The UKESF’s 10th Anniversary: Creation of the Foundation – Derek Boyd Interview

Derek Boyd, Trustee & Director, Former CEO of NMI/TechWorks


You were the CEO of NMI (Trade Association) when the UKESF was founded. Can you tell us a little about what NMI and your members were hoping for from the Foundation?

“Many people in UK industry recognised that the UK had punched massively above its weight through the development of Electronics over its history.  To continue that was going to depend on the industry attracting outstanding talent.”

Looking back over the last 10 years, do you have some particular highlights?

“I’m immensely proud of getting the Foundation off the ground; pitching the idea, getting support from the founding partners and raising sufficient funding to get started is a real highlight. I recall the first ever Scholar Workshop and Warren East, then Arm CEO, giving up his time to talk with the scholars. As we’ve moved forward, seeing so many incredibly bright young people coming through the program and developing excellent careers has been great to see and continues to motivate me.”

Derek speaking at the 2016 Scholar Workshop

There have been considerable changes in the Electronics sector since the formation of the UKESF; how well do think that the Foundation has maintained its relevancy?

“Very well, as shown by the continued appetite for UKESF Scholars from industry, the highly positive feedback about the Scholars themselves, and the academic support too.”

You are still a Director of the UKESF; how do you see the Foundation progressing?

“The Electronics Everywhere programme could be transformational and we’ll continue to work hard to get public and private support behind the program to accelerate further. As the penetration of technology into societal challenges, such as reducing CO2 emissions, increases, the opportunities for great careers continue. I hope we will see the Foundation’s role continue to encourage more young people to embark on this journey and that we give them as much help as possible along the way.”

Derek (right) with Stew Edmondson, the 2015 winners of the Scholar of the Year Award and Neil Dickins