APM regional conference speakers 2016

Welcome and introduction

  • David Waboso CBE  - managing director of digital railway, Network Rail
  • Graham Winch, professor of Project Management at Alliance Manchester Business School

Keynote Speakers

  • Emma Griffinprofessor of Modern British History   
  • Mike Blackburn OBE - north west regional director for BT

Session Speakers   

  • Adrian Mills -  general manager, BBC North 
  • Anthony Lewis, programme director of switching, Smart DCC
  • Christine Bellamy, head of business operations, BBC Digital
  • David Abdy, director of project management, Transport for the North
  • Julian Smith, head of external affairs, Association for Project Management
  • Michael Christie, strategy director and chief technologist for the Military Air and Information business at BAE Systems
  • Paul Taylor, head of programme development, MWH Global
  • Sandra Booth, pro vice chancellor of enterprise, business development and engagement, University of Cumbria
  • Steve Gillingham, Director for the North and Scotland, Mace Limited
  • Steve Livingstone, projects director - executive, Sellafield

Stream Chairs

  • David Bryde, professor of project management at Liverpool Business School (LBS), LJMU
  • Phillip Isgar, provider of Strategic and Innovative solutions together with Non-Exec Director skills to the public and private sectors
  • Steve Barron, project management learning facilitator, Lancaster University

Adrian Mills

Adrian is responsible for the day-to-day management of BBC North at MediaCityUK - the BBC’s largest creative hub outside of London, and home to 3,000 staff.  He is a member of the BBC North Board, the leadership team which ensures that the creative and operational benefits of BBC North are delivered. 

He began his career at the BBC, directing and producing children’s and schools programming. In 1991 he relocated to Toronto, where he held a number of senior management and leadership roles in Canadian media, then returning to London in 2004 as chief executive of LGT, a new media production company contracted by the UK Department for Education.

Adrian re-joined the BBC in 2009, as chief adviser, BBC Children’s & Learning, and subsequently became chief adviser and deputy chief operating officer, BBC North. He took up the general manager role for BBC North in 2014. 

He is an International Emmy Winner, and a voting member of BAFTA. Deputy chair of the World Summit on Media for Children Foundation, and a governor of The Manchester College.

Speaker presentation


Anthony Lewis

Anthony has been managing large programmes for more than a decade. From integrating five investment
banks into UBS’ infrastructure in six years, to managing the ICT programme for Europe’s largest social care transformation. Most recently he led the implementation of the cryptographic infrastructure that underpins the security of the UK’s new smart meter network.

Anthony is now leading the implementation of a new programme to ensure that UK consumers can switch energy suppliers more quickly and reliably as part of Ofgem’s energy market reforms.

Speaker presentation


Christine Bellamy

Christine provides business and operational leadership across the digital portfolio ensuring audience needs are

satisfied. Working in partnership with the divisions departments and pan BBC stakeholders, she works to build a high performance organisation and drive alignment between business strategy, organisation structure, skills and processes to maximise the contribution of people and support business success.

Over the last two years she led the plan to establish BBC Digital teams in BBC North growing from the team from 20 to 700.

Speaker presentation


David Abdy


David Abdy joined Transport for the North in June 2015 as director of the portfolio management office. TfN is working in partnership with politicians and business leaders from across the North and the national transport agencies to develop and implement strategic transport interventions that will underpin future economic growth across the north of England.

David has over 25 years' experience within the construction industry both in the UK and internationally across a range of sectors including transportation, infrastructure and regeneration. His strengths include: developing governance protocols for multi-stakeholder programmes and projects; establishing multi-skilled project teams; and procuring and delivering major infrastructure projects and programmes.

Before joining TfN David was programme director for phase two of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor (SSTC) New Wear Crossing and has held senior roles in the development of Rail North Ltd, West Midland Rail and Greater Manchester's Transportation Innovation Fund (TIF). 

Speaker presentation


David Bryde


David Bryde is Professor of Project Management at Liverpool Business School (LBS), LJMU.  He is an experienced teacher, researcher and consultant in project management.  Prior to joining LJMU in 1991 David was a project manager at ICI plc.  He has obtained funding for research projects investigating various aspects
of project management from both public sector and private sector sources.  His most recent project undertaken in 2014/15 was financed through the Association of Project Management’s (APM’s) Inaugural Research Fund for Special Interest Groups (SIGs).  This research project was sponsored by the APM Planning & Control SIG. It involved multiple case study analysis of the effectiveness of the outsourcing process in project environments, using agency theory as the theoretical lens with which to view the topic.  Currently he is investigating the impact of social and relational aspects on project performance, including research into strategies adopted by project managers for dealing with difficult projects stakeholders, which is also being funded by the APM 2016 Research Fund. David has published his research in numerous academic journals and practitioner publications and is a regular speaker on project management at academic and practitioner forums. 


David Waboso CBE - APM President

David is currently managing director for Group Digital Railway at Network Rail, a rail industry initiative to organise and accelerate the changes needed to modernise signalling and train control using digital technology to improve capacity, reliability and provide better connections for customers.

He has a passion for the training and education of engineers and project managers and also the communication of the wider importance of infrastructure to human advancement. He has served on committees into the teaching of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects in our schools, speaks and writes regularly on these matters, and promotes opportunities for people of all backgrounds to realise their full potential. He was recently awarded a CBE for services to transport in London and was named as Leader of the Year in the Manufacturing and Infrastructure section of the Black British Business Awards on 2 October 2014. 

In 2015 David accepted the role of president of the Association for Project Management (APM), the largest professional body of its kind in Europe, where he will champion APM's commitment to advance project and programme management across the country.


Emma Griffin

Emma was raised in Hertfordshire and studied in London as an undergraduate before moving to Trinity College,
Cambridge to study for a PhD under the supervision of Gareth Stedman Jones. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Sidney Sussex, Cambridge and a one year temporary post at Sheffield University, she joined the University of East Anglia in 2005, where she is now a professor of Modern British History.

In 2012 she was selected as one of BBC Radio 3's New Generation Thinkers, and is a regular contributor and consultant to radio and television. She writes and reviews for scholarly journals and the popular press, and speaks frequently at festivals, seminars and conferences.

Emma teaches courses on the social and cultural history of Victorian Britain and is active within the wider historical community. She is the Literary Director of the Royal Historical Society and helps edit two historical journals (History and Cultural and Social History). 


Graham Winch

Graham is a professor of project management and director for social responsibility at Alliance
Manchester Business School. A social scientist by training, he has run construction projects and researched various aspects of innovation and project management across a wide variety of engineering sectors.

He was formerly programme director for the Managing Projects programme for BP, and is currently AMBS senior sponsor for the Leading Complex Projects Programmes and Portfolios programme for BAE Systems. His research is presently focused on the role of owners as investors in, and operators of, economic infrastructure.


Julian Smith  

Julian Smith joined APM as head of external affairs in August 2015. He has held senior level roles in public affairs and communications in central Government, including head of Parliamentary relations at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and speechwriter and private secretary to the deputy Prime Minister.

He was formerly head of external affairs at the Home Builders Federation.


Michael Christie


Michael Christie is currently strategy director and chief technologist for the Military Air and Information business at BAE Systems. In this role, Michael is focused on determining the long term business strategy and a plan to achieve it, including the technology required to support it. The role also involves identifying and developing new and adjacent markets.

After graduating from The University of Glasgow in 1984, Michael joined British Aerospace and progressed through a number of posts in the Aerodynamics area. These ranged from future concept design to support of in-service aircraft.

After the creation of BAE Systems, Michael worked on programmes ranging from C4ISR programmes, through UAVs to the leadership of the Future Offensive Air System (FOAS), the UK programme which was focused on future strike capability. Michael subsequently moved to the Astute Submarine programme, where he was the Programme Director responsible for the development and delivery of the first batch of three nuclear attack submarines. Michael joined the F-35 programme in February of 2004 where he was the programme director for the BAE Systems aspects of the F-35 development programme and deputy managing director for F-35 in the UK.

In 2006 Michael moved onto the Hawk programme to lead the programme management of the various Hawk programmes around the world, with a focus on the key market of India. In 2014, Michael moved to lead the Defence Information business which designs and delivers a range of Information Systems and services for both BAE Systems platforms and directly to other Defence customers.

Speaker presentation


Mike Blackburn OBE

Mike lives in the North West and has been BT’s Regional Director for the region since 2007.  This role leads the North West board and aims to put BT at the heart of local communities. The board works to better
understand and respond to the needs of local people and business. This is done through strategic relationships with local authorities, key stakeholders, business and community organisations.

Mike is also chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership. This is a board designed to support business and local authorities to grow the local economy, tackle major barriers to growth and develop shared strategies for the local economy to increase job creation.

Mike holds a number of other Non-executive or trustee roles:

  • Deputy Chairman of the North West Business Leadership Team.
  • Trustee of the Lowry Theatre, Salford. 
  • Chair of governors at the Manchester Communication Academy in Harpurhey.
  • Chair of governors at the Manchester Communication Primary Academy.
  • Trustee of NYAS.
  • North West advisory board member for Business in the Community.  Mike was chosen as the Prince’s NW Regional Ambassador for 2010/11 and 2011/12.
  • Board member of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership.

Mike was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June 2015 for services to the economy in the North West. 

Speaker presentation


Paul Taylor

Paul is the head of programme development at MWH UK, now part of Stantec, one of the world’s largest providers of water, environmental, infrastructure and energy services. He has responsibility for ensuring consistency, predictability and delivery of measurable benefits and tangible outcomes across large infrastructure capital programmes in the UK.

Paul has an in-depth knowledge of a wide range of programme management approaches and creates high levels of standardisation. Through vertical integration of this information, he has been able to reduce delivery weaknesses, by driving high performance within the individual projects, into the
programmes and then up to the portfolio.

He has developed a deep understanding of what is needed across different levels in organisations to allow the right information to be with the right people at the right time, enabling effective decision making.

Over his career he has worked to both set up large scale capital programmes from the start and to carry out mid-programme structural realignment where required.

Paul has worked in multiple sectors including petrochemical, construction, nuclear, telecommunications, industrial and water for over 35 years starting as an engineer before moving into senior management positions. He has lectured at the Universities of Birmingham, Sheffield and Central Lancashire on programme management, planning, cost control, earned value and risk management.

As a global company, MWH, now part of Stantec provides long-term solutions and assured delivery through the application of its skills in business consultancy, programme management, project services, engineering, construction and environmental management with 22000 employees working in 400 locations across six continents.

Speaker presentation


Phillip Isgar

Philip is a Senior Director with a wide experience of developing, leading and managing multi-discipline high profile large Capital Investment Programmes and organisations within both public and private sectors, that seek strategic level policy making, engineering excellence, complementary interpersonal, influencing and Leadership skills. He recently completed 3 years tenure as a Member of the Board of the Major Projects Association and
was the Chair of its Programme Committee, he now is its first Honorary Member. Complementarily, he has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship and Life-Time Membership with the Association for Project Management.

During the last 35 years, he has worked extensively within the Nuclear and Infrastructure sectors holding senior management roles in both. He has proven success in 3 Regulatory environments, Nuclear, Rail and Water. He sits on the NW Nuclear Forum Steering Group, Constructing Excellence Nuclear Theme Group and Constructing Excellence Manchester Executive. He has served on a number of Institutional Boards, currently the Chair – ICE Manchester for 2016 /17 and has represented those Institutions with the Construction Industry Council. Specifically, he was a Member of the CIC Industry Improvement Committee and co-author of CIC Publication 'Construction Project Management Skills' (ISBN 1 898671 24 9). His strength is his ability to provide leadership and connectivity across a number of sector platforms through his collaborative working relationships at Board level and with government. 



Sandra Booth


Sandra Booth is currently Pro Vice Chancellor Enterprise, Business Development and Engagement at the University of Cumbria. She is responsible for all aspects of regional
engagement and enterprise including; employer engagement, academic collaborative provision, degree and higher level apprenticeships, economic development and public affairs.

With a background in marketing, business development, transformational change and executive careers coaching, she has been a strategic leader in university and business interaction within the sector for more than fifteen years. Sandra has developed specialist initiatives to stimulate research partnerships and innovation within higher education, promote graduate entrepreneurship and employability, social and economic regeneration, sector skills provision, business support programmes and knowledge transfer. Her experience also includes leadership of a number of high-profile change management projects, strategic partnerships with major employers and she is currently developing organisational strategy for the Project Academy, STEM and the Rural and Visitor Economy.

Speaker presentation


Steve Barron


Steve’s career has spanned a number of sectors. After graduating from Imperial College, he began in the insurance sector as a programmer, quickly moving into aerospace, developing flight simulators and training
systems for BAE Systems. During this time, Steve designed many of the cockpit displays that were adopted in the Eurofighter Typhoon and developed (and was therefore the first to fly) the simulation prototype of this aircraft. 

He then worked on the successful JPATS bid in the USA and, on return to the UK was a member of the group that developed the Project Control Standard in the late 1990s. From this time, Steve has worked at Lancaster University, developing and delivering postgraduate programmes in project management.


Steve Gillingham


Steve has been with Mace since 2004 and after helping to set up the cost consultancy business in London, he led the cost consultancy expansion across the country. Based in Manchester, Steve heads up the consultancy and construction operations in the north of England and Scotland.

Steve has worked across many sectors, from residential, commercial, healthcare and urban regeneration, from both public client and private developer perspectives. Key responsibilities have included listening to changing client requirements and adapting the Mace service to suit as well as bringing the wider Mace Group experience to bear on specialist areas of projects.

Steve is on the board of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership on behalf of Mace. Led by George Osborne, the group is setting the agenda for new ideas to put to government for how best to stimulate growth and generate investment in the North. Steve is a trustee and director of the Seashell Trust, an internationally recognised specialist school for children with very complex communication problems.


Steve Livingstone


Steve was born in Barrow-in-Furness and started his career as an apprentice in the Barrow shipyard, before moving into the oil and gas industry via the South Morecambe Onshore Terminal.

Steve spent the majority of the informative years of his career in the oil and gas industry undertaking roles in operations, maintenance and projects. Whilst with KBR, Steve led the completion of the BG Armada Project in the North Sea through to hydrocarbon introduction and was operations manager in Atyrau, Kazakhstan.

Steve joined BNFL at Sellafield in 2003 as head of site services, he then took on a number of roles,
including head of programme controls, head of encapsulations and effluents plants and finally as superintendent; major projects. Steve left in 2008 to join the BBC and was the BBC's head of programme management for the MediaCity Programme, he then spent five years at Heathrow Airport cumulating in being the project director on the successful £2.5 billion 'Terminal 2: The Queen's Terminal'.

Steve spent 18 months as the delivery director for Hinckley Point C, before returning to Sellafield Ltd as the Executive member accountable for major projects. As can be seen Steve has extensive experience in all aspects of major project delivery.

Throughout his career Steve, who is married with two grown up sons, has continued to live in Barrow and is proud of his roots in Cumbria.  

Speaker presentation

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