What did you study at University?
I studied a BSc in Electrical & Electronic engineering at University of Hertfordshire. A later addition was a Certified Accountancy qualification from the ACCA.
I always had an interest in fixing things, not so much mechanically, but electrically, and orientating around practical skills. I wanted to keep my options open, so chose a broad-based degree covering a range of disciplines, which allowed me to specialise in Telecommunications in the final year.
Where have you worked?
After university I joined British Gas (not know for being at the forefront of telecoms). Before de-regulation they operated their own private telecoms network and I specialised in PMR and microwave point-to-point systems. My role varied over the years from design and implementation of networks through to corporate strategy.
During my time at Nortel I expanded my horizons to theGlobal telecoms market. I also ventured away from pure Engineering into Sales and Marketing. My work in Nortel involved a FWA deployment in South America, technical involvement in the 26GHz licence awards and 2G and 3G product management.
My role at Samsung involves both product and market development for Mobile WiMax.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Probably in a consultancy capacity; using my knowledge and experience (over 35 years at that stage) in a more strategic role.
What are your predictions for the industry over the next few years?
I think we'll see a revolution in the data market similar to that of voice communications. We're already making great strides with connectivity and developing new techniques for delivering data, such as Mobile WiMax. I also think UWB will have an impact especially in areas such as home automation.
Which person has been the single biggest influence in your career?
Steve Harris, a colleague at Nortel, Paignton. He channelled me into Sales and Marketing and showed me that sometimes by removing your Engineer's hat finding solutions to customer's problems can be approached in different ways.
If you had to start again what would you do differently?
Possibly to have left Nortel earlier. Nortel worldwide made over 60K staff redundant in 5 years. However, my commitments both to my family and to the company overrode any desire or need to move on.
If you had to choose an alternative career what would it be and why?
I'd definitely choose a role within the finance side of business. Financiers' weald a lot of the power in industry today.
Where would you most like to be a fly on the wall?
At the upcoming 2.5GHz auctions in Ofcom. The bidding process takes place in private and will give a good insight into how market forces will change the status quo of the market.