Vision Engineering saddened by loss of founder Rob Freeman, MBE

Vision Engineering saddened by loss of founder Rob Freeman, MBE

29 August 2017

Vision Engineering Ltd is saddened by the loss of founder Rob Freeman, MBE, who passed away on 19th August, aged 84.

Rob Freeman, born in 1933 in Singapore, grew up in Woking, Surrey and was a toolmaker who worked as a race mechanic with the Jaguar Racing team in the 1950s. He developed a borescope that enabled internal race engine components to be inspected, without taking the engine apart. This innovation led to the foundation of Vision Engineering in 1958.

A young Rob Freeman, founder of Vision Engineering, working at lathe.

In 1996, Rob was awarded the MBE, in recognition of his services to the British optical industry.

Rob Freeman, founder of Vision Engineering Ltd, receiving his MBE

On 13th June 2017, Rob Freeman presided over the opening of the Freeman Building, Vision Engineering’s purpose-built global headquarters, manufacturing and R&D facility, in Send, Woking, UK. The new building, close to the site of the original 1950s factory, is named after Rob Freeman and was officially opened by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Surrey and the Mayor of Guildford. 

Mark Curtis, managing director, on behalf of the staff of Vision Engineering, commented:

We are extremely saddened by the death of our company founder, Rob Freeman. He was a true pioneer of engineering who learnt his trade during the glory days of British car racing and aerospace and whose dynamism, grit and ingenuity created a thriving business, which continues to grow and innovate today.
Rob enjoyed a challenge and was an early leader in the development of overseas technical markets, to the point where 92% of the company’s turnover comes from export. It was a great privilege and pleasure to work with him and we are glad that he was able to see the completion of the building dedicated to his legacy. We extend our deepest sympathies to Rob’s family, colleagues and many friends, who remember him with great fondness.”

The company is now an award-winning manufacturer holding several patents for its ergonomic microscopes and measurement systems, which are used extensively by manufacturers in the electronics, automotive and aerospace industries. 

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