I was born in Sheffield, United Kingdom, and have lived here all my life.
My education started at Carrfield School and continued with 'O'-levels and 'A'-levels at Newfield School and evening classes for City & Guilds in Electrical and Electronic Craft Studies at Granville College (now Castle College). I studied at Sheffield City Polytechnic (now Sheffield Hallam University) for my honours degree in Electronic Systems and Control Engineering, where I also received an award for excellence from The Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers.
Since graduating I have worked for Tata Steel Europe (though previously known as British Steel and then Corus) at Swinden Technology Centre in Rotherham. At 25 years old, I qualified as a member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and a Chartered Engineer (CEng), and a few years later as a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). I became a Graduate Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health in 2011 and was conferred by FEANI with the European Engineer designation in 2012. Over the years I have developed expertise in electrical, systems and control engineering as applied to reheating furnaces and rolling mills, as well as knowledge of computers and several programming languages. From 2008, for a little over 4 years, I managed a couple of major R&D projects and the Long Product Development Facilities, which comprise pilot-scale melting furnaces, plate, bar and rod rolling mills, and for a year I was also acting Health and Safety Manager. Today, I am a Principal Project Leader, managing pan-European R&D projects for Tata Steel.
I have been a member of the RSPB (or YOC) for about thirty-five years. Until a few years ago I had always been an armchair birdwatcher - a condition, I am told, that many older birdwatchers hope to achieve. A few years ago I became a Life Fellow of the RSPB and a Life Member of both the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT). I have been taking part in the BTO's Garden Birdwatch since 1997 and also the Scarce Woodland Bird Survey, Breeding Bird Survey and Bird Atlas 2007-2011. I am a member and committee member of the Hope Valley Birdwatcher's Club in Hope Valley, Derbyshire. In 2005, I completed the Cornell University Home Study Course in Bird Biology - biology has always been one of my favourite subjects. I served as the BTO Regional Representative for Yorkshire Southwest and Yorkshire Southeast regions from 2007 until 2010, and regional organiser for Bird Atlas 2007-11 until its completion.
My favourite local haunts - other than the garden - are my local patch, the National Trust's Clumber Park, Yorkshire Wildlife Trusts' Potteric Carr and RSPB Blacktoft Sands.
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