The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, the Glasgow-based UK innovation centre established by the UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board to accelerate the growth and commercialisation of offshore wind, wave and tidal technologies, today (26 September 2013) announced the appointment of two new members to its senior management team.
Chief executive Andrew Jamieson described the appointments of Chris Hill as Programmes Director and Charles Thompson as Head of communications, as “a major step for both the Catapult and the Offshore Renewable Energy sector”.
Hill has spent almost 20 years working across a wide range of senior management roles within the offshore and onshore wind renewables sector.
They will be huge assets to the Catapult. Their seniority and experience signal the major impact that the Catapult will have upon the UK’s Offshore Renewable Energy sector, driving innovation in partnership with companies large and small – from the manufacturers and owners of the offshore power plants through to the SMEs.
He has vast experience with Mainstream, one of the UK’s most innovative wind farm developers, most recently as Chief Operating Officer of offshore operations, responsible for managing the company’s Offshore Centre of Excellence.
He founded and established SMart Wind Limited, a vertically integrated consortium developing 4GW of offshore wind in the Round 3 Hornsea Zone as a 50:50 joint venture between Siemens and Mainstream, partnering with DONG Energy, where Mainstream is the lead developer.
At SMart, he installed the first Round 3 met mast with The Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator to demonstrate an innovative “twisted jacket” foundation design.
In his role as Programmes Director, Hill will lead and deliver ORE Catapult’s application of innovation in practice, ensure projects and programmes are commercially sound and lead technology application programmes.
Thompson moves to ORE Catapult following an extensive career both nationally and internationally as a consultant and in-house communications, media relations and public affairs leader.
He spent eight years with BAE Systems plc, leading internal and external communications across various businesses within the global defence company, latterly as communications director of their maritime division.
Whilst with BAE Systems, Thompson oversaw extensive communications and engagement activity across multiple high profile programmes, including the Type 45 destroyers and the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers for the Royal Navy.
He previously worked internationally in the telecoms and engineering sectors and is a Non-Executive Director of Investors in People Scotland.
Thompson will lead the promotion and communication of ORE Catapult’s activities and capabilities and engage interest around the organisation’s technology and innovation agenda.
ORE Catapult chief executive Andrew Jamieson said: “We have sought out some of the most experienced people in the UK in their respective areas of responsibility, and I’m absolutely delighted with the team we are assembling. Chris and Charlie bring with them a huge breadth of knowledge and experience in areas vital to the success of the Catapult – specifically innovation programmes in the renewables and maritime sectors.”