Dr Simon Bennett PhD, CEng, FIET

Dr Simon Bennett

School of Physics and Astronomy
Director, UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Timing

Contact details

QT Hub Technology Transfer Centre
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Simon Bennett is Director for the UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Timing, led by the University of Birmingham, where he helps to drives the translation of gravity sensors and ultra-precise clocks into technology and applications across a diverse number of sectors, including climate, communications, energy, transport and urban development.

He has been active in shaping the Hub’s strategic plan and has played a leading role in developing a technology road map for sensors based on quantum technology. 

He is particularly interested in exploring the relationships between end users (the ultimate beneficiary), the equipment or service provider (“industry”), and the sources of disruptive innovation (academic researchers). His work in the QT Hub is aimed at bringing these actors into close partnership in order to accelerate the economic impact of new technology.


  • PhD Electronic Engineering, UCL, 1979
  • BSC (Hons) Electronic Engineering, UCL, 1975
  • Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology
  • Chartered Engineer


Simon’s began his career as an electronics engineer at UCL where he gained BSc (1st Class Honours) and PhD degrees (winning UCL’s Barlow Prize).  This was followed by a period at the Applied Physics Lab at Stanford.  

After leaving Stanford, he co-founded a venture capital funded start-up company in Silicon Valley making metrology equipment for the semiconductor industry, helping to raise over $14M.  

His business career has been focussed on the development, manufacture and international sales of high technology capital equipment in organisations ranging in size the start up in California (managing a team of 75 engineers) to QinetiQ where he was Managing Director of the Sensors and Electronics Division (responsible for 1500 staff and a turnover of £150M). Before joining QinetiQ he spent 10 years with Oxford Instruments as CTO and MD of a number of OI’s businesses, all focussed on the manufacture of instrumentation for industrial applications.

He then spent a period of time as CEO of the Forensic Science Service and was responsible for its orderly wind-down when the UK Government decided to close the business.

Before joining the University of Birmingham, Simon was Deputy Director Strategy and Planning at Innovate UK. In this role he was closely involved in the IUK component of the National Quantum Technology Programme (NQTP) and sat on the NQTP Strategic Advisory Board.