Dr Simon Harwood joins Cranfield University as director of defence and security

Dr Simon Harwood

Dr Simon Harwood

Cranfield University has announced the appointment of Dr Simon Harwood as director of defence and security. Dr Harwood joins from Boeing where he was director of strategy and business development for Phantom Works International which addresses emerging global market opportunities.

As director of defence and security, Dr Harwood will work with colleagues and partners around the world to grow defence-related education and research across the university, and most notably within Cranfield Defence and Security – the university’s embedded partnership within the Defence Academy of the UK at Shrivenham.

Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Cranfield’s CEO and vice-chancellor, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Simon to the university. His experience with Government and industry will enhance Cranfield’s unique expertise and capability in this important sector. His thought leadership skills and international outlook will help to deliver real impetus, practical direction and further growth.”

Referencing his new role, Dr Simon Harwood told Risk UK: “It’s with eager anticipation that I start work at Cranfield, growing and exploiting the existing and unique set of capabilities, expertise and facilities to deliver practical solutions through research and education. Cranfield Defence and Security makes a real difference to combat effectiveness and the lives of military personnel and civilians across the world.”

Vice-Admiral Duncan Potts CB, director general of the Defence Academy, added: “Simon will help strengthen the relationship between Cranfield and the Defence Academy and assist us in achieving our mutual ambition to be one of the world’s leading providers of defence and security education.”

In partnership with the Defence Academy, Cranfield provides teaching, research and consultancy in subjects including explosives chemistry, shock physics, electronic warfare, cyber security, defence acquisition and strategic leadership and management, both on the national and international stages.

Dr Simon Harwood: the Curriculum Vitae

Dr Simon Harwood was educated at the University of Hull, where he gained an Honours Degree in Chemistry with Bio-Organic Chemistry and Toxicology and a PhD in Liquid Crystal Chemistry.

His professional qualifications include a diploma in post-graduate education, Innovation in Business and Executive Leadership from Cambridge University’s Judge Business School and Building Businesses in Emerging Markets from the Harvard Business School.

As the academic provider to the UK’s MoD, Cranfield is at the forefront of the security and defence fields and offers a unique gateway for teaching, research and consultancy which allows the institution to deliver practical solutions that make a real difference to the lives of military and civilian personnel across the world.

From technology research and development on unmanned aerial vehicles and infrared camouflage materials through to humanitarian de-mining activities, Cranfield is providing specialist knowledge to military personnel, Emergency Services, Governments and NGOs in the UK and around the world.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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