Skip to main content

Meet our Trustees

The Trustees of Foothold

Every year, our trustees provide invaluable experience, guidance and support in all our activities. We are proud of our trustees and here they are.

Our Trustees

Foothold Trustee Alan Watts. Alan is windsurfing and smiling.

Alan Watts - Trustee

Alan has been a Foothold trustee since October 2023.

Alan Watts is a successfully exited technical entrepreneur, having co-founded Yelo Ltd which was acquired by a Canadian PLC. He also created and ran Halo, the Northern Ireland angel network whose members invested £12m in NI companies (£28m including leveraged funding).

As Director of Funding at Catalyst, a not-for-profit transforming the Northern Ireland tech economy, he created a network of UK-based Venture Capital companies and angel groups. Matching these with high potential NI companies, he took a leading part in the rise of NI tech equity investment from £10m to £140m. Today 75% of this investment is from outside NI.

Alan has completed two terms as Vice President and Trustee of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, where he instigated and led a major governance review.

He has also been a board member of the UK Business Angels Association, and is currently a director of two IET companies and a member of the IET Disciplinary Board.

In his spare time, Alan is a keen windsurfer – furthering his mission to break every bone in his body.

Foothold Trustee Alison Lanchester

Alison Lanchester - Trustee

Alison became a Foothold Trustee in October 2022.

Alison has worked in the voluntary sector for over 29 years with a variety of charities. She is also an independent consultant, working to review fundraising operations and deliver improved income. Alison enjoys working with teams and has an outcomes focused philosophy. Since becoming a qualified NLP coach, this is becoming an increasing part of her work. Alison has held a number of high-profile director roles covering income generation, marcomms and leadership, most recently as Director of Fundraising & Communications at St Helena Hospice in North Essex. In her spare time Alison enjoys long walks in the Norfolk countryside with her dog.

Foothold Trustee Andy Rogers. Andy is wearing a grey suit and looking at the camera smiling.

Colonel Andy Rogers BEng PGCert CEng FIET - Trustee

Andy has been a Trustee since October 2023.

Andy Rogers is a British Army Officer with over 26 years of leadership experience in engineering environments. He now works at the Ministry of Defence having returned from 6 months deployed, helping to coordinate the international donations and integration of military capability into the Ukrainian Armed Forces in 2023.

Andy has conducted multiple operational deployments including Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Chad. Until 2021, he was the REME Corps Colonel – the professional head of 8,000 technical soldiers and engineering officers. He then spent the next 12 months in academia, studying global security, stability and prosperity at the Royal College of Defence Studies in London.

As well as sitting on the Board of Trustees for Foothold, Andy is also a Trustee for the IET and has been a member of the IET Council for three years. He was a Trustee and Director of the REME Charity from 2019 to 2023, and is passionate about improving the lives and conditions of engineers and their families.

Dr Dolores Byrne OBE - Chair

Dolores Byrne has been a Trustee since 2018.

Dolores is a chartered engineer and an Honorary Fellow of the IET.  Following a career in industry, she has been a Board member of several engineering & technical services organisations.

Dolores has been a Trustee and Vice-President of the IET and also chair of the IET Fundraising Committee.  She was also a Trustee for other charities engaged in supporting engineers and encouraging more young people into careers in engineering. Dolores is currently a Non-Executive Director at Sellafield and a Trustee of Winchester Science Centre

Gareth Price - Treasurer

“I am a Chartered Accountant and qualified with a medium-sized London firm of chartered accountants.” Gareth has been a Foothold Trustee since March 2020

“After qualifying, I joined Deloitte’s where I worked in the audit department for five years. While there I was involved in the audit of numerous NGOs, charities, universities and colleges.

Since then I worked in the secondary banking sector providing factoring and trade finance facilities to small to medium-sized family businesses.

I have also acted as a financial consultant to a number of businesses in the wholesale sector. From 2004 until I retired in 2018 I worked for 3 charities where I managed the fiscal and operational health of their UK and/or worldwide operations.

I lead teams in the areas of finance, information technology, personnel, legal, membership management and administration. In my spare time, I enjoy walking, travelling, family history and I am a season ticket holder at Reading Football Club.”

Joe Dunn - Trustee

Joe is a chartered engineer who started working for BAE Systems in 2008 as a Software Engineering graduate and since then has delivered roles as a Systems Engineer, System Design Authority and an Engineering Manager in the UK and Europe.

Joe is now the Head of Systems Engineering and Governance for one of BAE Systems’ UK business units in the Maritime sector and lives on the South coast of the UK. He has been a volunteer with the IET since 2009, first as the Solent Local Network’s Young Professionals team leader which led to him winning the IET’s Paul Fletcher award in 2015, then as Solent network Vice Chairperson, Solent network Chairperson, a member of IET Council (2016-2018) and a member of the IET’s Board of Trustees (2018-2021). Joe has been a volunteer with Foothold since 2020 and joined the Board of Trustees in 2021.

Foothold Trustee John Gleeson

John Gleeson - Trustee

John is an engineer and IET member who specialised in microelectronics and computer science at Trinity College, Dublin.

After graduating he completed an MSc in Computer Science, with a specialism in AI/expert systems for electronic fault diagnosis, and worked on the ESPRIT programme (European Strategic Research Programme on Information Technology).

Following a stint in software development, he has worked in consultancy with Coopers & Lybrand/PwC and as an independent consultant on major business, financial and ERP systems, as well as completing an MBA at Warwick University. His consultancy experience involved working with major pharmaceuticals, engineering, high tech and financial service organisations, delivering major systems, organisational and business change programmes.

In addition, John worked on Global Markets systems at JP Morgan, was CRM Programme Director at Barclays and served as an IT Service Operations director at BT. He has been a Foothold Trustee since October 2022.

Tom Budd - Deputy Chair

“Tom was born in Australia and attended university at the University of Queensland and the University of Cambridge”. Tom has been a Foothold Trustee since October 2020

He has lived and worked in London for many years. He is a solicitor and a partner in an international law firm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, specialising in finance and restructuring law.

Tom is honorary legal adviser to the Order of St John (which operates St John Ambulance in the UK and elsewhere in the world) and a trustee of the British Society of Gastroenterology.

Virginia Margaret Hodge - Trustee

Virginia has been a Foothold Trustee since October 2019

Foothold Trustee Wolf Byttner

Wolf Byttner - Trustee

Wolf has been a Foothold Trustee since October 2022.

He has held a wide variety of roles in several industries, including defence and medical technology, and currently works as a consultant helping clients to adopt new software engineering technologies.

Wolf was active in the driverless car revolution and has published several research papers on machine learning. He is also a member of the IET, and advises several start-ups in the UK.

A photo of Gareth Price, Foothold Trustee and Honorary Treasurer. He is smiling looking at the camera.

A statement from our Honorary Treasurer Gareth Price on our financial situation

Our Trustee Gareth Price explains how the IET's decision to stop collecting donations for Foothold may affect our support for engineers.

A family consisting or a man, woman and boy sitting at a table. Representing an IET member renewing his IET membership, the man is working on a laptop, whilst the woman and boy are doing a crafting activity together.

IET no longer collecting donations for Foothold with membership renewals

Learn about important changes between Foothold and the IET, and find out how you can #DonateDirect to help us support engineers in need.

Opening up new opportunities for the engineering community with the launch of our Engineering Neurodiverse Futures programme

Our new support programme is designed to empower neurodiverse engineering professionals, students and apprentices to achieve their full potential.