BEEAs Judges

The Judges for the British Engineering Excellence Awards have been drawn from a cross section of electronic and engineering design disciplines. They are all technical and well qualified people who champion innovative engineering design.

Andy Sellars Chief Business Development Officer Catapult
Eric Wilkinson Chief Operations Officer Cambridge Consultants
Pete Lomas Trustee Raspberry Pi Foundation
Richard Poulton Hardware Team Leader Navtech Radar
Phil Mayo Director of Sales Altium UK
Philippa Oldham Head of Transport and Manufacturing Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Alex McDiarmid Engineering Consultant
Mike Irvine Director of Product Development Active Needle Technology
Graham Pitcher Group Editor New Electronics
Justin Cunningham Editor Eureka
Simon Benfield Director Ramboll

Eric Wilkinson (Chair) — Chief Operations Officer, Cambridge Consultants

Eric Wilkinson

Chief operating officer for Cambridge Consultants, Eric has managed projects as diverse as the development of the latest in anti terrorism radar, a machine to produce premium frozen drinks and the world’s most intelligent iron. A materials scientist by training, Eric is a regular speaker at international conferences


Dr Andy Sellars — Chief Business Development Officer, Catapult

Andy Sellars

After studying laser physics at St Andrews University, Andy completed an industrially-sponsored PhD in power engineering at Strathclyde University. This work was spun-out through Diagnostic Monitoring Systems, which was later acquired by US-based Qualitrol. Andy also holds an Executive MBA from the Adam Smith Business School at Glasgow University.

Following university, Andy developed high voltage transmission for Rolls Royce, high-definition RADAR for the MoD and advanced test systems for Spirent PLC – one product generating sales for over 15 years. He then joined a venture-capital backed start-up developing financial transaction software, followed by work with Abbott Diagnostics in Dallas developing photon sensors for health analytics.

As an independent consultant, Andy provided contract R&D in power electronics, RF and photonics including: HID lighting to film James Bond; marketing strategies for a Canadian IPTV chipset manufacturer; colour-blending algorithms for DMX lighting and industrial IoT servers (in 2000). Combining expertise in software and electronics, Andy provided bespoke automation solutions to high-volume UK manufacturers. He also set up a charitable events management company, securing an executive speaker from Channel 4 TV and a keynote speaker from the House of Lords.

After joining Innovate UK in 2013, Andy developed the business case for the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult, consulting widely with industry, government and academia. The Catapult was announced in January 2016, and Andy joined the Catapult as Chief Business Development Officer in 2017.


Pete Lomas — Trustee, Raspberry Pi Foundation

Pete is director of engineering at Norcott Technologies, an electronic design and manufacturing company based in Cheshire. In a career spanning 40 years, he has designed products for a diverse range of industries, including industrial monitoring and control; safety and security; scientific research and multimedia systems

His passion is encouraging the next generations to engage in STEM subjects and careers through the creative use of digital making. He is a co-creator of the Raspberry Pi single board computer and also serves as trustee of the charitable foundation.


Richard Poulton — Hardware Team Leader, Navtech Radar

With more than 15 years experience, Richard Poulton is hardware team leader and part of the senior management at Navtech Radar. Managing a team of eight engineers in areas such as new product R&D, project management, customer project engineering, site work and supplier management, Richard also plays an active role in European regulatory groups.

He takes a personal interest in encouraging young people into engineering and regularly attends events at local schools.


Phil Mayo — Director of Sales, UK, Altium UK Ltd

Phil Mayo

Phil has had a long career in the Electronic Design Automation sector and is now leading Altium’s UK operation. He is a visiting industrial fellow at the University of Hertfordshire and a chairs the Electronics & Communications Industrial Advisory Group for the School of Engineering. Committed to the success of the UK electronics industry, Phil believes engineering skills should be high on the list of national priorities.


Philippa Oldham — Head of Transport and Manufacturing, Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Philippa Oldham

A chartered mechanical engineer, Philippa discovered her love of technology at her local garage. With a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering, Philippa joined QinetiQ as a mechanical design engineer and rose to become product manager for its £150m aerospace business.

Philippa moved to her current role as head of transport and manufacturing with the IMechE in May 2011.


Alex McDiarmid - Engineering Consultant

While Alex is a young design engineer, his practical design skills and understanding of industry allowed him to make a significant contribution at Parker Bestobell, where he designed and developed a successful range of high pressure valves. Since winning the 2016 Design Engineer of the Year Award, Alexander McDiarmid has established a design consultancy in order to broaden his expertise.

Dr Mike Irvine - VP Technology Alliances, Lightpoint Medical

Dr Mike Irvine leads Lightpoint Medical’s technology alliances with academic collaborators, key suppliers and corporate partners. With 30 years of experience within the healthcare arena, he is wedded to the concept of engineering excellence being used to drive product improvements. He has held a number of senior R&D director positions and is a Chartered Chemist of the Royal Society of Chemistry.


Graham Pitcher — Group Editor, New Electronics

An engineer by training, Graham has covered developments in the electronics industry for more than 35 years. He also has broad expertise in computer aided design, industrial automation and computing technologies. He has been involved with the development of New Electronics for more than 20 years and has edited the magazine for most of that time.


Justin Cunningham — Editor, Eureka/ Presenter

Justin Cunningham

Justin has a background in engineering that goes back to his days spent tinkering with spacecraft. After graduating with a first class honours degree in Aerospace Engineering, he worked at Astrium Space under the late great Colin Pillinger on Beagle 2.

Since then, he has been writing about technology and has presented an engineering television series for the Discovery Channel. He also hosted the 2015 awards.

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Simon Benfield - Director, Ramboll

Simon has spent the past thirty years in the Civil Engineering sector first for Gifford and then Ramboll UK Limited following their acquisition of Gifford. Simon has worked on a variety of civil and facilities engineering projects in the highways and marine engineering fields both in the UK and overseas. His current position is head of the Bridges UK team, based at Ramboll's Southampton office.

Throughout the whole of this period Simon's responsibilities have included detailed design, drawing production and its supervision, contract document preparation, project management and site work. Simon is also an expert of the implementation of product and process design in the civil and structural engineering field.

Simon is a Chartered Engineer, Chartered Environmentalist, Chartered Technological Product Designer and Fellow of the Institution of Engineering Designers. He recently stood down after a two year tenure as Chairman of the Institution of Engineering Designers. He is also a council member of the Society of the Environment.