Formed in 2005 to promote engineering, science and technology on behalf of the naval sector, UKNEST has steadily grown to become established as a successful not-for profit organisation working on behalf of the naval enterprise. A member organisation, comprising both the public and private sector, UKNEST uniquely provides a safe environment for industry, government, professional institutions and academia to explore the issues of the day and provide thought leadership, advocacy and influence.
UKNEST promotes careers in the naval sector through STEM engagement, scholarships and publications. It encourages early career professionals, known as “FutureNEST”, to develop their knowledge and understanding of the sector through networking, site visits and “visioneering” concept work. Two Working Groups focus on People and Skills and Science & Technology and generate White Papers, surveys and conferences. Members themselves comprise a flourishing network that shares experience and guides the organisation.
Meet the Team...
Alasdair Stirling CBE
Alasdair has had a career in the naval sector spanning 4 decades as a Naval Architect, Chartered Engineer and Chartered Project Professional. Holding senior positions in the MoD and industry, he has been involved in the design and support of numerous ships and submarines for the Royal Navy as well as the Royal Australian and Royal Canadian Navies. A former head of the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors and Fellow of the Royal Institute of Naval Architects, Alasdair is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Prof Cat Savage
Cat has been an active member of UKNEST for a number of years, initially in the People Working Group, and since October 2020, Deputy Chair. She has over 25 years’ experience in the Maritime Industry working in academia, industry and the MoD as well as being on the Board of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects.
People & Skills WG Co-Chair
Natalie has been the Co-Chair of the UKNEST People & Skills Working Group since 2016. She is also the founder of STEM Returners, an organisation that creates back to work opportunities for highly qualified, passionate and committed STEM professionals who are finding it difficult to return after a career break. After building a career in recruitment, where she was Director of Maritime at a large recruitment company, Natalie created a small pilot returners programme for UKNEST employers and has now built this into an organisation that supports hundreds of returners in restarting their careers. The returners programme has been highly successful within the naval enterprise.
People & Skills WG Co-Chair
Debbie has been the Co-Chair of the UKNEST People & Skills Working Group since 2020. Debbie is also the Group Head of Early Careers for Babcock International Group and is responsible for leading her team to deliver innovative and engaging STEM initiatives in order to raise awareness and opportunity within STEM. Alongside delivering an engaging and large scale graduate and apprentice early careers development programme. Debbie’s strength and passion is working with people and as a result Debbie is a Fellow CIPD HR professional with a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management.
Science & Technology WG Chair
Adam has been Chair of the UKNEST Science & Technology Working Group since Oct 18. He is a Chartered Naval Architect & Chartered Project Professional and became an Engineering Fellow in 2015. Adam started his career with a RAF flying scholarship in the late 90’s, subsequently holding numerous positions in MoD DE&S. He left in 2012 to pursue a career in the private sector which took him to Babcock, QinetiQ & Mott MacDonald where he has experience of working in Nuclear, Energy, Rail, Road, Maritime and Aviation sectors. Adam is a Director with responsibility for Mott MacDonald’s Maritime Advisory Account.
Joe is a Fire and Explosion Engineer at BAE Systems Submarines, working to assess and mitigate fire and explosion risk on submarine platforms.
Chief Executive Officer
Matt has over 40 years’ experience in the naval sector underpinned by a long career in the Royal Navy and most recently as an independent consultant. He is a Chartered Engineer, inaugural Chair of the IMarEST's Naval Engineering Special Interest Group and during his naval career he co-chaired the UKNEST People & Skills WG. Matt was appointed Chief Executive in June 2022 and represents UKNEST in numerous forums, including the UK Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce.