Born in Barnsley, Yorkshire, England.
Educated at Edward Sheerien Secondary Modern.
Attended Barnsley College of Technology achieved what was then a TEC Ordinary National Diploma in Engineering Technology.
Worked Saturday and Holiday jobs at Building Materials Barnsley to attend to father, a coal miner, as his health declined.
Drove delivery for Building Materials Barnsley after acquiring Heavy Goods Class One License 1985. Developed services introducing bulk delivery of sand and aggregates working 60 plus hours a week.
In 1988, had a very serious motorcycle accident requiring time to recover from injuries, and after re-training was ready to re-enter the work force.
In 1993 re-trained at HPW Skills training Centre in Monk Bretton Barnsley. Training in Mechanical Engineering where meeting Jon Needham, seeing something that others missed. Attended the Sheffield College undertaking a BTEC National Certificate in Motor Vehicle Engineering.
In 1998 graduated with Honors with a Bachelors Degree from Sheffield Polytechnic which was then Sheffield Hallam University.
Started the first of the two National Vocational Qualification’s (NVQ) the first in Machining Assembly and Processing Skills (MAPS). This NVQ focused on Manufacturing processes had 6 areas of study operating process: machining, product assembly, quality control, finishing, lifting, handling and transporting. This course of instruction was purely practical and while completing this course also accomplished a City and Guilds 201 Basic Engineering Competence Course. This area of study was both practical and examination based. Both accredited by the City & Guilds of London Institute.
While undertaking these courses, started a technician course at Sheffield College entitled BTEC National Certificate in Motor Vehicle Engineering. Giving a fundamental knowledge of how every system worked in an Automobile. This was a technician qualification. Achieving 7 Passes 7 Credits and 8 Distinctions.
After completion undertook evening classes titled Electrical Auxiliaries and another entitled Batteries and Charging, both accredited by the City & Guilds of London Institute
The second NVQ undertaken was in Information Technology. Attaining this certification in 1995 this was purely DOS based, the units covered included transmitting messages by electronic mail, editing documents, entering numerical information into pre-prepared document, entering text using word processing facilities, inputting data into a database for later analysis, archiving/deleting files, producing printed display materials from given information, completing standard documents, interrogate existing databases, merging documents, backing up data, use facsimile equipment to transmit documents. This course was administered by the RSA.
The Bachelors degree area of study was Integrated Engineering with Automotive Studies achieved at Sheffield Hallam University. This was a three year full time degree which preparing for research and development work in the automobile industry. Acquiring knowledge of the automotive industry and the engineering of vehicles and their systems and technology in modern automotive design. Equipping for careers in vehicle and component design and manufacture. Covering engineering design with a focus on automotive applications. Also covering automotive electronic specialists and preparing to turn experimental research and development into new products. Furthermore understanding the process of developing new models or improved versions of current models. Giving the foresight to also combine creative ideas with engineering skills to produce detailed, accurate visual drawings, usually with computer-aided equipment. In addition looking at electronics used in automotive technology. Covering among other things electronic engineering, computer engineering, vehicle dynamics, power units and transmission, control systems, braking systems, vehicle design, security, ergonomics, sensors, actuators, display systems, microprocessors, software and communications.