway developed as he passed from one level of responsibility to another and one area of activity to another. He worked, initially, in the Body Engineering Structures Department, then became Staff Assistant to the Chief Engineer, then served as Planning Manager for Long Range Products, followed by Cortina Products, then Commercial Vehicle Products (Truck and Transit) before being appointed Chief Engineer Research in 1969. His next promotion was to Chief Engineer Engineering and after this, he was promoted out of the country to Chief Engineer Body Engineering Ford Werke AG in Cologne, West Germany, before returning to take up the position of Director Body and Electrical Engineering Ford of Europe Incorporated. 1975 saw him rise to the highest echelons within the global company in the dual role of Vice President Car Engineering Ford of Europe Incorporated and Executive Director of Product Development Ford Motor Company Limited; in which post he served for a further twelve years, retiring in 1987 and having worked on the whole gamut of familiar Ford names, from Anglia to Zodiac.

After Ford, Ron began a second career as Chief Executive (Secretary) of the Institution of Engineers, which post he occupied for five years, before his appointment to the Board of Governors of Anglia Polytechnic University in 1988. During his time as a Governor, he assumed special responsibilities for Audit & Compliance, Joint Welfare & Student Affairs and acted as Champion for Design & Communication Systems, continuing as Board Member until last year, 2002.

Over the years, Ron has also been the recipient of various academic and professional awards. In 1978, he was appointed as Visiting Professor in Mechanical Engineering at King's College, London, elected a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1980 and in 1983, he was elected as a Fellow of the Fellowship of Engineering (now, the Royal Academy of Engineering) and nominated as the Thomas Hawkesley Lecturer for that year. In 1984 he was appointed a Commander of the most Excellent Order of the British Empire. In 1986 he was elected Chairman of the Automobile Division at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and was, from 1985-1987, a Member of the Council of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and in 1990 he had the honour of being made a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Carmen and was appointed a Freeman of the City of London.

Ron Mellor has shown himself to be a person of integrity and dynamism in all that he does but, importantly, he is a concerned and caring man who is interested in those around him. We are grateful to him for his fourteen years of service to Anglia Polytechnic University (and its predecessor institutions) at a time of much change and development and thank him for his devotion and commitment.

It is for these reasons, therefore, that I invite you, Vice Chancellor, to confer on Ronald William Mellor, CBE, BSc(Eng), FREng, FIMechE, an Honorary Fellowship of this University."