Nick has joined our integrated sensors and systems division as an electronic warfare training specialist.
Nick graduated from Liverpool University with a BEng Engineering Science and Industrial Management and, after a brief period as a Tea Taster and Buyer for Lipton’s Tea, he joined the Royal Air Force as a Navigator in 1991. Nine enjoyable years on LXX Squadron at RAF Lyneham followed, where he flew the C130K Hercules in tactical and strategic roles supporting major and minor operations around the globe, many exercises, and he spent several years as a display Navigator for the RAF Falcons freefall parachute display team. In an attempt to recapture the excitement of 4 years as an Army Reserve infantryman he also threw himself into the survival world, becoming the Hercules fleet’s senior combat survival instructor, attending, organising and running courses and exercises in all environments around the world.
In 2000 he graduated from the year-long Aerosystems Course and spent most of the next 3 years travelling between DERA/QinetiQ Boscombe Down and Atlanta, USA, testing the C130J Hercules as a Mission Systems Trials Officer (TO). He also managed trials on the C130K, operated as a test Navigator on airdrop trials on both Hercules types, worked as a Human Factors TO, performed technical assessments of the C17, and supported the A400M programme. His work led him to being appointed as a Chartered Engineer by the Royal Aeronautical Society.
After a brief return to LXX Squadron he was promoted to Squadron Leader and posted to Defence Intelligence as a Geospatial Intelligence Requirements Manager, dealing with multispectral imagery collection and production, digital and hardcopy mapping, aeronautical and nautical data. It was in this role that he was first exposed to precision guided munitions and targeting, acting as the RAF’s standards authority for the Raindrop targeting system and production of Stormshadow data. In between training for the Marathon des Sables 6-day ultramarathon in the Sahara he completed an MSc Aerospace Design, Manufacture and Management at the University of Bristol.
His next tour was as Chief of Staff and a flying instructor on 55 Squadron, which provided ab initio and refresher training for all non-pilot aircrew, flying on the Tutor and Dominie. He also returned to the survival world, instructing student aircrew on basic survival, and escape and evasion skills.
Following a short tour in ISAF Headquarters in Kabul, he was posted to 92 Squadron, Air Warfare Centre, as the Air Mobility Trials & Tactics Officer, where he qualified as, and became the RAF’s senior, Qualified Multi-Engined Tactics Instructor. However, his main role was to provide: tactical advice to air transport, AAR and ISR crews on global operations; global operational advice to senior officers and government; technical assessments of threat systems, defensive aids and aircraft survivability. During this tour he was awarded a Commandant’s Commendation for his support to Air Mobility, AAR and ISR ops in Libya. In 2012 the RAF seconded Nick to the London Olympics for 4 months where he managed the cycle and run courses for the Triathlon in Hyde Park.
In 2013 he returned to the Aerosystems Course as course manager and instructor, where he refreshed his applied technology knowledge and visited defence industry in Europe, the Middle East and USA. He oversaw the accreditation of the course as an MSc with Kingston University and with the Royal Aeronautical Society as meeting the Engineering Council’s academic requirements for Chartered status. He also managed and delivered the Introduction to Trials Management Course and supported initial officer training. At the end of this tour he was detached to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for 6 months as a military observer.
In his final tour in the RAF he was a military adviser to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratories at Portsdown West, but was permanently detached to 41 Squadron at RAF Coningsby, which tests the Typhoon and associated weapons systems. In this role he provided advice to the MOD’s research and development organisation regarding Typhoon aircraft and weapons development and evaluation, broader advice regarding the application of advanced technologies in the operational environment, and was an assessor and moderator on the Defence Accelerator programme.
Nick is married with 3 grown-up children, 2 dogs and 3 cats. His wife has recently been ordained as a Church of England vicar, so he expects his spare time to be increasingly dominated by fetes and flower arranging. However, the Church’s demands will have to contend with his passion for triathlon at which he competes at international (amateur) level at all distances up to Ironman, is an international race official, coach, team manager for one of the GBR teams, and a race organiser.