John's career grew from vocational and practical roots, starting with a commercial apprenticeship with a broad-based engineering design and manufacturing company, W.B. Bawn, with evening-classes study through Ordinary and Higher National Certificates (ONC & HNC), plus appropriate endorsements and with Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
Service with Messrs Whessoe in the oil and engineering contractor business in Nigeria (1963/64) was ended by the Biafra war. John then joined Ford Motor Company, Europe (Production Planning) immediately and progressed through a range of engineering appointments , e.g. Timing and Operations Control Manager, product development and Advanced and Research Planning Manager), with overseas assignments. Voluntary duties led to John becoming a Trustee for SETNET, the embryonic version of today’s STEM Learning ; increasingly his work became focused on science, technology, engineering & mathematics (STEM) until formal separation in 1992. Then followed five years leading the successful development of National and Scottish Vocational Qualifications (NVQ/SVQs), before a five-year return to Ford to develop and lead its product development Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the UK – and winning the top-two national awards for STEM education outreach work.
As a long-serving member of the IMechE, and a Fellow since 2002, John has served in a variety of Institution positions alongside a successful industrial and government-service career. Appointments, all elected rather than assigned, posts have included:
- Member, then Chairman, Automobile Division (AD) - after service in supporting roles
- Education & Skills Strategy Board (ESSB), Education Advisory Committee (EAC) etc.
- Council and Council Co-Ordinating Committee (part of the original set-up team)
- Trustee Board – and interface with various outside bodies (Education for Engineering etc.).
John is the lead FISITA (international collaboration) representative, for the Automobile Division. He continues to be active, with his own engineering consultancy company, and voluntarily advising variously on STEM matters, in the UK and elsewhere, e.g. Japan.
John is a Fellow with the Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Management (CMI), with a long record of officer positions with my local area. He is Honorary President of his local engineering heritage museum, Museum of Power. In 2018, he was honoured with the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to STEM education.
Since 1997, John's work has been a mix of self-employment and voluntary, heavily focused on STEM education, working with various agencies and charities. He has been a Fellow of IMechE since 2002 and served in wide range of responsibilities, including education committees, Chair of the Automobile Division, plus Council and Trustee Board.