What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
What is the most important thing you’ve learnt in your career?
Thorough testing is fundamental to good design. Test twice, sell once!
Which area of innovation excites you most and why?
The steady advancements in the space sector is extremely exciting. The fact we are at a stage where they are landing the entire rocket onto a pad in the middle of the sea after delivering its payload with the ability to reuse it again is staggering.
The work going on there is amazing and has captivated the minds of a large audience. Hopefully this is not allowed to stagnate again.
SpaceX and NASA have been doing brilliant work in recent years and it is actually exciting and the decades to come should the interesting should funding be maintained.
It is a shame that European agencies cannot achieve similar levels of funding and risk falling ever further behind the United States public and private sectors in this industry.
What is the one change you think is critical for the industry?
The short support cycle of receivers is of personal concern for me. With applications rapidly being updated some devices’ native applications soon stop working with no resolution available to the consumer.
This will need to be addressed eventually as it won’t be long before consumers don’t value the ‘Smart’ aspect of their device, since it will just turn dumb in a few years.
Tech seems to be adopting a similar ethos to fast fashion and the consumer will certainly be noticing this.
What makes this industry special?
This is an industry that touches everyone. Outside of some extreme cases I think it would be very hard to find someone who has not seen a Television or listened to a Radio. These devices and their supporting infrastructure are the tools that have inspired and informed generations and whose media continues to inspire.
Even as the industry adopts new forms of media and transmission, the vast expertise of the sector continues to exist and evolve with it. Improving upon a strong and stable foundation with every year that goes by.
And I am glad to be a small part of the machine.
What key skills do you think are needed for your role?
While good technical skills and engineering qualifications are always a plus, I’ve found having good communication and people skills are equally important. But also easily overlooked.
If no one hears you, then your ideas will go nowhere and neither will you.
If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy, I don’t think this needs much of an explanation. The man is a living hero and a legend in the making, who will be remembered in many years to come. It would simply be an honour to be in the same room as him let alone be able to share a table and break bread with him.
Though perhaps it be best not disturb him with a dinner when he is so busy! Perhaps we should appoint more comedians as politicians if this is the standard we can expect.
Tokugawa Hideyoshi, hopefully someone would be around to translate for us. But speaking to the unifier of Japan and victor of the sengoku jidai would be fascinating and he’d have met enough of the other key figures of the time period to get some fascinating insights. I imagine he’d be far more of a conversationalist than Oda Nobunaga.
Arnold Frederic Wilkins would be a fantastic dinner guest; getting his story on the development of radar as an early warning system to detect aircraft would be truly brilliant and no doubt engaging. Hearing how he convinced his boss to fund and setup the Daventry Experiment would be amazing, though I’m sure it was not a hard sell. And I’d love to hear his personal thoughts on the Tizard Committee on their claims of a radio death ray.
What is your all-time favourite film or tv show?
Kingdom of Heaven is one of those films that most people seem to dislike, but I have adored it. Even watching it multiple times since I first saw it in 2005 at the ripe old age of 13, while it certainly lacks character depth and historical accuracy it makes up for it in action and epic scenes.
Deus Vult and God Wills it gifs are still wildly popular containing snippets of this film and for good reason.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Prior to having a family I’d book 1-2 weeks in a straight block and pretend to be going off on a nice holiday. In reality I sat in my studio flat playing video games by myself all day and had a great time.
Despite being an extremely social person, I also enjoy long periods of isolation. While covid was a terrible time for many, the month where I got furloughed was certainly enjoyable and I isolated hard.
If you weren’t working in this sector, where would you be working?
The defence sector.