Paul Methven – Technical Director, Dowty Propellers, GE Aviation Systems

What would be the advantages and disadvantages of the government appointing a Chief Engineering Adviser?

I think there could be issues with generating independent and unbiased advice.

What are the highest priority areas for government spending to enhance the UK’s capability in your sector, and in technology in general?

Investment is needed to enable the low cost manufacture of high integrity composite components.

Which recent government policies have been particularly effective for your sector, and which (if any) have been a hindrance?

The government should be more involved in European collaboration. There is too much differentiation between EU and UK funding streams.

What are the biggest opportunities for growth in your sector, in the short and medium terms?

In the short term there are big opportunities in the next generation turbo-prop commuter (ATR, Chinese MA700). In the medium term growth opportunities exist in Open rotors (B737/A230 replacements) and wave turbines.

What is the best way to approach technological goals in the long term (ie, with results more than five years off)? Can and should government play a role here?

There is a need for more long term committed finding independent of political pressures.

What do you think of the current status of engineers in the UK? What can be done to enhance it?

Chartered Engineer status needs to be made a requirement for positions of responsibility – currently anyone can practice Engineering without being chartered.