Lymm Grammar School, Preston Polytechnic, Loughborough University
8 O’levels, 3 A Levels, BSc in Science, MSc in Aerosystems Engineering
The RAF (Enginnering Officer), BAE Systems (Aircraft Design and Engineering Education manager), STEMNET (Regional Director for STEM education in the North), Preston College (Head of STEM Division), Department for Education (Technical Education policy leader)
Policy Lead for Technical Education in the Department for Education
An experienced Aerospace Engineer, who has now moved into technical education policy making.
I live in the North West of England (2 daughters, 2 cats – sometimes get them confused with each other). Enjoy playing the guitar – was going to be a rock star if I didn’t make it as an engineer, but fortunately lots of other engineers also play guitars and drums , so always been in a band wherever I’ve worked. Joined the Air Cadets at school – and they paid for me to get my Private Pilots Licence – so always been interested in aircraft.
I've always worked with aircraft; their operations, maintenance, design, buying them, and even scrapping them when they were really old
I have worked in the Royal Air Force as an Engineering Officer, and within BAE Systems – one of the biggest aircraft manufacturers in the world – responsible for engineering on squadrons, managing fleets of aircraft, acting as a specialist investigator when aircraft crash, and helping define what the next generation of aircraft might look like. I then got interested in engineering training and education, so managed technical training organisations, and now I work with the Government to help design technical education policy – how the schools and colleges of the future will teach and train the future engineers. It just shows how flexible a career in engineering can be.
My Typical Day: No two days are the same - sometimes starting very early and travelling to meetings with my teams in London or other European capitals, some days working at home on my own. It's always very different, looking at information and plans, to help understanding how technicians and engineers of the future will work, and advising very senior people in the Government.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Friendly, Funny, Fatter (than i should be)
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
helped over 1,000 students graduate as 'engineers'
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
A Rock Star
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yup - played my electric guitar very loud - on purpose!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
racing car test driver
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Pink Floyd (old-fashioned prog-rock)
What's your favourite food?
Curry - hotter the better
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Jumped out of an airplane (with a parachute of course!)
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Loads of money, my own jet aircraft, a full head of hair
Tell us a joke.
Two antennas got married - the wedding was lousy, but the reception was outstanding.