Simon, already a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, has been recognised by the University for his contribution to the aerospace industry and his work in raising industrial awareness concerning sustainable development and energy management.
At a special ceremony at The Guild Hall in Preston held earlier this month (December) guests heard that Simon has been described as one of the UK’s most eminent aerospace engineers.
Professor David Hamblin, Dean of Academic Enhancement and Assurance at UCLan, speaking at the ceremony, said: “When we think of such iconic aircraft as the Harrier, the Tornado and the Hawk - or the Nimrod MRA4, the Eurofighter Typhoon and the JSF Lightning 2 - we are probably unaware that the ultimate design approval and engineering leadership has been the province of our honored guest today.
“As chairman of BAE Systems UK Engineering Council, Simon has played a leading role in the development of the company’s overall engineering capability. He is instrumental in maintaining the UK’s place as a global centre of excellence in the air sector. He is also responsible for the professional well-being of the six thousand professional engineers working under his direction.”
• Simon Howison graduated from the University of Bath in 1973 with an Honours degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering as part of a student apprentice programme with Smiths Industries.
• After graduation he worked as a design engineer on airborne real-time computer systems, ultimately becoming responsible for the Smiths systems on the Hawk and Harrier programmes.
• After leaving Smiths in 1984, Simon joined British Aerospace at Kingston, embarking on a career that has spanned the engineering leadership of the UK’s most significant military aircraft programmes.
Professor Hamblin said: “From development to final clearance - whether it was for the T10 Trainer or the Sea Harrier or the Tornado - Simon Howison has been responsible for the emergence of an aircraft fleet that has literally changed the world.”
He added: “He has also had a great impact on the world of research, training and learning. In 1997 he was appointed the first Director and Dean of Engineering of the British Aerospace Virtual University. In this role he was responsible for BAE’s Research and Technology programme, including the company’s Research Centre and its University Partnerships programme.”
He said: “Our own institution has greatly benefited from Simon’s energies, as he has played a leading role in the development of the Energy and Power Management Research Centre at UCLan. He chairs the BAE Systems/UCLan Energy and Power Management Steering Committee - only one of many visible markers attesting to Simon’s leadership in raising industrial awareness of sustainable development and energy management.”
He said: “With energy costs currently accounting for over fifteen percent of the UK’s annual defence budget, Simon has been at the forefront of the drive for an improved approach to energy management that would lead to both energy conservation and direct performance improvement.
• Simon Howison is also a member of BAE Systems’ Corporate Engineering Council, which provides functional governance and leadership for the company’s 40,000 engineers.
On receiving his Fellowship, Simon said: “I am truly honored to receive this Honorary Fellowship from UCLan. Universities provide the lifeblood of our future and collaborations with them lead to significant innovations and developments. I have always believed that strong links with academia yield strong and tangible benefits for industry. We will continue to work closely with UCLan to prove this is the case.”