Experience and Education

Relevant Professional Experience

2013 to Present – Aviation Historian, Royal Air Force Museum

My principal accountabilities are:

  • To develop, coordinate and administer research opportunities and programmes, internal and external, at the RAF Museum;
  • To maintain an active research profile by undertaking original research and oversee the preparation of material for publication;
  • To provide support for the RAF Museum’s Research Board;
  • To provide historical consultancy for exhibitions and media at the RAF Museum.

My principal duties are:

  • Research
    • To conduct and publish research in the fields of Aviation and Air Power History;
    • To lecture on the history of the Royal Air Force and related areas;
    • To organise conferences and seminars that support the RAF Museum’s academic activities;
    • To assist curators to understand the historical context of their collections and in the identification and acquisitions of historical material related to the Museum’s collection policy.
  • Exhibitions:
    • To provide historical consultancy for the main exhibitions;
    • To curate an agreed programme of temporary exhibitions;
    • To vet and review of historical material across a variety of media in conjunction with relevant members of staff;
    • To examine and propose opportunities for scholarly output from exhibitions across the RAF Museum’s research areas.
  • Administration:
    • To co-ordinate staff research across key departments as they relate to the Museum’s research areas;
    • To promote a research culture across the Museum’s academic activities and interests;
    • To act as a mentor to staff developing their research profiles;
    • To co-ordinate relationships with external organisations in the UK and overseas linked to academic research;
    • To serve as Secretary of the RAF Museum’s Research Board as an ex officio member;
    • To manage research requests related to the RAF Museum’s academic activities.

2013 to 2014 – Visiting Lecturer, Centre for War Studies, University of Birmingham

I lectured on the MA in Air Power: History, Theory and Practice and MA in British First World War Studies.

2007 to 2013 – Assessment Associate, EDEXCEL

I worked as a moderator on ‘A’ Level coursework unit 6HI04 01 (Historical Enquiry) and as an expert marker on the GCSE unit 5HB02 2C ‘Life in Germany, c. 1919-45’.

2012 to 2013 – Researcher, American Air Museum at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford

I was contracted to produce a 30,000-word research paper entitled, ‘Leadership, Doctrine, and Strategy in the United States Air Force’ that answered the following questions:

  • What has been the US Air Force’s view of itself during the 20th and 21st centuries?
  • Who were (and are) the key players and how have they influenced its agenda?
  • What were the doctrines that influenced how it approached a military and diplomatic relationship with the UK?

As part of the redevelopment of the American Air Museum at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, this paper provided conceptual knowledge that supported the production of interpretation boards and other interactive media within the museum.

2010 to 2013 – Editorial Assistant to Professor Gary Sheffield

I provided editorial support on the following book project: Gary Sheffield and Peter Gray (eds.), Changing War: The British Army, the Hundred Days Campaign and The Birth of the Royal Air Force, 1918 (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013). This role involved the following key responsibilities:

  • Communication with editors;
  • Contact with contributors and publishers;
  • Organisation and writing of book proposals;
  • Preparing and maintaining relevant paperwork for Professor Gary Sheffield;
  • Compiling and organising contributors’ chapters into a single manuscript.

I also co-wrote the book’s introduction with Air Commodore (ret’d) Dr. Peter Gray and Professor Gary Sheffield.

2010 to 2012 – Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, Department of History, School of History and Cultures, University of Birmingham

I provided seminar teaching on the following modules:

  • 1st Year Undergraduate:
    • The Making of the Modern World, 1815-2000;
    • Reformation, Rebellion, and Revolution: The Making of the Modern World, 1500-1815;
    • Practising History (B): Approaches to History – Intensive Study Topic: ‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few’: The Battle of Britain, 1940.
  • 3rd Year Undergraduate:
    • Historical Reflections;
    • The Writing of the History of Warfare.

I was involved in the development of the third year module ‘The Writing of the History of Warfare, the MA in Air Power: History, Theory and Practice and the MA in Military History (Distance Learning). In the academic years 2009/2010 and 2010/2011, I provided Study Skills session for undergraduate students that involved the following key elements:

  • One-to-One Essay Writing Tutorials;
  • Essay Writing Seminars, Exam Techniques Drop-In Sessions for Undergraduates;

I also chaired MA Student Presentations and developed ‘Skills for History’ resources. I was also responsible for Delivering taster sessions for local schools on the subject of War Studies for the university’s Outreach Department.

2012 – Historical Researcher to Jonathan Dimbleby

I conducted research for Jonathan Dimbleby’s book on the Battle of El Alamein entitled, Destiny in the Desert (London: Profile Books, 2012) at the Imperial War Museum, The Second World War Experience Centre, and the Liddle Collection at the University of Leeds. I also read and provided comments on the draft manuscript.

2011 to 2012 – Examiner, International Baccalaureate

I examined the History strand of the International Baccalaureate course.

2006 to 2009 – Lecturer in History, Penwith College, Truro and Penwith College

I managed aspects of the AS/A2 Level History and Government and Politics course with responsibilities for data, course development and co-ordination, recruitment, retention, marketing and all administration related to the post. I taught the following courses:

  • AS/A2 Level Modern History;
  • AS/A2 Level Government and Politics;
  • FdSc Public Services (Voluntary Sector Management);
  • Key Skills;
  • BTEC National Diploma in Public Services;

Additionally, I had responsibility for an ‘A’ Level Tutorial group. Truro and Penwith College is tertiary education provider in West Cornwall, graded Outstanding by The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted).

2005 to 2006 – Visiting Lecturer in History, City of Wolverhampton College

I taught on the AS/A2 Level Modern History course teaching 18th and 19th Century British Social and Economic History and 19th and 20th Century Russian and German Political History.

2003 – Historical Researcher, The Vintage Paint Company

I performed historical research on the paint and camouflage utilised by British forces during the Second World War that involved research at the following institutions; The Imperial War Museum, the Tank Museum, RAF Museum and The National Archives.

Education

2010 to 2015 – Ph.D. in Modern History, Centre for War Studies, Department of History, School of History and Cultures, College of Arts and Law, University of Birmingham

  • Thesis title: ‘The Forgotten Career of Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory, 1892-1937: A Social and Cultural History of Leadership Development in the Inter-War Royal Air Force’;
  • Passed with Corrections (Viva – May 2014; Conferred – July 2015);
  • Supervisor: Air Commodore (ret’d) Dr. Peter Gray;
  • External Examiner: Dr. Peter Lee, Reader in Politics and Ethics and Assistant Director (Academic), RAF College Cranwell and the University of Portsmouth;
  • Internal Examiner: Dr. Armin Grunbacher, Lecturer in Modern History, Department of History, University of Birmingham;
  • Grants awarded:
    • RAF Museum Ph.D. Bursary (2012);
    • College of Arts and Law Postgraduate Research Support Fund, University of Birmingham (2011 and 2012).

2007 to 2009 – MPhil (Part-time) in Modern History, Centre for Second World War Studies, School of Historical Studies, University of Birmingham

  • Thesis title: ‘The Royal Air Force, Combined Operations Doctrine and the Raid on Dieppe, 19 August 1942’;
  • Passed without Corrections (Conferred – December 2009);
  • Supervisor: Professor Gary Sheffield;
  • External Examiner: Professor John Buckley, Chair of Military History, University of Wolverhampton;
  • Internal Examiner: Air Commodore (ret’d) Peter Gray, Senior Research Fellow in Air Power Studies, Centre for War Studies, University of Birmingham.

2005 to 2006 – PGCE in Post-Compulsory Education, School of Education, University of Wolverhampton

Major themes covered:

  • Educational Pedagogy;
  • Lesson plan analysis (concerning subject specialism);
  • Curriculum Development in an Institutional Context (preparing a scheme of work, and researching an area of institutional provision);
  • Educational Psychology;
  • Professional Practice.

2001 to 2005 – BA (Hons) in History and War Studies, School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences, University of Wolverhampton

  • Award: Second Class (First Division) (2:1);
  • Dissertation title: ‘The Genesis of a Doctrine: The Rise of RAF Tactical Air Power in North Africa, 1940-1943’;
  • Supervisor: Professor John Buckley;
  • Major themes covered:
    • Military History c.1500 to 2000;
    • European History c. 1500 to 1945;
    • Strategic Studies;
    • Military Thought;
    • International Relations;
    • Politics;
    • Conflict Resolution.

Funding and Fellowships

  • Royal Air Force Museum Bursary – £2,000 (2012);
  • College of Arts and Law Postgraduate Research Support Fund, University of Birmingham – £307 (2012);
  • Royal Aeronautical Society Aerospace Speakers Travel Grant – £500 (2011);
  • West Point Fellow in Military History, United States Military Academy Summer Seminar in Military History – $3,000 (2011);
  • Roberts Training Fund, Graduate School, University of Birmingham – £950 (2011);
  • College of Arts and Law Postgraduate Research Support Fund, University of Birmingham – £293.50 (2011).

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