Retired with non-executive directorships
BSc (Hons) Chemical Engineering (1970)
Enjoy all the opportunities both academic and particularly social and personal open to you at Birmingham
Everything which subsequently happened in a varied and successful career in both the private and public sectors internationally stemmed from my time at Birmingham University. I worked for BP for 25 years first as a refining engineer including as a commissioning engineer in Hamburg and then after BP sponsored me on the MBA course at INSEAD in France in a variety of senior positions in oil trading and finance before managing the major cultural change programme for the incoming chairman in 1990. Whilst employed by BP I was seconded in 1982-84 to Lady Thatcher's Policy Unit in 10 Downing Street and subsequently chaired the National Curriculum Council for the UK Government in 1990. After BP I moved into private equity for 8 years managing his office in Frankfurt. Since retiring in 2008 I have held a range of non-executive chairmanships and directorships in health and education.
What is the best thing about what you are doing now?
My experiences have enabled me to take on a fascinating and varied portfolio of directorships to keep me busy and fulfilled in retirement.
What was the best thing about your time as a student here?
The friendships and personal development which a university education at Birmingham gave me.
In what way did living and studying in Birmingham live up to your expectations?
I did not know what to expect and Birmingham was a rite of passage which enabled me to come of age.
How did you grow as a person by coming to University Did it change your life in any way?
Completely. As a student I was independent and personally responsible for everything which happened to me for the first time.
What advice would you give to current students studying on your degree programme?
Enjoy all the opportunities both academic and particularly social and personal open to you at Birmingham.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I have always been grateful for my education and personal development at Birmingham which compared favourably with others' experience at Oxford and Cambridge.
If, like David, you would like to write a profile and tell us your story please fill in the online form or email us.