DR JANET COTTON
- BSC (ENG), PHD (MATERIALS ENGINEERING UCT), PR ENG
- ROLE: FOUNDER & DIRECTOR
- MEMBER: MLA, SAIMM, SAIMENA, SASSDA, CORROSION INSTITUTE, SAIW
My passion has always been to bring engineering and technology to solve real life problems. In order to give expression to this passion, I started up One Eighty in 2002. I enjoy solving problems in all areas of engineering and every time I am faced with a new problem or something I have not seen before I very much enjoy the challenge.
One Eighty has been solving problems for over 14 years, whether a main engine failure, or corrosion of pipe systems, or selection of a new material for longer life in service, or providing expert witness work, or conducting tests to generate the required information about a material, part or component.
I studied metallurgical engineering at UCT and obtained a PhD in 2000. My PhD was on the development of a novel high nitrogen stainless steel developed by Columbus Stainless called CROMANITE. As fate would have it they discontinued this alloy in the late stages of writing up my thesis, which I tried very hard not to take too personally. I continued with an academic career for two more years as a post-doctoral fellow at UCT where I conducted research on the optimisation of hot rolling schedules for Mittal, Hulett and Columbus.
With a growing thirst to be out in the industry dealing with the real problems that manufacturers face on a daily basis, I ventured out and started up One Eighty Engineering Solutions (Pty) Ltd. Thereafter I followed a relatively lonely existence until 2005 when I was able to recruit my first employees. This was a result of extending my services as far afield as the USA, Europe for various orthopaedic device companies. Finally a big break came when I managed to secure a sizable fund for research on novel ceramic materials for orthopaedic devices and was then able to recruit additional staff members and grow the business further. Last year we managed to raise the funds necessary to start up our own metallurgical testing laboratory. Today we are the most modern, efficient and advanced laboratory, we believe in Africa, and are ready to continue to solve a broad spectrum of real life engineering problems with our new facilities. You can also read further about the dynamic team which now characterises the One Eighty Group.
When I am not solving problems and building the business I enjoy getting out on the ocean to clear my head with wind and sea, and at the same time attempt to and compete in yacht racing, or perhaps cruising around a race course is a better description. Mostly I enjoy spending time with my wonderful daughter.