International Lead Award

Former head of ILA receives prestigious industry award

David Wilson, former head of the International Lead Association (ILA), has been recognised for his contribution to the lead and lead battery industry with the International Lead Award.

He was presented with the award at the ILA’s 15th European Lead Battery Conference(15ELBC), in Valletta, Malta.

Each year the Award is presented to someone who has made a significant contribution to science and practice in areas such as lead production and recycling, lead alloy development, or battery design and performance.

As ILA managing director, David Wilson oversaw significant changes in the organisation. After taking a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Nottingham and a year of editing the Faraday Transactions of the Royal Society of Chemistry, David joined the Lead Development Association (LDA) in 1976 to work mainly on the environmental aspects of lead and was appointed Director of the LDA in 1990. 

As the lead industry’s environmental, health and safety issues became more global, he oversaw an expansion of membership and funding to include almost all European lead producers and changed the name of the organization to the Lead Development Association International (LDAI).

In 2000, LDAI launched a Voluntary Risk Assessment Program for lead, funded by both lead producers and consumers, which subsequently formed the basis for industry compliance under the EU REACH Directive.

It was also under David’s leadership in 2004 that formal ties were established with the International Lead Zinc Research Organization and the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium. The name changed as well from LDAI to ILA and in the same year he was made a MBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth for his services to the lead industry.

Presenting the Award, Dick Amistadi, said: “He has played a significant role in ensuring the continuation of the industry and the benefits it brings.”

He observed that David had played a part in ensuring that both the industry and society have and will continue to have the opportunity to carry on producing and using a unique product which continues to bring benefits to everyone.

David Wilson recalled that when he joined the industry total lead use amounted to 3.5m tonnes a year with 1.5m tonnes going into batteries.  In 2015 batteries accounted for almost 90% of lead use – a staggering 10 million tonnes and still growing.

Addressing the conference he said: “I certainly didn’t expect to stay for a working lifetime, but when a job is interesting and enjoyable, and when you make many good friends both in the office and in countries around the world, the years do tend to slip by and before you know it, the time has come to retire.”


Notes to editors

Previous International Lead Award winners:

2003       John E Manders

2004       Jerome F Cole

2005       Lan Lam

2006       R David Prengaman

2007       John L Devitt

2008       Allan Cooper

2009       L Pugazhenthy

2010       Detchko Pavlov

2011       Robert P Flicker

2012       Norbert Maleschitz

2013       Brian Wilson

2014       Dick Amistadi

               Michael Mayer

2015 Bob Nelson

About ILA

The International Lead Association is the trusted global trade association for the lead industry and its member companies are at the forefront of the mining, smelting, refining and recycling of lead. ILA represents the producers of about 3 million tonnes of lead. The association is working towards a vision of a sustainable global lead industry that is recognised for the positive contribution it makes to society. 

ILA takes a leadership role in promoting responsible care and educating society about the benefits of lead for today’s and future generations. Recent studies have shown that lead-based batteries achieve a recycling rate of 99% in the EU and USA.

With offices in the UK and USA, ILA provides a range of technical, scientific and communications support for member companies, downstream users and the wider lead industry. ILA also supports the development of lead-based batteries through the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium which manages the research, development and promotion of lead batteries for markets such as hybrid electric vehicles, start-stop automotive systems and grid-scale energy storage applications.









15ELBC Conference Secretariat:

International Lead Association
Bravington House
2 Bravingtons Walk
London N1 9AF

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7833 8090
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7833 1611




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