From a very early age I loved Science & ‘How it Works’ books, Lego, Meccano, & ‘kitchen science experiments’. I also learnt diagnostic & repair skills in my motor mechanic father’s workshop. I have a B.Eng in Chemical Engineering, an MSc in Maritime Engineering Science & a PhD in Marine Composites & Statistics. My shop-floor experience includes production of windsurfer fins, sailing catamarans & yacht spars. I have designed & built servo-hydraulic test machines, composites fabrication and testing facilities, & carbon fibre sailing ship spars.
Born & bred on the River Colne on the UK North Sea coast, I started sailing 50 years ago & have never stopped – be it dinghies, windsurfing (and surfing) or yachts. Sailing & the sea have always been central to both my life & career choices.
My life-long fascination with science, engineering background & 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 & high performance sailing craft. I am listed on the Stanford University (yearly and career-long) rankings of the top 2% cited scientists in the world & have an h-index of 19 (Scopus & Web of Science).
I have supervised undergraduate, Masters & PhD students throughout my career, & was responsible for all undergraduate admissions & all examinations in the Department of Ship Science at Southampton University. I wrote & taught the Instituto Superior Técnico MSc course on Marine Composites, & have taught Physics in a UK secondary school & English as a Foreign Language in Germany.