Mark Hixon


Managing Director, Consulting Associates Worldwide Limited
BSc Physics (1983); PhD Metallurgy & Materials Science (1987)

I commenced as research scientist with Lucas Research. Transferred internally to become a Business Systems Engineer (implementing new manufacturing approaches e.g. Cellular Manufacturing, JIT, TQ etc.); joined Coopers & Lybrand as a Management Consultant in 1989 and then KPMG in 1996.Started own business in 2001.

What is the best thing about what you are doing now?
It is the autonomy and control of my own destiny. I am now semi-retired and also own a B&B in Padstow [Coswarth House] so work is gradually becoming a thing of the past!

What was the best thing about your time as a PhD student here?
Gaining more ability to work on my own and increasing my ability to think analytically.

In what way did living and studying in Birmingham live up to your expectations?
In every made be the person I am. I also made a few lifelong friends.

What advice would you give to current PhD students?
Try to determine if what you are doing will make a difference to your life. If not, consider if you are doing it for the right reasons.