Dawn Bonfield CEng, FICE, FIMMM, FWES
Chief Executive, Women’s Engineering Society
Dawn Bonfield is Chief Executive of the Women's Engineering Society. She is a materials engineer, graduating from Bath University with a Degree in Materials Science. She has worked in the atomic energy, automotive and aerospace sectors for AERE Harwell, Peugeot SA, BAE Systems, and MBDA. She has also worked for the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and joined WES in 2011, becoming President in 2014. She became Chief Executive in 2015 - the first CEO that the Women's Engineering Society has employed in its history.
She is passionate about supporting women in engineering, and is founder of National Women in Engineering Day, and the WES outreach activities 'Magnificent Women' and the 'Sparxx' project. Her Presidential theme was 'women returners' and she is working on a number of initiatives to support women to return to work after career breaks. The 50 Women in Engineering is another of Dawn’s ideas.
Allan Cook CBE
Chairman of Atkins, Chairman of SEMTA, Non-executive Director of BIS
Allan Cook was appointed a non-executive director of WS Atkins in September 2009, taking up the post of chairman on 1 February 2010. He is a chartered engineer with more than 30 years’ international experience in the automotive, aerospace and defence industries. He was chief executive of Cobham PLC until the end of December 2009. Prior to this he held senior roles at GEC-Marconi, BAE Systems and Hughes Aircraft. He was deputy chairman of Marshall of Cambridge (Holdings) Limited until December 31st 2015 and is a member of the operating executive board of J.F. Lehman & Company.
Allan is chairman of the Skills & Jobs Retention Group, chairman of the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies (SEMTA) and is Industry co-chair of the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP). He is also lead Non-Executive Member of the Departmental Board for the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, and was chairman of UK Trade & Investment’s Advanced Engineering Sector Advisory Board until October 2013. He was chairman of FINMECCANICA UK Ltd and chairman of Selex ES until the end of December 2014. He was past president of the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) and past president of the Society of British Aerospace and Defence Companies (SBAC). He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering where he is Vice President and serves as a trustee for the Academy. He also chairs the Academy’s employer-focused Diversity Leadership Group, part of the BIS STEM Diversity Programme. Allan became a Fellow of the China 48 Group Club in December 2015. He was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list in 2008.
Professor John Perkins CBE FREng
Until January 2015, Professor Perkins was the Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. Prior to this he was Provost at the MASDAR Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi, leading the development of this new institution. Professor Perkins’ academic career includes service as Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, The University of Manchester; Principal, Faculty of Engineering, Imperial College London and ICI Australia Professor of Process Systems Engineering, University of Sydney, as well as a period at the beginning of his academic career at the University of Cambridge. He has served as President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and as Vice President of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He has worked in industry for ICI and Shell, as well as acting as a consultant for a number of international companies. With colleagues, he was involved in the start-up of two companies (PSE Ltd, ParOS) spun out of Imperial College London. In 2006 he was awarded a CBE for services to science and engineering.
Michelle Richmond CEng FIET
IET Director of Membership & Professional Development
Michelle has an electronics engineering degree from the Southampton Institute of Higher Education (part time). She was employed in 1981 by Siemens Plessey Radar, Isle of Wight as an apprentice and then microwave technician engineer. On completion of her degree, Michelle became Principle Microwave Design Engineer. She was then promoted to Development Manager working on AR327 Military Radar System. Michelle joined Nokia, Huntingdon in 1995 as base station Product Manager. Moved to Matra Marconi Space in Stevenage in 1996 as Antenna Project Manager and later Deputy Project Manager for the Skynet 5 Satellite System. In 2000 joined Ubinetics, a PA Consulting Group technology spin off company, as Programme Manager, working on advanced 3G test platforms and then as
Operations Manager. Ubinetics was acquired by Aeroflex in 2005. Michelle has been IET Director of Membership & Professional Development since July 2006.
Michelle also represented the IET on Engineering Council’s Board of Trustees for six years and continues as a member of its Finance & Remuneration Panel. Michelle was a member of the IET Council at the time of its formation by the IIE and IEE. Michelle was awarded Britain’s ‘Young Woman Engineer of the Year’ in 1990.
Founder of Womanthology
Fiona Tatton founded Womanthology, a digital magazine and professional community, in 2014 after she identified a need for a new genre of reading material for females of all ages as they step into, and progress through their careers. She quickly discovered an international appetite for an editorial platform which champions positive female role models by sharing good news stories, best practice and wisdom about women (and men) collaborating to create a gender positive experience in the workplace.
The daughter of a civil engineer and a judge at this year’s Telegraph Woman of the Year Awards, Fiona has an inherent passion to help address the shortage of women in engineering and STEM more broadly. A regular speaker at diversity events, she also draws from her extensive cross-sector experience and dynamic professional networks to help tackle the challenge around encouraging and supporting more women, not just in STEM related professions, to have long and fulfilling careers.
Fiona, along with her associate team, consults with corporates, SMEs and education providers around the world to create solutions to diversity challenges by creating connections and linkages across sectors and developing practical applications for thought leadership.