Peter Flinn

MA, MBA, CEng, FIMechE

Past President

Peter Flinn

Peter Flinn is the 136th President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

He is a chartered engineer who studied mechanical sciences at the University of Cambridge. He also holds an MBA and attended the international senior management programme at Harvard Business School. He has worked mainly in manufacturing industry in the aircraft, rail, commercial vehicle and process industries.

He started his career with the military aircraft division of what is now BAE Systems on projects such as the Anglo-French Jaguar.

He then moved to Leyland DAF Limited, his last position being Quality Director for the UK, having previously held senior positions in product development, research and manufacturing in Leyland and in Scotland.

He joined BREL/ABB in Derby, now part of Alstom’s UK rail business, as Head of Engineering. He was closely involved in the restructuring of the company after ABB took full control, setting up and running the Bodyshell Division of which he was Director, based in York.

Subsequently in ABB, he was MD of ABB Support Ltd and then of ABB Engineering Services/ABB Eutech, a 750-person international technical consultancy, bought from ICI. His role was to integrate this business into ABB, ensure its financial viability and develop its position in the market place.

His most recent industrial role was as MD of Vectra Group Limited, an engineering consultancy specialising in safety work for hazardous industries.

Since 2007, he has worked mainly at the interface between industry, government and academia. In 2014, he completed the start-up of the Aerospace Technology Institute. Prior to that, he helped InnovateUK establish the Catapult programme. During 2009 and 2010, he was the Project Director for the £40.55m Manufacturing Technology Centre built near Coventry. All three organisations are flourishing.

Since withdrawing from active consultancy in 2017, he has written a book entitled Managing Technology & Product Development Programmes, published by John Wiley & Sons in 2019.

He is an active member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, has been chairman of its Manufacturing Industries Division and the main point of contact for TMMX. He was also chairman of the Intelligent Automation centre at Loughborough University between 2012 and 2017.

He is married with two grown up children and five grandchildren. He is active in the local community in Ashbourne and was Captain of Ashbourne Golf Club in 2012.

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