1985: Sir Philip Foreman

1985: Sir Philip Foreman

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Biography Foreman was born in Exning, Suffolk, in 1923. While he was a young boy, his father became tractor driver on a farm in Cambridgeshire. He was also responsible for the installation, repair and maintenance of all the farm machinery, and this early experience awoke a keen interest in mechanics in the young Foreman.

He attended the local elementary school, and Soham Grammar School, from which he won a British Empire Open Scholarship to Loughborough College. He graduated from Loughborough in 1943 with a First Class Honours Diploma in Mechanical Engineering.

After graduation, Foreman wanted to join the Royal Navy but was turned down due to his colour blindness. Instead, he joined the Royal Naval Scientific Service, which was a department of the Civil Service, working at the Admiralty Research Laboratory at Teddington. He remained at Teddington until 1958, when he resigned in order to join the guided weapon tea at Short Brothers and Harland Ltd., where he was responsible for all shipborne and depot equipment associated with the Seacat missile weapon system. In 1961, he became Chief Engineer of the guided weapon division, and in 1964 was appointed Company Chief Engineer, in which position he assumed responsibility for all the Company’s engineering activities including aircraft design. He was elected to the Broad in 1965 as Deputy Managing Director and became Managing Director in 1967. In 1983, he became Chairman and Managing Director.

At Short Brothers, Foreman concentrated particularly on the export market, and in 1972 was awarded the CBE for services to export. He was knighted in 1981. In 1988, Foreman set up an engineering consultancy firm, Foreman Associates.

He has long been involved with the British Standards Institution, serving as Chairman from 1988 to 1991, and President from 1994 to 1998.