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Campbell McGarvie

Campbell McGarvie left school in 1962 with few paper qualifications despite having shown early academic promise. Taking a tedious job as a bank clerk he spent the next four years attending night school and missing out on much of the decade’s excitement. But his efforts paid off when he was hired by Burroughs now Unisys, leading to a long and successful career in the IT industry. In addition to many senior positions, he has held a number of non-exec directorships and is a past Master of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.

Professor Sir Martin Sweeting

Professor Sir Martin Sweeting has been fascinated by telecommunications since childhood, and a love of science fiction, particularly the writings of Arthur C Clarke, fostered his enthusiasm for technology.

At school his best subjects were English, French and Latin, but in those days it was hard to combine sciences and arts. So he did A’levels in chemistry, maths and his favourite, physics, going on to gain a degree in electronic and electrical engineering at the University of Surrey, and a PhD.

In 1985, Sir Martin set up Surrey Satellite Technology with about £100 and four employees. The company pioneered rapid-response, low-cost and highly capable small satellites, on which much of our modern life depends. In 2008, SST was sold to Airbus Defence & Space for £50m, but Sir Martin is still executive chairman. The company now has 400 professional staff, annual revenues of more than $100m and total export sales in excess of $1bn to 25 countries. Among its many focuses is clearing up the increasing amount of space debris, which represents a significant threat to the next generation of satellites.

Sir Martin was awarded an OBE in 2002 and won the 2008 Arthur C Clarke Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2016, he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and listed by Sunday Times as one of the 500 most influential UK citizens.

Ann Moffatt

Ann Moffatt found “sums” easy as a child at school in post war London and would have gone to Oxbridge had it not been a time when the boys in the family had first call on education.  Nevertheless, by reading every book she could find, she got a job in IT and went on to defy the male stereotype of the industry: combining a friendly manner with incisive expertise that commanded respect at the highest levels.

Ann was Dame Stephanie Shirley’s first lieutenant at Freelance Programmers before being headhunted to Australia, to sort out a mega-project gone wrong.  She is a Fellow of both the Australian Computer Society and the British Computer Society. In 2002, Ann was inducted into the Australian ICT Hall of Fame and in 2011, into the Pearcey Hall of Fame, for lifetime achievement in the ICT industries. The University of Southern Queensland awarded her an Honorary Doctorate, in May 2006 and Microsoft list her as one of 12 Australian Innovators.

Mandy Chessell CBE

Mandy Chessell CBE  is a software engineer, who is recognised with multiple honours for her key role in the technology which is at the heart of business critical operations around the world. She was awarded a CBE for services to engineering and was the first woman to be awarded the Silver Medal of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Mandy was influenced to be an engineer by her father, a naval architect, and was inspired to join IBM by a speaker outlining the excitement of technology visiting her school when she was 14: she has been at IBM for 35 years.

Mandy encourages the entry of other women to IT and, while reluctant to demand special treatment, she does observe and oppose attitudes that still limit their advancement in a male dominated industry.

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