Tony Harper, Director of the Faraday Battery Problem, pays tribute to Richard Parry-Jones who sadly handed away on Friday 16th April 2021.
On behalf of the Faraday Battery Problem crew, I want to categorical our shock, disappointment, and feeling of grief on the information of the sudden passing of Richard Parry-Jones, Chair of our Advisory Group. Our ideas and prayers exit to his household and family members at this extraordinarily tough time.
For over 4 years Richard has been a Champion for the Problem and a mentor to the crew. His whole focus as Chair has been to harness the expertise, experience, and various viewpoints of this senior group of stakeholders and distil it into executable steerage for the crew. It’s not simply the time he has spent with us, it’s the high quality of that point.
Each member of the crew has been enriched by each minute spent with Richard. He valued contributions from all no matter background, gender, age, or rank and by no means hesitated to level out when he thought they had been making rather more sense than me.
On a private degree, I’ve had the privilege to work immediately with Richard over a interval stretching again 20 years. I’ve interacted with him on initiatives as various as re-organising Ford’s Engineering and Buying operations in Europe to refining energetic chassis expertise to creating the buildings required for a vibrant Analysis & Growth eco-system within the UK. For me, there may be one clear, frequent thread to all my interactions with Richard: A shared ardour for the ability of concepts.
Now, sharing a ardour doesn’t instantly qualify me to spend high quality time with top-of-the-line on the planet. However for some purpose, this life granted me that privilege. Richard instinctively knew that the method of going from nothing to one thing or from one thing to one thing higher is a course of worthy in itself and an basically artistic course of fuelled by the ability of concepts.
Concepts alone although are simply uncooked materials that must be solid, honed, and polished by means of debate, problem, trial, and deployment. The truth that I bought to spend high quality time with Richard doing simply that, notably lately, has been the privilege of a lifetime.
In a second that I’ll bear in mind for the remainder of my days, Richard as soon as requested me if it was too presumptuous of him to name me his pal. For me, getting inside one million miles of being requested such a query by such a legend virtually introduced me to tears.
It’s tempting to say Relaxation In Peace however I’ve a sense that someplace, on another airplane of existence, an entire era of Engineers are about to find that Design Opinions and Experience & Drives are going to shift to an entire new degree.
Simon Edmonds, Deputy Govt Chair Innovate UK
Like Tony I’ve identified Richard for the previous 20 years, when he had stepped down from the CTO position at Ford and returned to the UK, I used to be at BEIS, and myself and Ben Rimmington the then Automotive Director had been at Ford HQ in London with the mission to recruit Richard to guide the Automotive Innovation and Progress work into its second section and to put out a collection of roadmaps for the sector within the UK.
Fortunately after a grilling by Richard, we had been profitable and Richard chaired this work together with his typical ardour and professionalism. He introduced collectively the expertise leaders throughout the sector and persuaded every of them to park their firm allegiances outdoors the constructing and work for the frequent good of the sector.
From this work got here the Automotive Council which Richard co-chaired with Ministers for plenty of years and led to the proposal to determine the Superior Propulsion Centre. Richard has been a relentless power for good for the sector and certainly one of its strongest supporters.
In addition to the Faraday Battery Problem, Richard not too long ago joined Innovate UK as our Ambassador for Manufacturing, Supplies, and Way forward for Mobility, he had began to take a look at our rising plans and methods with all his expertise and data. In frequent with plenty of tales I’ve seen highlighting Richard’s means to encourage and inspire engineers, it was clear that every one of our crew loved presenting their work and concepts to him, even when a bit daunted at doing so, and Richard definitely loved discussing their concepts and inspired them to be daring and particular about what Innovate UK ought to deal with.
We will definitely miss his data, experience, and good humour.