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Jonathan Wroe 1954 - 2015

Jonathan Wroe 1954 - 2015

It is with great sorrow that we have to announce to you that Mr Jonathan Wroe, EPMA Executive Director, passed away on Friday 4 December after a short illness.

Jonathan was a great Executive Director, who during 14 years turned the EPMA into a successful Association for the benefit of all the Powder Metallurgy community. This is an enormous and painful loss for all of us as friends and colleagues and for the European PM industry. We have lost a great man, dedicated to our industry, hard worker, prudent and a great administrator.
He brought to EPMA his energy and he has been an untiring motor till the end.

Board, Council and staff of EPMA are very sad about this loss. All stay highly committed to the future of the Association.

Sincerely yours

Phillipe Gundermann
EPMA President


pdf Download Jonathan Wroe's Biography (83 KB)



Thankyou From Kate and Andrew Wroe

We would like to thank everyone for the tributes paid to Jonathan and especially for the personal cards and letters we have received.

It is amazing to hear the high regard that the EPMA community had for Jonathan and how well loved he was

It is also a great comfort to know he will be remembered by so many people. The love and sympathy shown to us has been truly appreciated at this very difficult time.



The EPMA Secretariat staff were enormously lucky to have Jonathan as their boss, he always ensured the interests of his staff were uppermost in his thoughts. Behind the scenes he was a committed team member, actively helping to set up, (signage being his particular forte), and then helping to pack away at the end of an exhibition or Euro PM event. 

The EPMA Team are all deeply shocked at the suddenness of Jonathan’s illness and its tragic end. To think it was only 2 months ago that we were all in Reims getting ready for the 2015 event, never imagining this appalling outcome.

Dr Olivier Coube remembers his first business trip, after taking over the position of Technical Director, when visiting a potential new member, "We had lunch together and suddenly after having put on my jacket Jonathan came to me and straightened my collar. This showed the professionalism of Jonathan, who always took care of all the little and big things to ensure success".

"Jonathan was a very generous man.  During his first year at the EPMA he invited all of us to a BBQ at his home, where he was the head chef. This was a marvellous way to get to know us, and became a ritual that he repeated on several occasions", remembers Joan Hallward.

Andrew Almond remembers coming back from a World PM2010 site visit, Jonathan lost his passport in a restaurant, as it dropped out of his pocket when he went to pay the bill. Luckily it made its way to the local British Embassy in Florence, which was returned to him, just in time for his flight back home!

Kate Blackbourne has fond memories of a site visit to Milan with Jonathan last year "We landed at the airport in Milan and my suitcase wasn’t on the carousel. After reporting it, we went to the hotel to leave Jonathans luggage and then went straight back out at 6pm in the evening, in the most torrential rain, heading for the centre of Milan to pick up some clothes and toiletries for me ahead of our meetings the next day. I never expected him to go with me, but he didn’t question it, an absolute gentleman. I think he was very glad though upon reaching the city centre when I said he could take refuge in a bar while I went to a couple of shops!"

Jonathan managed the EPMA in the same way, bringing the Association to the level of excellence that people recognise today. One of his great skills was to recognize and encourage talent in the team. He was always supportive of our initiatives to progress the EPMA along with the PM community. This is one of the reasons why we are and will remain so dedicated to our mission, in his memory.

We have all lost not only a good colleague, but also a valued friend.

Rachel Burton-Pye
Rachel Burton-Pye

Back in 2008 I joined EPMA as the youngest Member of the team and throughout my time there Jonathan stood by my side and encouraged me to become a strong and confident individual. His words of wisdom will stay with me for years to come as will my memories of his generosity and kindness. My heart goes out to Jonathans family at such a sad time and to the EPMA team who I know will miss him greatly.

Frances Holland
Frances Holland

I was deeply shocked and saddened by Jonathan’s sudden death. He will be greatly missed by all who worked with him at the EPMA over the years, and throughout the whole PM community. My heart goes out to his family.

Pauline Davies
Pauline Davies

A Sad Loss. I remember Jonathan starting at EPMA as Executive Director and I worked with him until my retirement 3 years ago. It was a pleasure to work with such a lovely gentle, kind and understanding man. My thoughts are with his family at this time.

Dr Peter Brewin
Dr Peter Brewin

Jonathan joined the EPMA as Executive Director in March 2001 on the retirement of Bernard Williams. I also joined in the new role of Technical Director. We quickly established a warm and efficient relationship.

I well remember walking with him during his first conference, Euro PM2001 in Nice. He asked somewhat breathlessly "Peter, why are you walking so fast?" I replied "because I am trying to keep up with you!"

Jonathan built on the solid foundation laid by Bernard. All conference venues were carefully vetted, not forgetting the restaurants. The fact that exhibitions were always booked out was a tribute to his careful planning.

Jonathan was constantly updating EPMA technology, both for the benefit of members and also for the outside world. He left me to my own area, but provided firm support when needed.

Ingo Cremer
Ingo Cremer

Not only through my presidency 2007-2013 Jonathan was for me the face of EPMA. I loved his laughing eyes and we spent a great time. We worked as real partners and grew a friendship, that lasted beyond our jobs. We planned to meet in Marbella once, but it never came to this.

I remember well during the first world congress in Washington DC were I was presenting the EPMA at the plenary session when I gave Jonathan my ice cold hand before the presentation. Jonathan mentioned: "Ingo, don’t worry our figures are way better, so show the world what we have, and now go!" ---I took it as a command with confidence having him behind me---
As you know during my time, the finical crises was very tough. I asked Jonathan: "Jonathan, if we would put the image of the queen onto the Euro, would you join the Euro?" He answered in a very British manner: "Ingo, before that happens, the sun rises in the West!"

We were laughing…

Just some weeks ago in Reims my wife Annette was correcting the fit of Jonathans tie. "Annette, you are like a mother to me!" he said

I think we lost a real European British Gentleman and for sure there is no replacement. With him an era of EPMA fades!

I wish his family and the staff at EPMA strength and please be sure the sun will rise again! For sure in the east!

My thoughts are with you!

Dr Volker Arnhold
Dr Volker Arnhold

Jonathan Wroe has always been for me a kind of prototype of the 'English Gentleman'. But, he has shown that the UK is part of Europe and demonstrated by word and action how the UK can help to organize and manage the complex European world. He has been an excellent director for a European organization.

Bernard Williams
Bernard Williams

I am still in shock more than a week after hearing the news of Jonathan’s sudden death following a short illness. It is a very sad time for all his family, and our thoughts go out to his wife Kate and their son Andrew. It is also a sad time for the whole EPMA team, Executive Board and Council with whom he got on so well during his tenure as executive director.

When I decided to take early retirement from the EPMA I was also given the task of finding my own replacement. When I first interviewed Jonathan early in 2001 I had no hesitation in proposing him as my preferred candidate to the Executive Board. He was at the time Commercial Director at CERAM in Stoke-on-Trent, a membership based research and technology development organisation embracing all aspects of ceramics technology, and to a limited extent powder metallurgy. Whilst at CERAM Jonathan managed the international sales and marketing team, negotiated and completed over 20 technology transfer and license agreements; he was directly responsible for developing what was at that time the world's largest E-Knowledge base for the ceramics industry. Prior to joining CERAM, Jonathan spent 6 years with the Cookson Group. Here he helped to expand the company's technical ceramics business based on Sialon and silicon nitride. He seemed the ideal candidate and so he proved to be.

Jonathan quickly settled into the task of running the EPMA secretariat and its many activities and services to members. He also showed great professionalism in the organisation of numerous EPMA events including the annual EURO PM conference series and of course the World PM Congress when its turn came to be held in Europe. He did a great job in initiating projects which helped to break new ground for powder metallurgy such as the Global PM Database, and he successfully guided the EPMA through some tough economic times during the last recession. His team at the Secretariat will miss a very able skipper.

Prof Herbert Danninger
Prof Herbert Danninger

I came into close contact with Jonathan shortly after he took office at EPMA, in the course of the PM2004 World Congress in Vienna, for which I acted as Co-Chairman of the Management and Technical Programme Committees. Full preparation for this congress started in 2002, and during the preparations as well as during the congress itself I was impressed by the competent and systematic way Jonathan handled all the problems that emerged. I cannot remember to have ever seen him nervous or overwhelmed by a situation; he always kept calm and clearheaded, although it was his first World Congress to organize (as it was mine). Also all the subsequent EPMA congresses were highly successful, as were the Summer Schools which Jonathan managed to continue even after EU funding had expired. We shall do our best to make PM2016 in Hamburg a huge success, to the memory of Jonathan, but we shall sadly miss him there!

Luigi Alzati
Luigi Alzati

We at IMERYS Graphite and Carbon are shocked and saddened by the loss of EPMA Executive Director, Jonathan Wroe.

Our dearest Jonathan has truly been a strong and positive reference for Powder Metallurgy Industry.

We would like to acknowledge that over the years he's been making constant efforts to make our Association grow, finding solutions to harmonize the various requests and expectations of all members.

It was a pleasure to interact with the specific traits of his organizational and negotiation skills. Truth be told, he's been a wonderful representative of British values and spirit within our European association, but it applies as well to how he represented EPMA in the larger competitive scenario that has opened up over the years. What a great ambassador Jonathan Wroe has been for European Powder Metallurgy.

We still have to realize that we lost Jonathan and already face the fact that from now on we'll always perceive that one seat is empty at EPMA events.

We mourn together with his family and the great team of professionals he has gathered.

José Torralba
José Torralba

I met Jonathan many years ago, when he replaced Bernard Williams as Executive Director. It was not an easy task, because Bernard did a very good job, and Jonathan came to PM from a very different sector. Day by day he earned our confidence working with efficiency, competence, aptitude and especially, a lot of personal warmth. He built what is todays EPMA, surviving many challenges that our industry and our academia has faced head on in the last years. With a lot of patience, dialogue and hard work he always reached what he had proposed. Apparently it was difficult to persuade him about something that was not in his plans, but he always knew how to listen, maintaining an open mind, and at the end it was easy  to convince him about any new idea. Being always tireless, it will be difficult to realize that he has left us. Jonathan, we will miss you.

Prof Alberto Molinari
Prof Alberto Molinari

I knew Jonathan since many years and I had the chance to work with him very intensely during the six years spent in the organization of the 2010 PM World Congress in Florence. As a member of the Steering Committee and co-Chairman of the event, I had a very strong interaction with Jonathan, and I had the opportunity to appreciate his great professional and human qualities. The World Congress is a huge event, its organization needs for extraordinary managerial competences. It might be surprising, but I always had the feeling that everything was easy, even if I was aware of the huge complexity of the work Jonathan was doing and managing.

Thanks to him, the event was successful, and after the Congress Jonathan wrote me a very kind letter, I still keep in my private CV.

It was so nice to meet Jonathan at the EPMA events. He was always warm with everybody, professors and students, independently on their position. He was a perfect and friendly Master of the house.

We have lost an excellent manager and a nice man. Thanks Jonathan.

C. James Trombino
C. James Trombino

On behalf of the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF), APMI International, and the North American powder metallurgy community, let me express my heartfelt sorrow and thoughts on the passing of Jonathan Wroe.  Having worked with Jonathan since he arrived at EPMA in 2001, he worked closely with MPIF in formulating areas of collaboration never seen before in our global industry.  Over those years he became a trusted colleague and friend and his loss touches all of us here in North America.  He was kind, creative, trustworthy and extremely effective in serving EPMA’s interests worldwide.  His loss affects all of us who care deeply about the success of our global PM industry; he will surely be missed.

Dr Cedric Ashley
Dr Cedric Ashley

It was a great shock to hear of the death of Jonathan. We at Euromotor Autotrain (A spin off from the University of Birmingham) worked with Jonathan and his team to develop the e-Learning Programme "Powder Metallurgy". He could not have been more helpful and valuable in his comments and support. He chaired meetings in exemplary fashion and got results. A true English gentleman.

Dr Bryan Roebuck
Dr Bryan Roebuck

My first impression when I met Jonathan was that he took his responsibilities re the PM community very seriously and showed an even handed and conscientious approach to all the various "families" within PM; so It was somewhat of a surprise to stand by his side in foreign pubs at 2 separate PM meetings watching on TV  England and Man Utd playing football and smile at his many enthusiastic (!) and analytical outbursts regarding their performance. There is no doubt his feelings for PM were equally deep.

Dr Martin Kearns

It came as a real shock to hear this sad news and all of us at Sandvik Osprey who knew him recognise that he was a wonderful, warm guy - always welcoming and with a ready smile. We'll miss him and offer our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and work-colleagues. Some really fitting tributes here and we'd like to register our own warm appreciation of Jonathan's good humour, openness and professionalism in all our dealings. Personally, I wish there had been more time to get to know him better but he will leave a lasting impression.

Dr Leonid Chernyshev

We are together with your grief over the death of Jonathan Wroe. We express our deep condolences in connection with his departure. He made a huge contribution to the development of powder metallurgy in Europe. Eternal memory. - On behalf of scientists of Ukraine, Leonid Chernyshev, Institute for Problems of Materials Science of NAS of Ukraine.

David Schaefer

I was so saddened to read about the passing of Jonathan.  My wife always sought Jonathan out at the conferences to discuss the latest in British books, news and food.

I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Jonathon during my 4 year term as the NA MPIF President and appreciated Jonathan's professionalism and his ability to look beyond borders to promote the industry. He brought an openness and candor along with his special sense of humor that I know I will miss. My thoughts extend to his family and to the European PM Community. 

Prof Lorenz Sigl
Prof Lorenz Sigl

Ever since I had the chance to work with Jonathan, I was impressed by his talent for organizing EPMA's congresses, the educational events and the business as a trade organization. Beyond this, it was his style of communication and how he motivated the PM community for joint efforts, which I loved most about him and which I always will commemorate. Jonathan was trustworthy, creative and goal-oriented, yet gentle and sensible, and it is these qualities which made him a true shaper of the PM family. We have lost not only a great manager and expert, but foremost a good friend. Jonathan R.I.P.

Carl Eklund

It was a very sad news that Jonathan passed away so suddenly. Many of us here in Japan remember Jonathan as a real gentleman, very professional, always willing to listen and support all of us who came into contact with him. Myself I joined the industry at the time of the World PM in Vienna 2004.

I have enjoyed to meet Jonathan at each of the World Congresses after that and also some of the Euro PM, conferences.

Jonathan was always positive, smiling and he created a great atmosphere. We had some interesting moments together when I helped to translate between Japanese and English

And we solved some issues. We will all deeply miss Jonathan but more important we will remember all the happy moments, all the smiles we saw and we will try our best to continue in the very positive spirit of Jonathan. He had many friends also here in Japan, we all will miss him very much.

Our thoughts are with his family and we wish you all the strength through these difficult times.

From all of us a deep thank you,  Jonathan.

Carl Eklund.


President  Hoganas Japan KK (board member JPMA)

Dr Bruno Vicenzi
Dr Bruno Vicenzi

Although I have been in EPMA since the mid '90s, I started to collaborate actively only later, with Peter Brewin and Jonathan, and for me Jonathan, like Peter, *was* the EPMA. So many times during the last 14 years I have thought to myself "Thank God there's Jonathan" or "Jonathan will find the way" or "Thanks Jonathan we got it working, I had no idea where to start from". We spent hours on the phone in the EuroMIM Steering Committee, and met so many times around Europe, for the numerous and different events and meetings, like the ones for the DesignForPM Leonardo project, the congresses, the Council. We developed together the MIM surveys, that was our early summer exercise that extended usually to the very last week before every congress.

He was always there, usually mildy smiling, but efficient and concentrated on the target. Sometimes the target was yet distant but he would take the responsibility to finish the job, knowing that for us it would have been a bigger burden. Whenever no one knew what to say, he would take the lead and bring the discussion to some result, asking, suggesting, summarising. He would always be there for a word, any time, any place. You would stop him passing by in a congress lobby and he would always give you the time for an answer, even if he then had to rush away for any more important chore.

He also knew how to enjoy the time after working hours, he was not the workaholic kind of guy, no. He had stories and would gladly listen to yours, and enjoyed food and drinks, and good laughs.

For sure I would refer to him as a friend, among all the acquaintances I have made during the years in the EPMA community. I hope it was the same for him. I will miss him a lot, I think I will always have him in mind when taking part in some EPMA event. I cannot yet understand this sheer fact, that he will not be there at the next meeting, and at the others after that.

But the most vivid image I have in my memory about Jonathan, is something I am afraid I cannot write down in details. Kate Blackbourne will remember that as well...we had been having dinner, Jonathan, Kate and me, in a restaurant in Genoa, my hometown. We were talking with the restaurant owner who offered us a shot of grappa and tried to be smart, in English (he said he had been working for years in an English town), but completely messed up the words to go with the grappa....we laughed so much! So, very friendly, but sadly as I have not been able to give him a real goodbye, if I will meet him again I will use the same words and I am sure we will laugh together again...

Anders Eklund
Anders Eklund

I was shocked and saddened by the news that Jonathan Wroe has passed away.

I first met him when I was the co-chairman for the PM-HIP group, EPHG, together with Adeline Riou and Christoph Broeckmann as the work group.

Together we got the HIP awareness on the Agenda for EPMA and also that we now have several sessions on HIP technology at the EPMA conference.

We worked hard, but every time I met Jonathan he had a smile on his face and you were assured that we will make this happen.

I will miss Jonathan and my condolences goes to his family. R.I.P.

Dr Sim Narasimhan
Dr Sim Narasimhan

It is with deep sorrow I learned  that we lost a powerful gentle figure in PM.I have known Jonathan ever since he came in to the industry, filling a gap admirably left by Bernard leaving. I was always amazed with his calmness with which he dealt with diverse opinions form the membership and arriving at a consensus. He represented very well EPMA at global conferences and supported the international standards for PM database. He was respected by one and all whom he came in to contact.
I will miss him along with his family and numerous colleagues at this tragedy.
May his soul rest in peace.

Retired V.P Hoeganaes Corporation
GKN Engineering Fellow;FASM;FAPMI;FIPMI:IEEE Senior member

EPMA Spanish Chapter

On behalf of the spanish association CEP EPMA, commonly known among the European PM industry as the "Spanish Chapter of EPMA", we want to express our sincerest condolence for the loss of EPMA's Executive Director Mr. Jonathan Wroe.

It is hard to refer to him as Mr. Wroe, as he was always such a close person, he was "Jonathan" to everyone. Omnipresent, with his discreet English allure, yet full of energy and determination, he was a born organizer and always ready to help anyone in the Industry who would need him. He really fulfilled the goals of EPMA as the representative European association for Powder Metallurgy and as promoter of the Industry.

The European PM industry has lost a great colleague, a great leader, a full gentleman. We will certainly miss him. We want to present our respect and our friendly warmth to all his family for such irreparable loss.

Tom J Witheford
Tom J Witheford

I had the pleasure of working with Jonathan on the EPMA Council from 2006-2010.  As an American expat living in Germany, Jonathan immediately welcomed me and made me feel at home on the Council. His warmth and enthusiasm were genuine and he treated everyone as a friend. He will be missed.

German Federation of Powder Metallurgy

It is hard to believe that a such a loyal and trustful person like Jonathan had to pass away so early. It was his only goal to promote the European PM-Industry and he always did it in his own special way, well-considered, straight forward and with a hint of his unique british humour.

With his passing away the European PM-Community loses one of the leading advocates of Powder Metallurgy. We will never forget Jonathan.

Our deepest expression of condolences goes to his family and his staff at the EPMA!

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernd Kieback

With great sorrow we have received the message about the death of Jonathan Wroe.

On behalf of the Powder Metallurgy teams at Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden and TU Dresden I want to express our deepest consternation and grief about the loss of our colleague and friend. We are looking back at 20 years of successful cooperation with EPMA, 14 years of which have been significantly marked by the dedication and great achievements of Jonathan. It will be difficult to fill the void he has left. In this time of sudden change, we want to offer you our assistance to bring current projects in his spirit to a successful end.

Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues in their loss of such a precious and loved person.

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