RMI Pressure Systems has announced the appointment of Kathryn Poke as its general manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

A global leader in high pressure and high-volume fluid pumping stations, RMI Pressure Systems has a primary manufacturing facility in the UK and operations in China, the US, India and Australia – supporting equipment in countries around the globe. The company has over a century’s experience in designing, manufacturing and supporting this technology.

The appointment of Ms Poke supports RMI Pressure System’s expansion strategy in new and existing markets and will see her continuing in her previous role as the company’s global head of engineering. Her new role will take her into the full scope of the business from customer engagement, sales, supply chain and operations. 

“With RMI’s extensive experience in important markets like China, we have a great deal to offer other regions – even beyond our traditional markets of mining and steel plants,” she said. 

Highlighting the sustainability contribution made by the company’s high pressure reciprocating pumps, she said a focus of her new role will be demonstrating to markets the energy and water efficiency of RMI’s technology. 

“We plan to work more closely with customers in mining, steel and other industries to implement their sustainability ambitions,” she said. “Many of these operations are still using dated centrifugal pump technology with efficiencies often below 70%; our specialised pumps achieve 95% efficiency, providing huge opportunity for energy savings, carbon footprint reduction and cost economy.”

This future facing pump technology also achieves significant water savings – for example, in descaling operations in steel plants – which is a growing sustainability issue in most regions of the world.

“Our customer markets have seen important advances in fields such monitoring and safety, to become more responsible corporate citizens,” she said. “RMI can help customers to make similar sustainability improvements through their key equipment such as pumps.”

Joe Keenan, global managing director of RMI Pressure Systems, welcomed Poke into her new role – highlighting the strategic importance of taking the company into markets it had not previously developed. 

“Kathryn’s depth of engineering experience and knowledge of our technology equips her perfectly for this vital position,” said Keenan. “With her background in both product development and operations, she will allow us to bring considerable value to customers in her target regions.”

In addition to her responsibilities at RMI, Poke has also been an active promoter of broader industry in the UK through her involvement with the Association of British Mining Equipment Companies (ABMEC). As a council member of ABMEC, she was recently invited by King Charles III to a business reception at Buckingham Palace where he spoke about bolstering UK businesses through the Prince’s Trust. 

She supports the growing focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in many schools, as this helps to raise interest of female students in pursuing opportunities in the engineering sector. 

“I was often the only woman in my engineering classes, and generally received very little encouragement in my chosen field of study,” she said. “It is encouraging to see more schoolgirls becoming interested in the variety of careers open to them in previously male-dominated occupations.” 

Poke spent the early years of her career at Holden & Brooke, which was subsequently acquired by the Armstrong Group – where she worked in the engineering team before moving into product development. She became product manager there before joining group subsidiary RMI Pressure Systems. Her next move was into the director of engineering role, which encompassed both systems engineering as well as research and development. 

She entered the working environment with a Higher National Diploma in Electrical Engineering, and soon after completed a Bachelor of Engineering degree at the University of Manchester.