Simon studied at the University of Sheffield and the Technicshe Universität Dresden, Germany before completing his MEng in Mechanical Engineering in 1999. After periods working in the process industry and for Siemens KWU in Germany Simon went on to study for a PhD on Energy Utilisation within the hot dip galvanizing sector.
From 2004 until 2019, Simon worked at the University of Sheffield as a researcher and subsequently as a member of academic staff. He was heavily involved in the set up and running of the Low Carbon Combustion Centre in Sheffield, which includes the Rolls Royce Centre of Excellence in Fuels and Lubricants. Following his move to Birmingham University, Simon continues to work closely with Sheffield as a visiting academic.
He has been involved in the following European fuels research programmes: AERONET II, ECATS, ALFABIRD, SWAFEA, and JETSCREEN as well as engine development programmes such as TECC-AE, International fuels research programmes on the development of synthetic fuels in particular the QSTP international consortium and the US Federal Aviation Authority led CLEEN and PARTNER programmes, and the UK national alternative fuels programme: OMEGA.
Simon is PI of the EPSRC funded NewJET Network+, a project looking at the benefits and challenges to a new aviation fuel specification by 2040. Simon is the Vice Chair and Alternative Fuels Working Group Leader within ECATS, a European Network of Excellence on Aviation and the Environment.
Simon continues to work closely with the University of Sheffield on aviation fuels and had developed an industrial short course on the topic which runs (roughly) annually.