Collective experience from world-leading engineering companies
A strong and experienced management team focussed on technology commercialisation
As part of Alvant’s recent transformation from an R&D-focused operation to a full-service supplier, in 2017 the company’s management team was revitalised by a series of internal promotions and external appointments.
Executive Chairman Gwen Ventris (MA FRSA) joined Alvant in May 2017 and has focused on developing the management team and strengthening relationships with stakeholders. Gwen has a track record of successfully managing a diverse range of businesses and commercialising disruptive technologies. Gwen is former Chief Operating Officer of the AEA Group and was a founding director of BT’s systems and consulting enterprise Syntegra, which she helped grow into a £1 billion business. Gwen is also Chairman of Speakerbus, an international technology company operating in the financial services sector, and Chairman of the social justice charity RECLAIM.
Managing Director John Bonas joined Alvant in 2014, becoming Operations Manager in 2016, Operations Director in April 2017 and Managing Director in February 2018. He is a first-class designer with more than 25 years’ experience of product design, manufacturing and production engineering. John was Senior Design Engineer for 14 years at Xtrac, a world leader in the design and manufacture of transmission systems for the motorsport, transportation, defence and marine sectors. At Xtrac John was primarily responsible for the design and development of motorsport transmissions and their complex castings and components.
Commercial Director Richard Thompson (BEng MBA CEng FIMechE) is a technology commercialisation professional specialising in strategic market development, innovation and new venture growth. Richard joined Alvant in October 2017 from Williams Advanced Engineering, the technology and engineering consultancy division of the Williams Formula 1 Group. Richard began his career as a design engineer and engineering manager before moving into commercial roles. He has worked for a range of niche high performance and automotive businesses, as well as new venture companies developing and exploiting intellectual property.
Technical Director Gemma Christian (MSc CEng) is a materials engineer with a Master of Science degree in advanced materials. Gemma has worked in the field of composite materials for some of the world’s leading aerospace companies, including Airbus and GE Aviation. Gemma joined Alvant in 2014, was promoted in 2015 to the role of Chief Technology Officer with overall responsibility for technical operations and research and development, and was appointed to the board in April 2017.
Executive Director and Special Advisor – Neil Collins (BSc MSc)
Neil is the co-founder of Alvant. Before cofounding Alvant Neil worked for Cray Electronics Holding Plc, a fully quoted public listed company on the London Stock Exchange with sales of over £100 million per annum. Neil held the position of Chief Executive Officer of Alvant until February 2018, when he took the decision to step down having assembled a strong management team capable of taking the company through the next stage of its planned future growth. In addition to being an Executive Director of the Company, Neil is Special Advisor to the Board of Directors, and continues to take a leading role in the management of the business.
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