Head of Education and Skills
Peter Finegold is the Head of Education and Skills at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. After a science degree and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, he spent 10 years working as a science teacher in comprehensive schools. Then he joined the Wellcome Trust, where he led the work of the education team and developed the strategic direction of the Trust’s education policy research work. He oversaw the charity’s schools work and led the development of the Science Learning Centres initiative with government.
He then moved to Nowgen as the Director of Public Programmes where he led the education, public and patient engagement programme. The Nowgen Schools Genomics Programme was designed to help equip young people with the necessary skills and understanding to assess the real potential of genomics and make informed decisions about future healthcare.
Peter is a Director at Isinglass Consultancy, which specialises in communication, strategy and research in science, health and education. He worked extensively on modernising genetics education and STEM education policy; including co-authorship of the STEM Careers Review in 2010, commissioned by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, examining the status of STEM careers information, advice and guidance provision in England.
Since May 2013 Peter has led the Institution's education activity to support STEM skills infrastructure and inspire the next generation of engineers. He wishes to position the Institution as a thought leader on education policy; and has been involved with strategic policy campaigns and promoting effective formal and informal learning initiatives. He is also an advocate for better careers advice – for school children, graduates and engineers following technical careers.
Peter believes that the most effective way to improve the education of tomorrow’s engineers is through inspiring and informing young people, while supporting teachers to understand more about modern industry. He is also strongly in favour of applied research that presents industry, government and practitioners with evidence of which educational interventions bring about change.
Peter’s top three
Favourite engineering innovation: Jet engine.
Person I most admire: Richard Feynman for his brilliance and honesty.
Greatest challenge facing engineering: The planet's growing population.