The Team



Richard Oldfield
Chief Executive Officer

Richard joined the NCC following his role as Senior Vice President (SVP) for Business Development and Strategy at GKN. Richard joined GKN Aerospace in July 2009 as Technical Director and in 2010 became SVP for Engineering and Technology, before assuming the role of SVP Advanced Metallic Technologies in December 2014, 

Prior to this, Richard was at Airbus where he was part of the Strategy and Future Programmes organisation. He joined Airbus as an undergraduate apprentice in 1993 and subsequently he spent six years in various leadership roles on the design and manufacture of the A380 wings. He was then appointed Deputy Head of Engineering in the Wing Centre of Excellence, responsible for technical integration topics across all Airbus programmes before joining the Strategy and Future Programmes organisation. Rich holds a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering.

The Executive Team

The Executive Team
Alison Starr
Executive Director - Strategy and Business

Alison joined from GE Aviation Systems, where she was Director of Strategic Partnerships. She has chaired the Composites Leadership Forum since its inception, is Chair of EPSRC's "Manufacturing the Future" Strategic Advisory Team (SAT) and was GE’s Steering Board representative in the NCC initial start-up phase and since GE became a Tier 1 member. 
Alison brings a wealth of knowledge of the UK’s composites industry and strong, established relationships with academia, government and funders.
Alison has overall responsibility for development of NCC strategy, sales, sales forecasts, market engagement and sector strategy, customer relationships and account management including Membership affairs, government and funding body relationships 
Marketing & Public Relations, External and Internal Communications.

The Executive Team
Enrique Garcia
Chief Technology Officer

Enrique has extensive experience in technology and product development. He has held senior manager positions in sectors including aerospace, automotive, railway, and renewables. He has focused on polymer-based products working from the nanoscale to the largest composite structures using a wide variety of manufacturing technologies and with a special emphasis in design for manufacturing.

With previous work ranging from fundamental research all the way to serial production, Enrique is particularly interested in working closely with academia, government and industry to develop capability and technology at the NCC that bridges the so-called “Valley of Death", transforming bright ideas into successful composite products.

The Executive Team
Andrew Hopcraft
Chief Operating Officer

After completing his mechanical engineering degree at UCL, gaining first class honours, Andrew began his career in the British Army before moving to Goldman Sachs where he gained experience as an Analyst and Team leader. He worked as a Management Consultant for SMP Grimshaw before moving on to Smiths Aerospace (which became GE Aviation Systems); first as a Hardware Team Leader, then Hardware Design Manager, followed by Engineering Services Leader and finishing his time with the company as Engineering Business Leader. He left in 2009 to join Omega Engineering Services as Managing Director, under his leadership the company tripled in size. Andrew also managed to find time to gain a Merit for his Postgraduate Certificate in Personal & Professional Practice: Leading Business. Following 2 years as Managing Director of Helipebs Controls, he joined the National Composites Centre in April 2017 as Chief Operating Officer.

Andrew’s voluntary experience includes being an Investment Panel Board Member of GFirst LEP, Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Forum and Board Member at the West of England Aerospace Forum.

The Management Team

The Management Team
Naomi Blake
Head of HR

Naomi’s role is to develop the HR strategy, plans and team deliverables to support the NCC business strategy and goals to help drive the growth of the NCC. She also guides, supports and works alongside senior and middle management in the delivery of professional HR practices.​


Naomi joined the NCC in 2012 as a HR Advisor and progressed to the role of Head of HR in 2015 shortly after completing her CIPD Masters.

The Management Team
Ken Mitchell
Financial Controller

Ken is Financial Controller and Company Secretary. Working closely with the University Finance team, the NCC Finance team is responsible for all aspects of the commercial and financial management of the NCC.

Ken is a chartered Engineer and chartered accountant (PWC) with previous experience at BAeSystems, Airbus and UltraPRT, working in a variety of roles including Internal Audit, Composites Strategy development, A350 Wing Project Controller and Financial Controller.

The Management Team
Katy Riddington
Head of Programmes

Katy joins the NCC as an experienced Senior Programme Manager from Rolls-Royce with 17 years’ experience in the marine and energy market. Katy has wide-ranging programme management experience in a variety of customer-facing, operational and strategic roles where she has managed global, multimillion pound programmes. Katy has extensive management experience, having filled a variety of senior roles managing large, cross-functional teams in Singapore, USA, Scandinavia and Northern Europe.

Katy is Head of Programmes and is responsible for the management of the Technology Programme Managers, the Project Management Office and the smooth management of all NCC projects. Katy actively promotes diversity and organisational change.

The Strategy and Business Development Team

The Strategy and Business Development Team
Graham Harrison
Head of Government Affairs and Strategic Partnerships

Graham been involved with the NCC since its inception in 2009 when, as Director of International Business at the South West RDA, he established there was support to mount an industry-led bid for the £25m needed to establish the Centre. Having prepared the bids for various pots of public funding, Graham was the first chair of the Steering Board until this role passed to the University of Bristol as the owners of the NCC.

Graham works for the NCC as Head of Government Affairs and Strategic Partnerships and was involved in the efforts to secure the further £28m to more than double the size of the Centre. Graham is also looking at future European funding opportunities.

The Strategy and Business Development Team
Nigel Keen
Business Development Engineer

Nigel’s role is to be a first point of contact at the NCC, and help businesses identify the best way to engage with our expertise, facilities, and members.

Nigel studied Materials Engineering and Design and spent 10 years in the printing ink industry before joining a major composite resin manufacturer in 1991, working in a variety of technical roles in UK and overseas. Nigel has a track record of problem solving and new product development, in marine, truck and bus, pipe and tank, and construction industries, and across the full range of composite processes and materials chemistries. Nigel has also worked as an independent consultant, and for two research organisations, managing technology portfolios, and consortia building for collaborative projects. Nigel will be a familiar face from many composites events, having spent 3 years as composites lead at the Materials KTN. 

Nigel is excited to be part of the rapid growth of the NCC, and see its impact on the UK composites capability. He encourages all sizes of company, from all industry sectors, to come and use this important national resource.

The Strategy and Business Development Team
Paul Gallen
Sector Lead

Paul Gallen is the NCC’s lead for the Automotive market within our Strategy and Business Development Team, with over 20 years management level leadership of industrialising new technologies, facilitating technology transfer and supporting advanced manufacturing in the UK. He is currently developing sector roadmaps, future programmes and support requirements for UK automotive lightweighting, working with industry leadership groups. This involves working with OEMS and Tier 1s to define requirements and future capabilities.

He has supported many successful collaborative bids into UK and EU grant funded programmes, secured over £25M of funding to industry, as well as leading joint development projects with UK, European and American Universities. Paul brings extensive experience of facilitating new product development as well as leading industrial scale rollouts of new manufacturing technologies. Paul’s recent projects include setting up of pilot plants for high volume manufacture of composite components and development of new IPR through collaborative R&D.

The Strategy and Business Development Team
Kalyan Hazra
Sector Lead

Kalyan has 15 years of postgraduate experience in composites research and product development. He has held academic researcher and industry manager positions in the aerospace sector. His specialties are in textile preform manufacturing, materials characterisation, polymer composites manufacturing, and related quality issues. He has focused on development of polymer composite structures, new product introduction and technology integration with special emphasis on design for manufacture.

Kalyan has keen interest in supporting collaborative research activities through the UK and EU funding. He engages extensively, and works to build partnerships, with academia, industry and various government bodies both in the UK and overseas.

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