2017 AMT Next Gen Award: Matthew Ackroyd

Nov. 21, 2017
Project Manager for Aviation Services, 36, Vector Aerospace, Gosport, UK

As a child Matthew Ackroyd was always into engineering taking things apart and rebuilding them, making tools and experimenting. He was exposed to aviation through his family and was always fascinated with how helicopters were put together and how they flew. This spurred him into his first job as an apprentice machinist for Turbomeca UK (Safran UK). From there he joined the Royal Navy where he experienced many engineering challenges and problems to solve. This has continued to drive him in his understanding and motivation of aviation.

Initially he trained at Turbomeca UK learning basic machining, advanced machining, and manufacturing. Then he trained in the Royal Navy as an avionics engineer and diagnostician. Advanced training includes a higher national diploma in aeronautical engineering (avionics), front line managers training, senior leadership program, project management qualification (IPMA level D), and systems engineering thinking and management.

After serving in HM Royal Navy, he worked as a support team leader at Serco Ltd., and joined Vector Aerospace in 2008. His roles At Vector Aerospace included avionics technician/supervisor; avionics supervisor flight test/deputy front line manager; design and modifications engineer; and is currently project manager for aviation services. He manages projects to ensure cost, quality, and on-time delivery are maintained; project lifecycle from pre-input planning, through procurement, manufacturing, and delivery to in-life support; change management systems to identify, record, negotiate, and implement additional activities and services to the product output; and customer account management to ensure customer expectations and satisfaction are maintained.

Nominated by Alex Youngs, vice president, Strategy & Analysis, Vector Aerospace: In 2014, Matt was appointed design and modifications project engineer, managing the technical aspects of assigned projects across civil and military aircraft modifications. Over the next two years, Matt delivered a complex £10M avionics integration project for Lockheed Martin on time and on budget, as part of the UK MoD’s Crowsnest program. Matt also received a personal commendation from Thales in recognition of his central role in a military avionics trial demonstration project valued at over £20M. In January 2016, Matt was selected from over 1,500 Vector employees to attend a 12-month senior leadership program, in recognition of his outstanding service with the company. Since October 2016, Matt has served as project manager with Vector’s Aviation Services Business Unit, managing a wide range of projects from pre-input planning, through procurement, manufacturing, and delivery to in-life support. Matt’s responsibilities include managing over 20 aircraft for multiple customers, and ensuring product serviceability and availability. In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities over the past year, Matt has also been leading Vector’s UK Project Management Office development program, including implementation of processes and policies. Matt has also completed and passed APM PMF and PFQ, achieving IPMA level D qualification. Matt's unique skillset encompasses deep technical and management capabilities across the civil and military MRO markets."

Ackroyd gives back to the industry "by trying to empower those around me to achieve their full potential and unlock the blockages in their ways. I use my knowledge and experience to help those around me make decisions based on informed views and information. I take a pragmatic view of the engineering world and use my logical mind to ask open questions of those around me to provoke deep and meaningful conversations. Although I’m not a mentor I like to think I approach my day-to-day interactions this way."

Although Ackroyd has stepped out of the engineering career line, he would like to remain directly connected to the product. He has recently achieved his project management qualification and would like to go on to become a chartered project manager/program director.