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.

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, 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!

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.

Freeman, Matthew Ardern

Every year WCSIM sponsors the UK finalists of the Big Bang Fair to attend the highly prestigious International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) competition in the United States. Matthew Ardern was one of the two 2015 finalists. He won an award in the ‘Engineering – Mechanics’ category, which also came with a $500 prize. Intel ISEF is the world's largest international pre-college science competition, attracting 1,700 high school students from over 75 countries.

I designed, developed and built a Continuously Reciprocating Air Filter as my project. While undertaking work experience with Astrium, I observed the sand clogging problems with air filters for electronic equipment cooling fans. Having identified the problem, I went on to build a reversing air filter which uses two fans that change direction when the pressure drops inside the equipment. A pressure switch flips the direction of airflow when the fan filters are clogged, allowing both filters to be cleaned automatically. This avoids the need for manual cleaning or replacement of electronic equipment filters in harsh environments. As a backup, alarms are fitted to warn of malfunctions these are operated by a thermocouple and also by the pressure staying at 0 Pa.

How many competition stages did you have to win to get to this final – and what were they?

  • Application stage – Being accepted onto the mentoring scheme.
  • ISEF finalist stage – Being chosen as one of five to be judged for an Intel ISEF finalist.
  • ISEF award – Being chosen as the first place representative for the UK.

What was the best bit about the whole experience in the States?

The USA was an amazing experience as a whole. However the best part was being able to talk to and get to know other people from around the world who love maths and science as much as I do. I enjoyed looking at all the projects in each of the exhibition halls.

Have you won any other awards?

Bronze and silver crest awards (in progress for gold).

UKMT Senior Maths Challenge Silver award.

What advice would you give the UK regional finalists in this year’s Big Bang Fair at the NEC?

Value all the time you get with your judges, express every point about your project that you can. Use the public day before the judging day to your advantage - there will be highly qualified engineers there who may see other applications of your project. Talk to as many people as possible, this will also boost your confidence!

Where and what are you currently studying?

I am currently studying Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Computer Science at Aquinas College in Stockport.

What is your dream job?

To be an Electronics Engineer for Intel designing new desktop processors, or an Electronics Engineer for ARM (to whom I’ve currently applied to take part in work experience) designing electronics circuits.