The Team

Paul Wright

Paul Wright is the Managing Director of AST.

He is a qualified Engineer with a Masters degree in Industrial Science (Mechanical Engineering) obtained from Cranfield University in the United Kingdom. It was at this university that Paul wrote a thesis predicting the failure and extending the life of high temperature components in a power station plant. At the time Babcock UK (his then employer) restricted the thesis because of the commercial implications of the methods outlined it in. These methods are now used throughout the world to predict time to failure of high temperature steam raising plant.

After leaving a very big mark at both Babcock UK & Babcock SA (some of his many achievements include being involved in developing the joining and NDT procedures for Babcock that were used on the primary pipe circuit at Koeburg nuclear power station as well as heading a division that, after a few months with him at the helm, became the second most profitable division in Babcock – second only to major power station projects) Paul ventured into South Africa’s fire industry, where he has played an integral role for more than 20 years.

He founded AST in 1999 and has seen it grow and develop into the leader of fire suppression technology in South Africa. Paul is also a director of AST Global (Pty) Ltd, a UK based company that is a subsidiary of AST. AST Global markets a range of fire extinguishing products throughout the world. These products include Pyroshield, Pyrogen, Pyrostorm and also several other related brands including Cool-Vest.

Besides managing AST, Paul is also the former chairman of SABS/SANS TC5120.06C, FIRE SAFETY – FIXED FIRE DETECTION AND EXTINGUISHING SYSTEMS Standards group for the four year period: 2002 – 2006.

He represented South Africa on the ISO (International Standards Organisation) TC21 Fire working committees (2002-2006).

Paul also sits on the standards generating group (Fire) for the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), responsible for the implementation of training standards in the field of Fire Engineering.

In 2003 Paul was a co-recipient of the SABS Design Institute Award (Engineering) for the development of Pyroshield.

Mike Wilkinson

Mike Wilkinson has more than 25 years of experience in Fire engineering – both in South Africa and the United Kingdom. He is a recognised expert in South Africa with regards to fire detection and gaseous extinguishing systems and their standards.

He is a professionally registered Engineering Technologist in Fire Engineering with ECSA and a graduate member of the Institute of Fire Engineers UK.

As AST’s Technical Manager, he is responsible for managing the Engineering Design Team and Manufacturing Teams. Mike also carries out the majority of risk analysis and design on existing and future Fire Detection and Protection systems. He designed all the Pyroshield systems at Louis Trichardt Airforce Base that are now protecting the Grippen Fighter Jet.

Not only has Mike lectured on behalf of the FDIA on the fire detection standards and for the FPA on CO2 extinguishing systems, he has also acted as an SA/SABS representative for ISO TC21/SC3.

He has authored courses on Fire Detection and Gas Extinguishing systems for the Fire Protection Association of Southern Africa and sits on the ECSA Steering Committee for Fire Protection Education & Standards.

Mike was the co-recipient of the SABS Design Institute Award (Engineering) 2003 for the development of Pyroshield.