Management Team

Aero Space Scientific Educational Trust ("ASSET") is a not for profit "social enterprise" holding company with charitable aims. Charitable status (imminent) enables Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR), Gift Aid and Rates Relief and appropriately positions ASK to qualify for educational etc grant funding support. The holding company board will provide strategic direction, impetus and "trustee" regulatory oversight. They will be responsible for continuous evolution of the business plan, the fostering of strategic partnerships/collaborations, negotiation of major contracts (eg property development), the corporate structure and the establishment and set up/start-up of operating subsidiaries.

Aero Space Kinross ("ASK"), a wholly owned trading subsidiary, is run by its own executive board and professional management team. It is responsible for operational strategy, marketing, start-up, day to day management, human resources, legal and regulatory compliance. It employs young graduate scientists and engineers, but also draws on the extensive experience of the large volunteer pool of aviation professionals and hobbyists who live in the area. At least 20 full time jobs and another 20 volunteering opportunities will be created.

The following individuals will serve as volunteer founding directors ("Trustees") of the holding company and the board will be augmented with further relevant expertise (potentially from partner organisations and major funders) as and when suitable candidates are identified during the set-up phase.

Alisdair Andrew StewartAlisdair Andrew Stewart FCIBS
Alisdair is a retired senior banker with some 40 years experience across a wide range of financial sectors including personal, commercial and corporate lending, leasing, venture capital and investment fund management. As Head of Clydesdale Bank Corporate Investment Services his team of 150+ staff across offices in Glasgow, London and Dublin provided securities services to some of the world's most prestigious fund management houses. At RBS he created a new business - RBS Luxembourg SA - which provides independent fund management services to a wide range of investment fund managers headquarted all over the world.

Alisdair is chairman of the Kinross-shire Partnership, holds a Private Pilots Licence and is a volunteer representative of MAF which flies 130 light aircraft to reach vulnerable people in remote locations in 25 of the world's poorest countries.

John G CassellsJohn G Cassells LLB
John is a commercial property law partner at Young & Partners Dunfermline with many years' experience in advising clients on a wide range of property and business matters.

He specialises in the purchase and sale of commercial property (including trading businesses), leases of commercial property (for landlord and tenant), secured lending for banks and private investors, sourcing property, complex property transactions, assembly and disposal of residential and commercial property development sites , advising on planning agreements, asset restructuring, advice on land taxes.

John is a director and Company Secretary of the Kinross-shire Partnership and Vice President of Orwell Curling Club.

Ross McConnellRoss McConnell CA CTA
Ross qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1988, and as a Chartered Tax Advisor in 1995. He trained with an independent Edinburgh firm, and after qualifying worked for a medium sized firm before setting up his own practice in Kinross in 1995.

His practice specialises in tax compliance and tax planning for small and medium sized business, and high net worth individuals.

He is also involved in charitable organisations, acting as reporting accountant for various local organisations and also as a trustee for a local charity.

Anthony Peter BenbowAnthony Peter Benbow
Pete Benbow is manager of the Scottish Gliding Centre at Portmoak Airfield, Kinross.

He is a British Gliding Association (BGA) Chief Engineer (CE) and Airworthiness review Certificate (ARC) signatory.

Pete is also co-owner, maintenance engineer and restorer for the private "Portmoak Collection" of historic British gliders (1934 – 1970).

The Portmoak collection is, possibly, the largest collection of airworthy historic British gliders in the UK.

Dr Stephen BreslinDr Stephen Breslin
Stephen is Chief Executive Officer of Glasgow Science Centre and is committed to stimulating peoples’ interest in science and helping them to discover the pleasure and relevance in science, engineering and technology. The Science Centre is a five star attraction and plays a pivotal role in Scotland’s science infrastructure and Stephen is dedicated in driving it forward to become a key player in inspiring the scientists and engineers of tomorrow through hands-on engagement.

Previously, Stephen was Chief Executive Officer of Futurelab Education, one of the most highly respected think-tanks and research labs in the world whose work has had a profound impact on educational practice and thinking. Prior to this, Stephen was Chief Executive Officer with The Kelvin Institute Ltd, a joint venture between the University of Strathclyde, the University of Glasgow and Scottish Enterprise. The organisation’s remit was to take technology that originated from Scottish Universities and develop it into marketable products and services for sale or licence.

Prof Andrew RaeProf Andrew Rae CEng FRAeS
Andrew is Professor of Experimental and Applied Aerodynamics and Head of Engineering Research at the University of the Highlands and Islands, a Visiting Professor at Zhengzhou Institute of Aviation Management in China and for five years was a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor in the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Surrey University.

Andrew graduated from Imperial College in 1987 and joined the High-Lift Section of the Aerodynamics Department at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough. His activities there concentrated on the physics of multi-element aerofoils. He has managed tests at over 30 other major facilities in seven countries and worked on projects for Airbus, Boeing and several Formula 1 teams.

He was the signatory for the aerodynamics clearance of flight test aircraft (including E-3D Sentry, BAC 1-11, Canberra, Andover, Nimrod, Hercules, Jaguar, Tornado, Sea King, Chinook and Lynx) modified to accommodate trials or upgrade equipment. He became a QinetiQ Fellow in 2008 for his contribution to applied and experimental aerodynamics. and he has worked on many non-aeronautical applications including road and rail transport, wind engineering and sport.

Support Team

The Trustees are being supported by....

Deidra BakerDeidra Baker - FUNDRAISING
The founding directors are being assisted by Deidra Baker who was a media and training specialist at NASA for 15 years.Living in Scotland for the past 13 years, Deidra is now an experienced professional fundraiser and director of a business consultancy.

Deidra has supported major fundraising campaigns at St Andrews and Dundee universities, NHS Grampian Hospitals Arts Trust, Mendelsson on Mull and is currently working with Dundee Science Centre.

Angus SmithAngus Smith FInstAM MIED - FUNDRAISING
Angus Smith served as an HR manager in the RAF for 18 years and in small business support, advisory and lobbying roles for Scottish Enterprise and the Federation of Small Businesses for 15 years.

He is now an experienced fundraiser and co-director of a consultancy with a wide range of business and voluntary sector clients including NHS Grampian Hospitals Arts Trust, Mendelssohn on Mull, Creative Scotland and most recently, he delivered a Yes vote for Edinburgh’s West End Business Improvement District.

Karen Grunwell - HR & AdministrationKaren Grunwell - HR & ADMINISTRATION
Karen has spent her career in local government in both England and Scotland. Her specialist experience is in Human Resources and she has been involved in all areas of people management and training. She has been a personnel adviser to one of the national employers’ organisations in local government and worked for them on the revision of national recruitment and selection procedures.

She is currently on a career break and is using the time to follow a number of interests including returning to University to undertake a masters degree. Karen is the administrator for the Kinross-shire Partnership and has been chair of the parent council of a local school.

Shona Hancock - PR & EventsShona Hancock - PR & EVENTS
Shona’s expertise lies in Event Management gained from 10 years of running her own successful Event company catering to high profile private and corporate clients. During this time she built up a sound business skill set which uniquely includes presenting on live television. Her creative thinking, exceptional organisational and strong interpersonal skills mean she is a valuable addition to the team.

Kelly Smith - AccountingKelly Smith - ACCOUNTING
Kelly is a freelance Financial Controller with over 20 years experience. She has worked with various types of businesses from start-ups to multi-nationals where her responsibilities have included the set-up of finance departments, production of management accounts, cashflow forecasting, reconciliations, VAT returns, year end audit files, taxation assessments and payroll. Kelly holds a CIMA intermediate stage qualification and has extensive accounting software experience.