From a very early age I loved Science and ‘How it Works’ books, Lego, Meccano, and ‘kitchen science experiments’. I also learnt diagnostic and repair skills in my motor mechanic father’s workshop. I have a B.Eng in Chemical Engineering, an MSc in Maritime Engineering Science and a PhD in Marine Composites & Statistics. My shop-floor experience includes production of windsurfer fins, sailing catamarans and yacht spars. I have designed and built servo-hydraulic test machines, composites fabrication and testing facilities, and carbon fibre sailing ship spars.
Born and bred on the River Colne on the UK North Sea coast, I started sailing 50 years ago and have never stopped – be it dinghies, windsurfing (and surfing) or yachts. Sailing and the sea have always been central to my life and career choices.
My life-long fascination with science, engineering background, and love of sailing and the sea, all inexorably led me to a career in maritime engineering research. Over the last 25 years I have specialised in lightweight marine structures and high performance sailing craft. I have an h-index of 18 (Scopus & Web of Science) and am listed on the Stanford University (yearly and career-long) rankings of the top 2% cited scientists in the world.
I have supervised undergraduate, Masters and PhD students throughout my career, and was responsible for all undergraduate admissions and all examinations in the Department of Ship Science at Southampton University. I wrote and taught the Instituto Superior Técnico MSc course on Marine Composites, and have taught Physics in a UK secondary school and English as a Foreign Language in Germany.