Meet the Board: David Brown

Silverstone Technology Cluster

27th August 2019

While he has a penchant for WWII memorabilia, nothing quite matches David’s passion for metrology which is probably why he has been the perfect person to oversee Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence’s activities in the UK for almost two decades.

It’s a role that makes him a valued member of the STC’s Board and it was almost as if he was made for it. Rewind to the Sixties…

“I was brought up in Coventry and my father and uncles were all engineers or in engineering of some sort,” David recalls.

“There was an inevitability I’d go into engineering. My father was a mad inventor. The house was full of gadgets.

“It was the same in the garage – full of engines and bits. I was inquisitive from an early age and liked tinkering with mechanical stuff.”

David briefly explored a career in catering but the lure of engineering was too much.

“I did an engineering apprenticeship and got a degree at the same time – by 21 I was a qualified engineer and have stayed in the profession ever since.

“In my first full-time job I was sitting at a desk too much for my liking – I’ve always preferred being out on the road, meeting people, seeing different places and environments and being into sales.

“In the mid-Eighties I joined a small foundry business in Yeovil – I loved that job! Early morning starts and stop-overs and connecting with people.”

His first exposure to ‘metrology’ was with Leitz in Milton Keynes in 1990 and by 2002 he was appointed as UK General Manager for Hexagon Metrology. He’s stayed in the role since although was also tasked with overseeing operations in Scandinavia from 2016-2017. He is father to three daughters and now, aged 59, also has two grandchildren!

He continues: “Metrology goes back to the Egyptians – they wouldn’t have built the Pyramids without it. It’s the science of measurement. Anybody picking up a ruler is doing a little bit of metrology. All it is is checking things that need to be made dimensionally. “When you think how metrology has changed things it is massive. It’s a fascinating topic and why I’ve stayed in it so long.

“One day I can be talking to someone who wants to measure plastic bottles; the next mechanical hip implants!”

Having been a keen cross-country runner in his younger years (“which is why my knees are shot!”), David likes to spend his time outside work attending antiques fayres.

“I’ve been collecting antiques for about ten years and am really into WWII military – the house is getting pretty full. My prized possession is a hat worn by a Panza Division Commanding Officer – it’s still got a German newspaper he’d rolled up and put inside for a snug fit and is in mint condition.”

Fly fishing is another of his interests, but he’s already got a retirement plan in mind.

“DIY – something else I inherited from my father. I’ve always got projects on the go, mainly woodwork. When I do finally retire then DIY will be my full-time thing – hiding in my workshop with lots of tools.”


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