Hele’s School, Plympton, Plymouth. Highbury College, Portsmouth.
GCSE, Science, Maths, English. (C). HNC Electronics. Advanced Modern Apprenticeship.
10 years as Technical Officer with UK Ministry of Defence. 10 Years with Airbus Space
Engineer, STEM Ambassador, Space Geek
I live in Hampshire with my wife, two daughters, and a Mars rover called Yuri.
We love cheese so much in this house we have a whole shelf in our fridge dedicated to cheese.
When I was young I was always taking things apart to see what was inside. I also spent lots of time building lego – I still love lego now as an adult, and really enjoy getting my lego out to play with my daughters. They both love lego too. Building things with lego is a great way to develop your engineering skills, and you can never be too old to play with lego.
I’m fascinated by everything to do with space, particularly the machines that we send into space.
In my spare time I build robots – my favourite robot is Yuri the Mars Rover who comes with me to schools. I’m really lucky to work for a company who builds actual space robots, as well as rockets and satellites.
I was lucky enough to visit schools with Tim Peake’s parents while Tim was living on the International Space Station.
I’m a proud supporter of Pride, and truly believe that everyone deserves to be treated equally, whoever you are.
I work in the Airbus Space Engineering Academy, making sure all of our engineers have the skills they need to design and build the best spacecraft. This job combines my two passions, space engineering and developing people.
I have spent 20 years as an engineer on many different projects. Right now I am Faculty Head for electronics in the Airbus Space Engineering Academy. It is my job to assess what skills the company needs in the next 5-10 years and make sure we have the engineers in the right place, with the right skills. I create opportunities for engineers to do training, and work with universities to have them teaching skills we need to engineering students.
My Typical Day: Most of my work is done by email and telephone. Each day I have many meetings with engineering managers and HR to discuss their needs. I look at training packages we already have, to see if they are suitable, and arrange for new training to be made available for our engineers. Sometimes I visit a University to discuss their courses, to see if we can put our engineers on them, and for the training to cover skills we need. I also participate in interviews for Graduates and Apprentices joining the company, representing engineering on the selection panel.
As well as my engineering day job, I spend time on outreach. In a normal situation I would be visiting schools with my mars rover, to talk about how and why we send robots to mars.
I have build myself a robotic mars rover, which I set up for students to drive remotely simulating an actual mission.
What I'd do with the money
I would upgrade my mars rover to make it function better!
For a few years now I have been using my robotic mars rover in schools, to talk about robotic missions to space. The rover can be driven remotely form another classroom, setting up a planetary exploration mission just like the real thing. Students can see remote video from the rover, and send it commands to move around, exploring for items that I have hidden.
The rover is self funded by me, and desperately needs new steering servo’s and an additional camera, and possibly a sample retrieval arm.
During “the situation” in 2020 I have been able to set up remote driving session with people all over the world, but some additional funding will enable me to make this work better, and be available to more people.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Practical. Passionate. Average.
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Participating in a flight test of a brand new solar powered aircraft in the USA and breaking a world record. Also, visiting schools with Tim Peake's parents while Tim was in space.
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
I had many engineers in my family, and they encouraged me to follow my passion.
What was your favourite subject at school?
CDT Technology. I actually bought the electronics that I made in the class from the school, so I could take them home.
What did you want to be after you left school?
I had no idea, but i knew that I enjoyed building things, particularly electronics..
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yes. For not doing my homework on time. I was really lazy at school, and didn't push myself.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Making props or animatronic puppets for films.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Taking a prototype Mars Rover to public events - and driving it.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Set up my own engineering company building props and robots for films. To design and build a fully functioning spacesuit. Work for the UK Space Agency
Tell us a joke.
Why don’t scientists trust atoms? Because they make up everything.