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Who are you?

I was born in Stoke-on-Trent - that's roughly in the centre of the UK, and I've always lived around here. I went to schools in Betley and Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Then, after 2 or 3 years treading water, but learning much, I eventually dropped into a job in sewage, so to speak. My then employers, the North West Water Authority, kindly sent me off to learn some more chemistry at the local polytechnic through their day release course. This helped me more than they will ever realise and more than I can ever thank them for.

Amongst other things, I began to learn:

  • how to appreciate science at the microverse level and how to think like a scientist

  • what makes the world go around - literally

  • how to get on with people and to listen carefully when bright people take time to explain things that they understand far better than you do

  • how to write and how to research things thoroughly

  • how to treat sewage, of course :)

Suddenly, 15 years had gone by and, from working by myself in a tiny laboratory doing lots of chemistry, through managing a couple of laboratories containing other chemists who were doing much more complex chemistry, via a stint out in the real world looking after various industrial dischargers large and small followed by a year or two in wastewater operations management, I found myself applying for a job as an analytical chemistry lecturer at the same polytechnic where I'd done all of that science learning, studying and PhD researching. Part time PhD research is not for the faint-hearted but I had some great supervisors and fellow research degree travellers to ease the burden.

Our polytechnic moved up in the world in 1991 and became a new university, and so in 1989 I began working at what is now called Staffordshire University, originally teaching chemistry although [like all good jobs] things changed over time.

While I was there, I taught on a number of the postgraduate awards in the environmental and sustainability area - you can find more information about them here. I also supervised many MPhil and PhD students and was an external examiner at several universities for other PhD candidates.

During my last few years, before I left the university in early December 2012 and through until the end of 2016, I produced some online CPD courses in conjunction with the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management [CIWEM].

For what it's worth, I enjoy music; reading, writing and taking poor photographs; good company; fine wine; nice food; lots of sunshine; sandy beaches & wavy oceans; snowy mountains (from a distance); a little time to myself now and again and people with a sense of humour and a nice line in self-deprecation.

So, what do you do?

I suppose you could call me an Environmental Consultant if a label is necessary.

I'm an expert evaluator for the European Commission and I also provide expert opinions for prosecution and defence counsel in areas such as water/wastewater treatment technologies, environmental management and sustainability issues.

I write and deliver online training, elearning and distance learning courses in these areas, as well as subjects like sustainable business development and enterprise.

At Staffordshire University I was a Reader, working in the Science School in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Sciences. That’s a peculiarly British job title for someone equating to a docent in Scandinavia and/or an Associate Professor elsewhere. Except in the US, where it would have been Professor. It’s a funny old world.

I'm a Chartered Chemist, a Chartered Scientist, a Chartered Environmentalist and a Chartered Water & Environmental Manager. I'm also a Fellow of three professional bodies; the rather lengthily titled Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management  [FCIWEM], the somewhat snappier Royal Society of Chemistry [FRSC] and the Higher Education Academy [FHEA].

I spent around 10 years teaching at postgraduate level on the university's web-based elearning programmes and awards - developing and delivering modules on subjects such as environmental policy/legislation/regulation, water and wastewater treatment, sustainable business development and air and land contamination. I also trained, consulted and carried out applied research on behalf of the university in all kinds of things. Buy me a drink and I can bore you with the details.

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