At that time, few people were listening to the warnings, but David was, as was Dave Hailes. They both met the following year at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in Wales, studying a MSc in Environmental Architecture and Renewable Energy. There they became good friends, later working together on bespoke solar projects.
David’s career before then is an interesting one. After leaving school, he studied an HND in Electronics and Manufacturing for a packaging company, Bowater, working in every department learning about procurement, design and working on shift in manufacturing.
At that time, Bowater was supplying Sony and Matsushita who had set up manufacturing facilities in south Wales and there was an urgent need to meet the rigorous quality standards of these Japanese companies. David was tasked with setting up the business’s quality system and as Quality Manager attained BS5750 for the company. He was, in fact, the youngest person in Europe to do that for an industrial company back in 1988 – quite an accolade.
David moved up through the ranks at Bowater (soon to be renamed REXAM), through Logistics, Production Planning, Group Operations then to General Manager. It was at this point, after 19 years, he volunteered for redundancy, decided to retrain and started working in the family architectural business and developing his own properties. It was here that the idea to improve upon building regulations and introduce higher insulation standards than was mandated at the time came about with renewable energy being an important piece of the puzzle.
After studying at CAT, David worked for a number of solar businesses, the last of which was GB Sol where he was Managing Director. Here, he led the redesign of their PV Slate product and introduced key quality processes in the manufacturing department to ensure product integrity and ease of installation in the field. GB Sol was the first to design and install a full roof solar using PV Slate and their client list included house builders and national organisations e.g. Duchy of Cornwall, HAB housing and Etopia homes.
Now at Leading Edge, David continues to ensure quality is at the heart of what we do whilst building on the solid foundations laid down by his friend Dave Hailes. The challenge is to introduce manufacturing processes that improve efficiency and productivity to meet the demands of growth. Also to build a team that can take Leading Edge into the next stage of its development and introduce innovation that meets and exceeds the market demands.