My engineering background and experience of human factors has shown me that you cannot fully understand risks unless you understand the technical and softer factors. I maintain my interest in managing risks in major hazard industries through my membership of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (IEHF). I talk at and attend conferences and courses and carry out my own research, which I document on my blog and Twitter
I live in Llandudno, North Wales.
I am married to Kathy. We have two boys, Matthew and Patrick who both attend Ysgol John Bright secondary school in Llandudno
Sports and activities
I've never been a great sports man, but always participated in activities, keeping myself fit and healthy. Living in North Wales does mean I have lots of great opportunities on my door step.
Windsurfing is the sport I enjoy the most. But I never do as much as I would like because it is so dependent on weather, tides and having at least half a day free!
My second sport (at the moment) is mountain biking. This is something I can do quite frequently because you can pretty well go out in any weather. There are lots of great trails around North Wales, and I've joined up with good group of like-minded people via the MBNW forum.
I enjoy taking out our sit-on kayak with my boys. It doesn't exactly give you an adrenaline rush, but it is a great way to explore the coast line, lakes and rivers. Also, I usually get out surfing a couple of times per year, but I am very much a beginner surfer (swimmer may be a better description).
I am a parent governor of the primary school my boys attended, Ysgol Craig y Don. My wife ran the school's PTA for a while, so I often got roped in to help with events. Also, I helped the school set up a vegetable garden, which included building raised beds and a poly-tunnel. We recently built a second poly-tunnel, which the school are using as an outside classroom to support foundation phase teaching.
In 2009 I trained to be a Lay Inspector of schools with Estyn, the office of Her Majesty's Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales. I've only participated in a couple of inspections so far, but hope more opportunities come along.
You can probably tell that I developed this website myself. I know the presentation is pretty basic but I hope the content makes up for it. I used Joomla for this site, an open source content management system that seems to provide a good balance of power, flexibility and ease of use.
A site I developed a while ago and try to keep up to date is SimpleSensibleSafety. It provides a simple reference for anyone interested in the basics of health and safety, giving links to free resources. Also, it gives some examples of the opposite, in the form of seriously silly safety stories.
I have developed a website for wife's art classes - Pencilpot.co.uk. I used Wordpress for this one. It works in a similar way to Joomla, is a bit simpler in some ways, but can produce some great looking webpages.
I have developed another Wordpress webpage to promote a sponsored open water swim on Llyn Tegid (Lake Bala) on behalf of the charity Diabetes UK and another promoting our local community of Craig y Don. Also, I helped my friends at SC Soccer Coaching by setting up a webpage for their business, which they now maintain themselves.
Here is a summary of some the key papers I have had published. If you would like a copy of any of these please get in touch.
Andy's first taste of work was, like most people, bar and other casual work whilst a student. His introduction to industry was through a year long placement working at an oil refinery. After completing his Chemical Engineering degree, he worked as a University Research Associate whilst studying for his PhD.
On completion of his PhD, Andy worked for two consultancy companies. He then chose to go self-employed, first as a Sole Trader, creating AB Risks Limited in 2008