The ERA Foundation Board

Our board combines a wealth of experience and deep knowledge of the Engineering and Manufacturing sector.

Our board believes in innovation, investment in the next generation of engineers and a focused approach

This is fostered by the combined abilities of our directors who strive to honour the Foundations long history.

Chairman ERA Foundation

Professor Sir Christopher Snowden

President ERA Foundation

Sir Alan Rudge

Board Member

Mike Carr

Board Member

Dr Paul Golby

Board Member

Dr Joanna Kennedy

Board Member

Sir John O’Reilly

Executive Secretary

Keith Robson


Professor Sir Christopher Snowden

FRS FREng FIET FIEEE FCGI
Chairman ERA Foundation

Professor Sir Christopher Snowden a distinguished engineer with wide experience of the international microwave and semiconductor industry. He was previously President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton (2015-19) and University of Surrey (2005-2015). He was Vice-President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Chaired the Academy’s Engineering Policy Group from 2008-2013. He was President of the Institute of Engineering and Technology for 2009-10.

Sir Christopher was a member of the Prime Minister’s advisory Council for Science and Technology until 2016 and was a member of the governing body of the UK’s Technology Strategy Board (Innovate UK) as well as a member of the Council of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for six years. He was President of Universities UK from 2013-15 and Vice-President and Chair of UUK’s Employability, Business and Industry Policy Committee for five years. He was a member of the Council for Industry and Higher Education and Chair of Higher Education Research Opportunities (HERO) Ltd from 2006-8. He has previously been a Patron of Surrey Youth Focus and was Chair of the Daphne Jackson Trust from 2005-9. He was a Governor of the Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Trust.

He has been a Non-Executive of several companies and advises several others. He is a consultant for international technology companies and governments. He has previously held the posts of Chief Executive Officer at Filtronic plc; Head of School and personal Chair of Microwave Engineering in the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Leeds; Senior Staff Scientist at M/A-COM Inc. in the USA, Lecturer at the University of York and Applications Engineer at Mullard Ltd.

Sir Christopher is a Fellow of the Royal Society (2005), Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (2000), Fellow of the IEEE (1996), a Fellow of the IET (1992) and a Fellow of the City and Guilds Institute (2005).

He holds a number of awards from the Royal Academy of Engineering, the European Microwave Association and the IEEE. He has received Honorary Degrees from the universities of Leeds, Surrey, Strathclyde and City. He has published 8 books and over 350 technical papers.


Sir Alan Rudge

CBE FREng FRS
President ERA Foundation

Sir Alan Rudge is the Deputy Chairman and Senior Independent Director on the Board of Experian Plc. He is a past Chairman of ERA Technology Ltd and was Chairman of the Board of Management of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 until July 2012 and Pro-Chancellor of the University of Surrey until December 2007. Sir Alan was Deputy Chief Executive of British Telecommunications until 1997 and then Chairman of WS Atkins until 2001. He was Chief Executive and then President of Celtel International BV and Special Adviser to General Atlantic Partners until 2004. He was Chairman of the ERA Foundation from its formation until December 2012, after which he was appointed as the Foundation’s President.

Sir Alan is a former Chairman of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, a past President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers and Chairman of the Engineering Council. He has served on a number of national committees including the Government’s Advisory Committee on Science and Technology.


Mike Carr

OBE FREng
Board Member

Mike Carr OBE FREng is currently a Non-Executive Director for both Ordnance Survey Ltd and Ploughshare Innovations Ltd . He is Chairman of Astigan Ltd, a start-up based in Somerset, President of the Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) and a member of the Enterprise Hub Board at the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Mike is the former Chief Science Officer for BT where he was responsible for the company’s world-leading research and commercial exploitation unit, including patent licensing and corporate venturing activities.

 

He has several patents to his name in the field of video compression and is the holder of two prestigious BT awards; the Martlesham Medal for R&D and the BT Gold medal for leading multimedia product developments. From 1999 Mike was based in Silicon Valley, California, USA where he established BT’s US Technology office and Corporate Venturing activity. He returned to the UK in 2001 to lead BT’s Research & Venturing division. More recently he has been a Council Member of the EPSRC and a Board Member of Innovate UK.

He received an OBE for “services to innovation” in 2017.


Dr Paul Golby

CBE FREng
Board Member

Dr Golby trained and gained a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering. He held a series of management positions with Dunlop and BTR before becoming an Executive Director of Clayhithe plc in 1992. He joined E.ON UK plc (formally PowerGen) in 2001 where he held the position of Chairman and Chief Executive until his retirement in December 2011.

A Chartered Engineer, he is a fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Energy Institute and City of Guilds. He was awarded an honorary degree from Aston University in 2007 and Cranfield University in 2008. He was also made CBE by HM the Queen in 2011.

 

He is chairman of the National Air Traffic Service, Chairman of Costain Group plc, a Non- Executive Director of National Grid plc and a member of the Prime Ministers Council for Science and Technology.

He is a past Chair of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Engineering UK.


Dr Joanna Kennedy

OBE FREng FICE
Board Member

Joanna Kennedy is a civil engineer and project manager, with wide experience of leading complex high profile construction projects. She is a non-executive director of Native Land Limited, and a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery, chairing the project board for its Inspiring People redevelopment.

Until 2013 she was a Director and Global leader for Programme and Project Management with Arup, one of the world’s leading multi-disciplinary consultancies. She was a founder of Arup’s project management business, which twice won Project Management Company of the Year.

 

Her other appointments have included the Engineering Council, Trustee of the Science Museum, board member of the EPSRC, deputy chairman of the Port of London Authority, commissioner of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 and Council member of the Royal College of Art.

She gained first class honours in engineering at Oxford and in 1984 helped launch WISE (Women into Science and Engineering) of which she is a Patron. She has won awards as Woman of the Year in the Built Environment, First Woman of Engineering and Woman of Outstanding Achievement. She was awarded the OBE in 1995 for services to consulting engineering.


Sir John O’Reilly

DSc FREng HonFIET
Board Member

Sir John O’Reilly is the Director General of Knowledge and Innovation at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. He was Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University from December 2006 until January 2012, having previously been Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. He graduated from Brunel University with first class honours in Electrical Engineering, later obtaining a PhD from the University of Essex. He was awarded a DSc by Brunel in 1991. Professor O’Reilly began his career at the Royal Radar Establishment, Malvern. He has held posts as a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer at the University of Essex, was Professor of Electronic Engineering and Head of the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Systems in the University of Wales, Bangor, was Chair of Telecommunications at University College London, where he served also as Head of the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering.

His industrial experience includes appointments with Ultra Electronics Ltd, with the Post Office Research Centre and a period as a Principal Research Fellow with BT. In the SME sector he has served as Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman of IDB Ltd and non-executive Chairman on CAST Ltd.

From 2001, prior to joining Cranfield, Professor O’Reilly was Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), leading various strategic developments in research, teaching and knowledge transfer.

Professor O’Reilly’s personal research has been in the area of Information and Communication Technologies, with an emphasis on communication networks and applications. Widely published, with some 400 journal and conference papers and three books, he was awarded the J J Thompson Medal of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) for ‘distinguished contributions to electrical engineering’. He has served as a specialist advisor to UK Government and the European Commission, and currently chairs the UK’s Network Interoperability Consultative Committee (NICC) for Ofcom and the telecommunications industry.

In 2004-05 Professor O’Reilly was the President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (now the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)) and is also a former president of EUREL, the Confederation of European Professional Electrical Societies. A fellow and former member of the Council of the Royal Academy of Engineering, he is also a Foreign member of Academie Hassan II des Sciences et Techniques and of Academia das Ciências de Lisboa.

In the 2007 New Year Honours list Professor O’Reilly was awarded a knighthood for contributions to science.

The Board of the ERA Foundation elected Sir John to be its Chairman when Prof Sir Richard Brook stood down as Chairman in January 2016.


Keith Robson

CEng, FIET
Executive Secretary

Keith Robson is the Foundation’s Executive Secretary.

Keith joined RAE Farnborough as a student engineer in 1976 before completing a degree in Electronic Engineering at Leeds University. These formative years reinforced Keith’s passion for engineering and for innovative approaches to higher education.

On leaving the MOD Keith joined Schlumberger as a wireline field engineer and then R&D Manager for their avionic control systems and sensors division. He went on to become MD of a high-tech SME which he exited 1996 following a successful trade sale. He then formed his own start-up company in computer vision systems before carrying out a successful turnaround of USA owned instrumentation company, Peek Traffic Systems. In 2001 Keith moved from industry to take a management role in the HE sector as a Director of Research and Enterprise, first at Brunel University and then in 2006 at the University of Surrey.

Keith’s work in HE spanned both the private and public sectors, raising government grants as well as venture capital for commercial opportunities in electronics, bioengineering, medical devices, ICT and nanotechnology. He also started the Surrey 100 business Angel Club, one of the region’s most active angel finance organisations. In his final years at Surrey Keith played a key role in setting up the £90 million 5G Innovation Centre, combining his role as Chief Operating Officer for the Centre with his wider responsibilities as Director of Business Engagement. Both roles entailed strong links with the Local Enterprise Partnerships, County and Borough Councils to generate economic growth and development.

Governance

The ERA Foundation is a not for profit organisation with the primary purpose of managing and disbursing the funds held by the Foundation toward good causes.

The Foundation fully recognises the positive impact good governance makes in the development and successful running of the organisation. The governance of the Foundation follows best practice and is tightly defined by our Articles of Associations.

The responsibility for the Foundation’s operation falls to its Board, which meets at least four times a year. Directors are appointed for initial terms of three years but can stand for re-election for two further 3 year terms. Exceptional extensions or re-appointments are only permitted by passing a special resolution at a general meeting of the company. 

The Chairman is appointed by the directors for a three-year term. After three years the Chairman can be re-elected for another two years but further extensions are only permitted by special resolution.

The Foundations’ financial year runs from 1st October to 30th September and independently audited accounts are scrutinised by an Audit Committee before being lodged annually with Companies House.

Pay is recommended by the Remuneration Committee which currently comprises all Directors other than the Chairman. 

The maximum ordinary remuneration of the Directors is determined annually by the Members at the AGM. Further remuneration for additional duties can be paid subject to the approval of the Board after considering any recommendations from the Remuneration Committee.