Here we go...
St David's High School, Wrexham. Yale VI Form College, Wrexham. Leeds University
BSc (Hons) in Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Chartered Engineer
BT Research Labs. Communication Systems Research Ltd. Ferranti Communications. Orbit Research Ltd.
CEO at Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd
Goonhilly Earth Station
I'm a satellite communications engineer and the boss at Goonhilly Earth Station
I’m originally from North Wales, but I have lived in Leeds, Ipswich, Leeds (again) and Chester. I’m now looking to move closer to my office because it’s a long way to drive. I’m married with two children, one dog and a shrimp called Jaques.
When I was a teenager, I always wanted a bike, a camera, a clarinet, and Seiko watch. I pestered my parents until they gave in, and I still have, and use, all of them. OK… the camera stays mostly in the cupboard these days because I’ve bought the digital equivalent.
I played clarinet in the National Youth Orchestra of Wales and then carried on playing in various orchestras. I now play with the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra. I also play saxophone, piano and bass guitar. I started a ‘big band’ at Leeds University in 1987 and conducted it for 10 years. It’s still going strong.
I started my first company when I was 30. It was called Orbit Research Ltd and we designed specialist equipment for satellite earth stations.
The best ice cream is Cadbury’s Flake Ice Cream. I’m planning to learn to fly.
CEO at Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd
Being the Chief Executive Officer means I have a lot of responsibility. Ultimately I have to make sure that the company is successful, that everyone is safe and we comply with all the various rules and regulations. That all sounds very serious, but actually its an amazingly creative job.
I work with a fantastic team of engineers and between us we devise new ideas and ways that we can provide satellite communication services to our customers.
If we’re successful doing that, then we gain new customers and the company grows.
My Typical Day
It's very varied! Mostly business development - talking to customers and staff about how to do things
As the boss of a growing engineering company my typical day is extremely varied. I might be flying somewhere to meet customers, meeting with colleagues to discuss a project, writing a business proposal or preparing financial analysis.
All the exciting things I learned in my engineering degree inform everything I do and it’s a brilliant asset to have. It really changes the way you think about business and making things work.
What I'd do with the money
Build our communications research lab
We have lots of students who visit Goonhilly and they have a great time talking to our engineers and finding out about the site. We do tours of the antennas and explain about all the systems and how they work.
We’d really like to add to this by creating a practical communications lab where students can work with real equipment and carry out experiments.
We would use the prize money to help us do this (and we’d put some money in too!)
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Passionate, thoughtful (slightly) crazy.
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Designed radio systems that communicate via satellites - it's like magic!
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
I used to go to my friend's dad's TV repair shop after school and pull old TVs apart
What was your favourite subject at school?
Tricky, loved Physics and music
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yes. > *!$% BANG !! *@ < And I decided that I shouldn't be a rocket scientist after all!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Ageing rock star :)
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
Flake Ice Cream (of course)
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Visiting a rocket factory in California
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Make Goonhilly really successful. Play Louis Spohr's 2nd Clarinet Concerto with an orchestra. Go to the moon.
Tell us a joke.
Two antennas got married. The ceremony was boring but the reception was great.