Become a Member of ASSET

Support our vision for the creation of a uniquely themed aviation, astronomy and space flight science centre.

Mission Control

Aero Space Scientific Educational Trust (“ASSET”) is a not for profit social enterprise Community Benefit Society with charitable status which is overseen by a board of volunteer trustees who are responsible for operational strategy, marketing, start-up, day to day management, human resources, legal and regulatory compliance. Aero Space Kinross (“ASK”), is a wholly owned trading subsidiary of ASSET. ASK employs a small team of people who draw on the extensive experience of a large pool of volunteer supporters who live in the area.

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 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.

Eric Williamson

Ross 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 Benbow
Pete Benbow was the 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.

Sarah Brown
Sarah is Headteacher of Kinross High School and Campus Leader for Loch Leven Community Campus. Graduating with a science degree from Strathclyde University in 1989, Sarah worked in industry for a number of years before entering the teaching profession as a Teacher of Chemistry. A love of education and learning has meant that she has continued to study at postgraduate level in Science Education, Management and Leadership.

Sarah joined Kinross High School in 2015, with successful Senior Management and Headship experience gained in Fife and Edinburgh. She is passionate about providing high quality learning experiences and opportunities for the personal development of young people.

Prof 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.

Fiona Stewart
Fiona is a public relations professional with over 25 years of corporate, consumer and media experience who has worked in management roles across a number of sectors including finance, health and latterly tourism. She has led on international campaigns for VisitScotland in North America and Europe for ten years and has successfully started her own PR company 3 years ago. Her client base focuses on social, community and start-ups where she has built her expertise working with a number of community and social enterprises and ethical businesses in Scotland.

She is fully qualified with CIPR diploma and MSc journalism qualifications and is currently studying for her Public Affairs diploma.

Gordon Nisbet
Gordon is a project manager/consultant with extensive experience of demanding projects across a wide range of industries. Prior to retirement in 2015 he held senior operations and support management positions in the RAF (23 years) and as a contractor in the energy services sector (17 years). Gordon has a track record in delivering significant improvement to business performance with proven skills in project management, operations management, safety and quality management. He is self-motivated and able to communicate plainly at all levels, trouble-shoot and deliver fit-for-purpose solutions on time and to budget. His extensive management experience, combined with cultural awareness, has underpinned successes in domestic and overseas appointments.


Dr 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.

Mike Pearson
Mike is an accomplished Director in the global aviation and airport community. Having successfully worked at Board level across airport management and consultancies, he has spent the last 3 years working within the domain of air traffic management and how to manage the growth and performance of commercial air traffic and airports by applying novel technological concepts within increasingly constrained environmental, financial, political and operational conditions. Prior to that he was active in Heathrow’s government-approved third runway expansion plans, spending over 10 years fully engaged in the debate concerning major airport developments in London, finally leading the Mayor of London’s detailed investigations into a new airport for London.

Directors of ASK

Steven Gray

Steven Gray
Steven Gray has had a lifelong fascination with the night sky and has been a keen amateur astronomer for many years. He has a wide practical knowledge of astronomical equipment, is an experienced observer of many celestial objects and is an astrophotographer. He also has many years of experience doing astronomy outreach at all levels.

With our planetarium Steven has years of experience engaging with the public, developing bespoke shows, content and running presenter led sessions. Over the last year Steven has engaged with well over 10,000 people of all ages!

Steven is the Secretary of the British Association Planetaria, an elected Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2017 Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellow, STEM Ambassador, Member of the International Planetarium Society and Member of the International Dark Sky Association.

James Green

James Green
James Green has worked in the UK nuclear and electronics sectors for over 30 years, during that time he has had a keen interest in astronomy. As an experienced amateur astronomer he has been delivering astronomy outreach at primary & secondary schools and with various Scouts/Guides groups for many years.

James works part-time with our planetarium and has years of experience engaging with the public and running presenter led sessions. Over the last year James has engaged with 1,000’s of people of all ages in the planetarium.

James has a BSc (Hons) in Physics, is a Member of the Institute of Physics, an elected Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, a Member of the British Association of Planetaria and Member of the International Planetarium Society

Karen Grunwell
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.


Prof J C Brown OBE, RSE

The Crew

Donna Hegarty, Fundraising Manager
Donna is a very experienced fundraiser committed to making a difference within local communities. Over the past 8 years, Donna has undertaken a successful £4m capital appeal, and led volunteer teams to achieve broadly based and sustainable income generation for both Kilbryde Hospice at Hairmyres Hospital East Kilbride and at Venture Scotland (which supports disadvantaged young people to become active and engaged members of society).

Donna has developed an extensive knowledge of a wide range of sources of funds from small local charities to major national funders like Big Lottery. She has introduced fundraising database systems, donor and stakeholder relationship management and is experienced in all aspects of charity management including HR, finance, health & safety, communications, systems management and service delivery.

Previously, Donna was an Environmental Health Officer at South Lanarkshire Council and Programme Manager at Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Helen Gilmour, Financial Administrator
Helen has been a self-employed Book-keeper since June 1989, offering book-keeping, payroll and VAT services to several local clients across a wide range of SME businesses. Helen also provides draft profit & loss accounts to several local accountancy firms.

Prior to self-employment, Helen worked for Perth & Kinross Council for 2 years, and Hillend Ventilation Company for 16 years. She gained a BA in Management from Heriot Watt University and is a Fellow Member of the International Association of Book-keepers.

Very active in the local community, Helen has served voluntarily to support local tourism, fishing, ESL and as trustee of a children’s nursery. As a member of the British Red Cross, Helen ran First Aid courses for many years.

Zoe Garvie, Science Educator
Zoe graduated from St Andrews University in 2017 with distinction in science and as the Fife Provost Prize winner. Since then she has focused her energy on setting up a social enterprise which offers children an enjoyable, hands-on introduction to science, technology, engineering and maths, whilst attempting to tackle employability inequality. Zoe has two inspirational young boys who serve as catalysts for messy, explosive, exploratory, science experiments and are a great barometer for how fun the world around us can be, with a bit of know-how.

For further information on Aero Space Kinross, or to book tickets for future events please email: