Ann Watson CEO SEMTA

SEMTA, the Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance, is a not-for-profit organisation responsible for engineering skills for the future of the UK’s most advanced sectors. Led by employers, our job is to transform the skills and productivity of the people who power our engineering and advanced manufacturing technologies sector, enabling UK industry to compete on the global stage.

The sector demand for talented and qualified employees has never been greater. Two million new entrants will be needed by the time today’s primary school pupils reach working age. Semta is here to put that pipeline in place. We act as the catalyst to reconnect education and industry and create the highly skilled and dynamic workforce needed to re-energise UK industry and drive its future success.

Ann graduated from the University of Teesside with a first-class honours degree in business studies. She has been with Semta for the past 18 years and at the helm for the last year and a half.  “As a daughter of the North East, I am both proud of our industrial heritage and passionate about securing a future for engineering in this country.”


 Helen Wollaston, CEO WISE

WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) campaigns across the UK to inspire girls and women to study and build careers using science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). We advise organisations on how to create environments where those women can do their best work and thrive.

Helen joined WISE in 2012, bringing campaigning expertise and experience of leadership in public, business and not-for-profit sectors. She sits on the Advisory Board for the Management Division of Leeds University Business School as well as leading the WISE Board.


Margaret Emsley, University of Manchester School of Mechanical, Aerospace & Civil Engineering


Margaret is a civil and structural engineer who joined the University of Manchester (then UMIST) in 1986. Previously she had carried out research at Loughborough University and worked as an engineer for Tarmac Construction. At the University of Manchester she has contributed to the teaching of many courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. She is currently Chair of the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering Board and Programme Director of the MSc Management of Projects.

Last year Margaret was Federation President of Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI).  Soroptimist International is a global volunteer movement working together to transform the lives of women and girls.  SIGBI consists of over 350 clubs in 29 countries, including Great Britain, Ireland and countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Malta.


Carole Cuthbertson

Sir Robert McAlpine



Carole is an architect and works for Sir Robert McAlpine, one of the UKs largest building contractors.  She has spent her whole 30 year career working in the construction industry, firstly as an architect in both private companies and local authority, then as a Project Manager for clients and consultants, more recently as a Design Manager for construction companies and currently as the Design Lead for the Healthcare Sector at SRM.  This gives Carole a wide ranging knowledge of the construction market and the different career options that exist within it.  She has worked on a wide range of projects from schools to hospitals, office blocks to Arts Centres and has met and managed lots of interesting creative people in the process.

Carole says, “ No two days have ever been the same.  Different roles, diverse project types, technically challenging problems, exciting solutions, impossible deadlines, great teams, lifelong friends, 100% continuity of employment and total lack of boredom have all been part of my story so far and there’s more to come! “


Josie Morrissey

Tarmac, a CRH Company


Josie describes herself as an average student at school but a BTech Dip in Manufacturing Engineering and a Modern Apprenticeship with Lafarge Cement UK set her on an exciting career path. She has many awards and achievements to her name and she is now a Safety and Environmental Manager. She has become a National Environmental Co-ordinator for Tarmac, looking after a cement plant and all their logistics depots.