BCS Board Biographies
Dr Rob Backhouse FIMMM: is an engineering Specialist for Polymeric/Organic Matrix Composites at Rolls-Royce plc with responsibility for materials, manufacturing and processing technology strategies across all business sectors. He is mainly involved in new composite application development and associated technology capability acquisition in Rolls-Royce University Technology Centres and Advanced Research Network. His current activities include developing new composite opportunities on our UltraFan™ engine, defence and power systems products and the on composites to support the electrification and digitalisation of Rolls-Royce products and processes in all sectors. He has previously worked for McLaren Automotive as senior composite engineer on several road-car programmes, for BAE Systems and Airbus as an EngD Research Engineer on composite primary structure materials and manufacturing research. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOMMM), member of the Executive Committee British Composites Society and represents Rolls-Royce on CMH-17 working groups and several other Industrial Advisory Boards.
Dr Quentin Fontana FIMMM: The Secretry to the Board of the British Composites Society, is a self-employed consultant specializing in composite materials and collaborative research. Quentin has worked in composites since 1980 including research work at the universities of Surrey and Cambridge and experience in the aerospace sector and for a broad-ranging composite materials manufacturer.
Prof. Emile Greenhalgh FIMMM: An academic who has over thirty years experience in composites research, teaches over a wide range of aspects of fibre reinforced polymers and administrates a Masters course in Composites. He is a Professor in Composite Materials at The Composite Centre and Aeronautics Department at Imperial College London, with a PhD in damage growth in composite materials. He has worked at Imperial College London since 2003, prior to which he was at RAE/DERA/QinetiQ from 1987 to 2003. His two areas of particular expertise are in fractographic analysis of polymer composites and development of multifunctional (structural power) materials.
Alex Cochrane: is a final-year EngD student at the University of Bristol sponsored by Rolls-Royce plc conducting research into the high-velocity impact failure behaviour of through-thickness reinforced composite structures. This involves finite element modelling of high-speed gelatine impact test cases and validation testing using a gas-gun. Prior to his EngD, he obtained an MEng in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Glasgow before working on the superplastic forming of titanium gas turbine engine components at the HVM Catapult's Advanced Forming Research Centre. Alex is due to submit his thesis in December 2019.
Sean Cooper MIMMM works at the UK National Composites Centre (NCC) as a Principal Research Engineer in the High-Volume Manufacturing team. At the NCC he specialises in developing thermoplastic matrix composite technologies including: SMC/BMC processes, thermoforming, composite injection overmoulding and specialist thermoplastic composite assembly processes such as fusion welding. Sean was formerly the Materials and Manufacturing Development Manager for Tods Aerospace where he helped develop the business capability via research in thermoplastic and thermoset composite processing. He holds a first-class BSc Honours Degree in Engineering Design and Manufacture from Plymouth University and a Master of Science (MSc) distinction in Advanced Materials from the University of Surrey. Sean holds a dual Chartership status with the Engineering and Science Councils (CEng & CSci), is a member of the Mechanical and Marine Industrial Advisory Committee (MMIAC) of Plymouth University and a registered volunteer STEM Ambassador.
Dr. Richard Craven is a mechanical engineer specialising in structural analysis and failure of composite structures by background, with particular subject matter expertise in composites and structural analysis in maritime applications. He completed a PhD on modelling of impact damage in composites at Imperial College London and then joined Vestas on the Isle of Wight where he was responisble for the development of the composite structural analysis and failure toolkit for the design and development of wind turbine blades. He joined QinetiQ in 2015 working in marine composites and has led project on composites, structural analysis and failure of marine structures for military and commerical customers. Richard is a Principal Engineer holds CEng stauts and is a Member of the IMechE and IMMM.
Andrew Foreman is a polymer composite materials scientist by background, with particular subject matter expertise in the design, manufacture and testing of carbon fibre reinforced polymer composites. He started his career at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Pyestock, testing gas turbine engine designs, followed by various secondments whilst an undergraduate student sponsored by MOD. He joined the composites team at RAE Farnborough in 1995 working on aerospace composites. Since that time Andrew has managed and delivered a multitude of national and international Polymer Composite research programmes and is now Chief Engineer responsible for all QinetiQ Air Research programmes. Andrew is a QinetiQ Fellow and a Fellow of the Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining.
Dr Stefanos Giannis FIMMM has a background in polymers and polymer composites and works at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) as Principal Research Scientist in the Advanced Materials Characterisation group. He started his postgraduate career at the Materials Engineering Research Laboratory (MERL) working on a variety of composite materials testing and analysis projects. After leading a number of commercial, as well as UK and EU funded R&D composites programmes, and following the acquisition of MERL by Element Materials Technology, Stefanos headed the Aerospace & Energy sector where he directed commercial activities within the advanced materials field and developed testing capability across multiple industry sectors (Aerospace, Renewables and Oil & Gas). Stefanos holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics and an MSc in Polymer Science and Technology from the University of Patras. His PhD research at the University of Bristol was funded by Airbus UK and focused on integral fuel tank technologies. Stefanos is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining (FIMMM) and holds a dual Chartership status with the Engineering (CEng) and Science Councils (CSci).
Mr Michael Gower is a principal research scientist and science area leader for Materials Testing within the Advanced Materials Characterisation team at the National Physical Laboratory. Mike is responsible for the development of metrology to underpin the use of composites as multifunctional materials to enable optimisation of the processing and in-service performance of composite structures. He has 24 years of experience in mechanical testing, physical analysis, characterisation, non-destructive testing and finite element analysis of composite materials. Mike holds a degree in Aeronautical Engineering and an MSc in Composite Materials from Imperial College.
Chris Harrington is an Industrial Chemist by background with particular subject matter expertise in the research and introduction of thermosetting high performance fibre reinforced polymer composites and adhesives. He started his career at Hexcel researching materials for aircraft interior applications before switching his focus to Industrial product development in 2001. Since that time Chris has overseen the launch of several Industrial products for customers in the UK, Europe and the US and is now Section Leader Industrial R&T at Hexcel, based at the Hexcel’s Innovation Centre in Cambridgeshire.
John McQuilliam FIMMM is currently Chief Engineer at Prodrive Composites in Milton Keynes. Prodrive are the largest supplier of composite parts to the Automotive industry in the UK. John has a wealth of composite design and manufacturing experience stretching back more than 30 years. He graduated from Salford University with a Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering and then began work in the Composites Development Unit at British Aerospace in Manchester. John then had 5 years working first for the Williams F1 team and then Arrows F1 during which time he completed his Master’s degree in Composite Materials from Imperial College, London. He joined Jordan Grand Prix as Head of Composite Design going on to become their Chief Designer. John left the Jordan Team to join what would become the Manor F1 team from its very beginnings in 2009 and was appointed as the Team’s Technical Director in 2015.
Professor Paul A Smith FIMMM CEng is Professor of Composite Materials and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Surrey. He has worked on composite materials since the early 1980s with a particular interest in damage and fracture and associated modelling. Paul has published extensively in the field and has presented at numerous international meetings. He is a former editor of composites part A: applied science and manufacturing and a former President of ICCM (International Committee on Composite Materials).
Paul Shakspeare has a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College and is a Fellow of the IMechE and IOM3. After working in the defence industry in engineering and technology-based training systems, he set up businesses to develop and provide operations and maintenance training to the rail industry in the UK, Asia and Australia. Following the sale of these companies, Paul has provided management and consultancy activities to advanced manufacturing sector organisations, including the National Composites Centre and HVMC, in the field of workforce development to ensure that the right skills are available to industry at the right time.
Professor John Summerscales CEng, CEnv, CSci, FIMMM is Professor of Composites Engineering at the University of Plymouth. He has over forty years experience in the composites discipline. After completing his doctoral studies, he worked for Ministry of Defence (Navy) for five years before joining the Advanced Composites Manufacturing Centre (ACMC) at Plymouth. He has been pathway leader for the BEng/MEng (honours) Mechanical Engineering with Composites degree since its inception in 1990. He has research interests in composites characterisation and manufacturing, and in sustainability issues. He is an editor of books on non-destructive testing, on microstructural characterisation, and on marine composites.