The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)
Director of Knowledge Transfer
I started out as a welder in the shipyards of Tyneside and it took several years to realise there was more to life for me than that. At the age of 21, I went back to college, took my O Levels, and went on to pursue a 25-year career in higher education, which has taken me to exciting places in the UK and overseas. I started as a university academic and later, moved into senior management.
I joined UCLan as Director of Knowledge Transfer in 2004, where I’m responsible for directing all aspects of UCLan’s work with external organisations, including a wide range of businesses across Lancashire and beyond.
I am also chairman of a Yorkshire-based social enterprise called Pitstop 2000, which provides alternative learning and education options for young people, particularly those at risk of offending.
In 2008, Pitstop 2000 was voted Social Enterprise of the Year at the Yorkshire and Humberside Social Enterprise Awards.
What’s keeping you busy at the moment?
Following our recent success in the latest HEBCIS report, I’ve been busy building up the Knowledge Transfer Service and welcoming project champions to the team to forge new collaborations with the creative and digital industries, and nuclear sector.
In September, I oversaw the extension of our services to UCLan’s new campus in Burnley. I’ve also been rolling out a new student internships programme and helping UCLan to build new links with universities overseas.
Outside of work, I’m installing a micro hydro-power system in my garden, which is certainly keeping me busy!
It has to be Gavin and Stacey because it has me in stitches – “Oh, what’s occurring?”
Favourite holiday destination:
I travel quite widely but one of my favourite places to spend time is Scotland, up in the furthest North West, around Achiltibuie and the Summer Isles.
Ideal way to wind down:
Swimming. It’s great exercise and a lovely way to clear your mind after a day at work.
Best piece of business advice:
Always aim to spot the obvious before it becomes obvious.