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Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s youngest ever Chartered Director

15 Aug 2017

Congratulations to Robert McConnell, Engineering Director with Newtownards based CCP Gransden, who has been awarded Chartered Director status.

At just 31 years old, Robert is the youngest person from Northern Ireland to have achieved Chartered Director. Robert recently scooped NI Young Director of the Year title for 2017 at the Institute’s awards ceremony held in Belfast.

Robert has worked for CCP Gransden since 2012, becoming Engineering Director in 2014.  His career began in Thompson Aero Seating, followed by a stint at B/E Aerospace (now Rockwell Collins). Robert is a graduate of Ulster University with a BEng (Hons) in Engineering Management and an MSc in International Business.

During his time with CCP Gransden, Robert has developed and led the Advanced Composites Division through a new strategy, refocusing CCP on advanced sectors such as aerospace, automotive and defence.  This has culminated in a planned £3.5m investment in new capability; recognition nationally for CCP’s ‘smart’ factory; recruiting high potential individuals; and accreditation for design and manufacture to the aerospace and defence industries.  Robert has now tripled employment in the division, investing significantly to retrain operations staff in robotics and automation.  He applied for and was successful in receiving £1m in Invest Northern Ireland funding towards research and innovation in support of this change programme.

Robert says he feels very honoured to be awarded Chartered Director status. “Not only is this a great personal achievement, but also the skills and knowledge I have gained during the programme have tangibly helped me develop and grow CCP Gransden’s business.

“Being young doesn’t mean you can’t achieve.  Through the Chartered Director Programme’s learning approach and right mixture of theory and practical elements, all carried out with peers of similar outlook, I feel better equipped to lead the business in a very competitive and fast moving sector.  It’s a fabulous boost for me and for CCP Gransden and we’ll continue on our journey of innovation and research to ensure that advanced engineering grows further in Ireland and beyond.”

For more information, please contact the IoD NI Office on: 

028 9694 6740


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