Pearson Engineering has acquired the historic Armstrong Works from its former owners for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition furthers Pearson Engineering’s commitment to its roots in Newcastle upon Tyne where it has successfully built an internationally recognised brand, serving Armed Forces in more than 35 countries. 

Pearson Engineering has provided more than 3,000 mine ploughs, as well as other equipment to defeat explosive obstacles and other battlefield hazards to the British Army and its allies from Newcastle for almost 40 years. 

History of Pearson

Founded in 1985 by Dr Alan Reece, a Senior Lecturer and Reader of Agricultural Engineering at Newcastle University, Pearson Engineering now employs more than 300 professionals, graduates and apprentices across two global brands. 

Building on a heritage founded in academic study and a deep understanding of ground engaging mechanics, a pro-active and self-funded Research & Development initiative has been part of the company’s DNA since it was founded. This led to the development of several lifesaving counter-improvised explosive device roller systems which proved to be a critical asset to the British Army, U.S. Army and other NATO forces during campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pearson Engineering was awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category in 2012 for developments in this area. 

Robotics, automation, and AI

In recent years, Pearson Engineering has turned its attention to robotics, automation and artificial intelligence, applying expertise developed over the last four decades to a new era of products that will take humans away from the most dangerous minefield breaching tasks, leaving them to critically assess and command machines to clear safe routes. 

The move to Armstrong Works on Scotswood Road from a previous base in Walker enabled Pearson Engineering to grow links with co-located contract manufacturer Responsive Engineering which is now its subsidiary.

Better together

Together, Pearson Engineering and Responsive Engineering are using the strength of Armstrong Works to provide expert manufacturing services to the global defence market, manufacturing armour, bridge structures and turret structures for UK Ministry of Defence programmes. 

“Armstrong Works has become a critical national and international asset, increasing the proportion and value of UK content in UK land programmes and providing extensive life-preserving equipment to conflict and contested environments around the world. We are incredibly proud of the work that we produce from Armstrong Works, and its important role in defending our UK armed forces and its allies.” – Ian Bell, Group Chief Executive Officer at Pearson Engineering. 

Investment at Armstrong Works continues with £5m of capital investment announced in 2023 to support the next stages of the site’s development. Early milestones have already been met with the installation and commissioning of an 800-tonne press brake that will allow both Pearson Engineering and Responsive Engineering to bend armour, preserving its ballistic and blast integrity to further enhance the protection of soldiers. 

Pearson Engineering