Meet some of our members

Click on the names below to find out what some of our members have to say about being a part of a Livery Company.

Freeman, Kenza Tazi


Freeman Kenza Tazi

I’m a PhD student at the University of Cambridge. My research focuses on applying machine learning to predicting alpine precipitation. I joined WCSIM in 2016 as a first-year undergraduate. The company has been a cornerstone in my career development. In particular, WCSIM supported my travel to my first international academic conference. The member’s advice and network has been invaluable on a professional but also personal level. It’s been a genuine pleasure attending events, making lifelong friends and contributing to a community of like-minded people.

Senior Warden, Charles Holroyd

Senior Warden Charles Holroyd

I became a Liveryman at the age of 34, joined the Court a few years ago and am now Senior Warden. I hope to become Master in the Autumn of 2021.  My father was already a SIM Liveryman, and formal dinners were a great way of seeing and catching up with my parents in convivial surroundings.  The livery’s social activities were also really good for meeting people involved in all sorts of Instrumentation work and interests, and they were always open to helping with advice and suggestions.  Indeed, the speaker at one of our events was the Chairman of Oxford Instruments, and as a result of his encouragement and support I ended up working there for almost 20 years and became a Main Board Director of the business.

Our Livery motto is ‘Moving forwards, giving back’.  Now, many years since starting as a young Liveryman, I have gradually transitioned into the second part of the motto and enjoy giving back.  Our Charity funds the STEM agenda and gives grants to young members, and we give our time, knowledge and connections to encourage local schools and teachers, and support our Apprentices, Scholars and Freemen on their paths to success.  Working with wonderfully talented young people is hugely worthwhile.

Liveryman, Robin Stopford
I have spent much of the past 20 years in strategy, M&A, and business leadership roles with industrial technology companies, and I was delighted when asked to join by two people I have known for a significant time and for whom I have much admiration.   Appropriately for a technology-phillic organisation like ours, my admission ceremony on-line, although I must admit that I hope that I will be one of only a few admitted this way.
I have been involved in engineering and technology for over 30 years, starting my career as a graduate apprentice, manufacturing steam turbines, and then gas turbines with Rolls-Royce. That industrial focus has remained with me ever since, as I moved from engineering into commercial and leadership roles working all over the world, mainly while living in London. I have been an apprentice at many things besides engineering, and occasionally feel that I may be approaching mastery in some. With the world evolving as it is, though, mastery is in reality, only ethereal.
I have always enjoyed sharing my love of engineering and technology, and engaging with the curiosity of others, especially encouraging young people to explore this world:   I remember the wide-eyed amazement as I showed young apprentices some of the testing that we did on Trent engines, over 25 years ago. I have a passion to help individuals be as successful as they can, and build strong teams with broad perspectives, and I trained as a business coach to codify many of the things that I try to do in my every day work roles.  I also am an avid historian and would have read this at university if my practicality gene had not held sway.
So I joined WCSIM to bring together these threads - engaging in the broadest way to help this country continue to be a technology leader by doing what I can to inspire others and connect people and ideas together; encouraging youngsters to come into this space; and supporting the ancient customs and practices in a manner fit for the 21st century.  I am just starting on my journey with WCSIM, and I am excited to see where it takes me.
Freeman, David Gance

David GanceDuring my postgraduate studies at UCL I was made aware of the WCSIM Sir Ivor Cohen grant for dissertation research and as a successful recipient I was invited to become a SIM Scholar. This was my introduction to the WCSIM, having had no knowledge of the livery or its activities previously. Soon after joining, attending the Education Trust Supper event was a great opportunity to visit the livery hall and meet members in an informal setting.  

I have found my association to date with the livery extremely beneficial both on a professional and personal level. Reaching out to the Scholar Warden and receiving advice regarding advancing a career in industry vs. academia was incredibly valuable and helped weigh up this decision for me at the time. During presentations where younger members shared their activities with older liverymen, I had discussions with livery members regarding engineering topics that I was interested in but were outside my area of direct professional experience. Being encouraged by these and further talks I felt confident to switch career paths.  

These experiences highlight some fantastic benefits of joining the livery as it opens opportunities for engagement with likeminded individuals that have deep experience across a range of scientific and engineering sectors and the talks by industry leaders at the events arranged are always interesting. I have been delighted to have been recently admitted as a Freeman look forward to a long association with the livery. 

Liveryman, Ben Fernando
Liveryman Ben FernandoI found out about the Livery during the Lord Mayor’s Show in 2015 (naturally, whilst warming up over a cup of coffee following the downpour and reading the prospectus). I became a Freeman then and was involved in recruiting a number of others to the company, before becoming a Liveryman in 2018.
I’m just finishing up a PhD in seismology at the University of Oxford, on the NASA InSight mission to Mars. I’m also training to be a naval reservist officer with the London unit at HMS President.
Liveryman, Joanna Migdal

Liveryman Joanna Migdal has been a sundial designer for 3 decades and she created the Company’s Millennium Measure. This is a glass and stainless steel obelisk located under the Millennium Bridge by St Paul’s Cathedral. It is two meters high, with each millimetre representing one year over the past 2,000 years. It bears the initial ‘MM’ which stand for ‘Millennium Measure’, ‘millimetre’ and also the number 2,000 in Roman numerals. The glass is etched by hand using a technique called ‘brilliant cut’. It was a gift given by the Company to the City of London to commemorate the turn of the millennium.


Each of the three faces portrays something different. One shows the key developments within the history of science and scientific instruments over the past two thousand years; another illustrates the major milestones in religion; and the third represents the significant events that have taken place in the City of London during that time.

My journey with SIM started when I wrote a letter to The Times back in the ‘90s. The paper had been running a series of short letters where people described their trade or profession with a play on words. I said: "Without a shadow of a doubt, my trade puts all others in the shade". SIM’s Master at the time was Bill Lyons who saw my letter and contacted me. He was looking for a Master’s gift to give his wife and decided to commission a sundial for their Norfolk garden. After I had delivered this, I was invited to attend a function at SIM and they asked me if I’d like to join.

Liveryman, Lars Wallden
Lars WalldenI was happy to become a member of WCSIM and meet many interesting people who share the same interest in technology and especially scientific instruments. My own work is much around the digitalisation of the analogue metering world, and applying AI machine Learning technology to the data we collect, focusing on smart technologies for the utility industry. I am an entrepreneur running my own business within the smart metering technology for the utility and sub-metering business. The last year we had support from InnovateUK and filed 2 patent applications for our products.
WCSIM is a great place to grow both your business and personal networks. As a member, I have met many new friends, both professionally and privately.
I was born in Sweden but have spent most of my working life in other countries now in the UK. My wife Mercedes and I have a profound interest in animals and are both cat and dog owners.
Apprentice, Ukendar Vadivel
Ukendar Vadivel

Hi! My name is Ukendar and I am currently a Year 13 student looking to study mechanical engineering at Imperial College London in autumn. I’m a big robotics, CAD and 3D printing enthusiast, and away from engineering, I love playing cricket and water polo, as well as a bit of photography.

I was initially introduced to the WCSIM via the Arkwright Scholarship in 2019. Even though we’ve been in lockdown, I’ve found that being part of WCSIM has been a great experience. From receiving wonderful advice from my mentors, Past Master Brian Fishwick and Jane Fishwick, to being able to finance personal and school projects, the Company has opened up a world of opportunities for me. I consider myself extremely lucky to have found the Company, and look forward to being a part of it for many years to come!
Liveryman, Jim Webster

Jim Webster photoHaving spent over 40 years working in technology based businesses and wanting to continue to contribute, joining WCSIM has enabled me to stay involved in encouraging young people to develop their skills and knowledge in this area. Through our apprenticeship and scholarship schemes we can help students to pursue careers – both academic and commercial – and support the STEM agenda generally. The social side of the Livery is also attractive, representing a unique opportunity to mix with a wide range of people who have similar interests and to make a connection with people who are members of other Livery Companies. In summary, an opportunity to ‘put something back’ and have some fun doing it!