Collective experience from world-leading engineering companies

A strong and experienced management team focussed on technology commercialisation

As part of Alvant’s recent transformation from an R&D-focused operation to a full-service supplier, in 2017 the company’s management team was revitalised by a series of internal promotions and external appointments.


Non-Executive Chairman – Simon Halliday (MA)

Simon is an experienced chairman and strategist, who has held a number of senior executive positions including Strategy Director of Morgan Advanced Materials plc (£1bn turnover), and before that Chief Financial Officer of their global Morgan Ceramics division (£600m turnover across 60 sites).


Managing Director – John Bonas

John joined Alvant in 2014, becoming Operations Manager in 2016 and Operations Director in April 2017. He is a first-class designer with more than 25 years’ experience of product design, manufacturing and production engineering. John was Senior Design Engineer for 14 years at Xtrac, a world leader in the design and manufacture of transmission systems for the motorsport, transportation, defence and marine sectors. At Xtrac John was primarily responsible for the design and development of motorsport transmissions and their complex castings and components. John was promoted to Managing Director in February 2018.


Technical Director – Gemma Christian (MSc CEng)

Gemma is a highly experienced engineer with a Master of Science degree in advanced materials. Gemma has worked in the field of composite materials for some of the world’s leading aerospace companies, including Airbus and GE Aviation. Gemma joined Alvant in 2014, was promoted in 2015 to the role of Chief Technology Officer with overall responsibility for technical operations and research and development. Gemma joined the board as Technical Director in April 2017.


Commercial Director – Richard Thompson (BEng MBA CEng FIMechE)

Richard is a technology commercialisation professional specialising in strategic market development, innovation and new venture growth. Richard joined Alvant in October 2017 from Williams Advanced Engineering, the technology and engineering consultancy division of the Williams Formula 1 Group. He has worked for a range of high-performance engineering businesses and new venture companies developing and commercialising intellectual property. Richard was appointed as Commercial Director in February 2018.


Head of Finance – Dahlia Ismail (ACA)

Dahlia is an ICAEW Chartered Accountant who has led and managed large finance teams across a range of businesses throughout her career including Honeywell and BMW. Dahlia has significant experience developing and implementing financial reporting systems and controls.


Founder and Special Advisor – Neil Collins (BSc MSc)

Neil is the founder of Composite Metal Technology (now Alvant). Before founding Composite Metal Technology Neil worked for Cray Electronics Holding Plc, a fully quoted public listed company on the London Stock Exchange with sales of over £100 million per annum.

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