I started my career as an apprentice for the National Coal Board, working down a coal mine. I then moved to a company making industrial centrifuges, and worked in the chemical industry and on oil rigs around the world. After that, I changed career path and started as an automotive engineer, wher I worked for 25 years before becoming a university professor.
Professor of Automotive Engineering and Director of the Turbocharger Research Institute
University of Huddersfield
My job can best be described as solving problems, sometimes technical, sometimes managerial, but always involving people.
As Professor of Automotive Engineering, it may seem strange that I am here discussing Aerospace Engineering. However, my specialist field is Turbocharging, where we use Aerospace technology in an Automotive environment. I lead the Turbocharger Research Institute at the University of Huddersfield, where we work on new design methods, materials and uses for turbomachinery associated with internal combustion engines. This provides all sorts of challenges, across a very wide range of subjects – mathematical and chemical, as well as in understanding the physics of the situation.
My Typical Day: Every day is different, with new challenges, ideas and interesting things to do, it’s never predictable or boring!!
I read my email over breakfast, then travel to the university, arriving about 8:15. My first stop is usually the test labs, where I check progress on the many practical projects that we are working on. I will then go to my office and catch up with my staff, before responding to any mail that needs a reply. After that, anything can happen! Some days are taken up testing new designs, others may be meeting people from industry who are setting up collaborations to carry out applied research . During term time, I may be teaching, setting or marking exams or tutoring students.
What I'd do with the money
Continue my work with schools to encourage more young people, especially girls, to become engineers
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How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Practical, active, different
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Travelled the world
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Bartender in a beach bar!!
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
White water kayaking in my younger days, powerboating now!
Tell us a joke.
I prefer cartoons – one of my favourites below