A WORKINGTON born engineer, who has spent a lifetime in the industry, has been celebrated with an honouree doctorate from the University of Cumbria.

Born in Workington and schooled in Cockermouth, Graham joined the Workington Steelworks as an apprentice in 1976.

The first in his family to continue in education after the age of 16, Graham went to a local night school before gaining a place at Newcastle University to study Mechanical Engineering, graduating in 1985. He then worked as a Project Manager for UKAEA at Sellafield and across the UK.

He was director of the Forensic Science Laboratories, the RAF Aviation Toxicology Service, and later a senior civil servant before joining the private sector.  

From 1994 and over the following two decades he worked in and ran major companies such as GSE Systems in Europe and was also involved in regeneration projects such as Gen2, Energus, and the Westlakes Science Park in Cumbria. 

He has been a director on more than 30 company and research centre boards and represented the UK Government to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA).  He has given evidence to UK Parliamentary select committees and has sat on numerous government and industry committees.   

Graham is now Senior Executive and Special Advisory to the Principal at the University of Strathclyde. Since 2008 he has overseen several ambitious projects to drive engagement with industry including the Power Networks Demonstration Centre and the National Manufacturing Institute in Scotland.  The combination and impact of these research centres has raised more than £1.3billion for industrial research in the UK.  

A Chartered Engineer and Chartered Director, Graham is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors. 

He is also a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering which represents the nation’s best engineers and innovators, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh – Scotland’s National Academy of Letters and Sciences. 

In 2019, Graham was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, in recognition of his services to Education, Science and Engineering.  

Graham is also known for his charity work, which has included supporting the Cadets and the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. 

Graham has been married to Fiona for over 40 years. They met at school in Cockermouth. They have two children, Alex and Peter, who are both engineers.