After training as a production engineer, I became interested in psychology, graduating from Nottingham University in 1969 (B.Sc. Hons in Psychology) and going on to teach experimental methods at Edinburgh University Psychology Department for three years.
I then moved into commerce, and then back into engineering, working as Special Projects Manager for Dellfield Digital Ltd., a telecomms start-up (1983-87), and as Senior Production Engineer for Renishaw Metrology Ltd. (1987-1990).
In 1988 I began to take an interest in behaviour based robotics; in 1990, this work won me a Small Firms Merit Award for Research and Technology from the Department of Trade and Industry, and I then set up a consultancy company, Artificial Life Technologies. I worked on a variety of projects, notably the MARCUS prosthetic hand (a European Community TIDE project), before moving to the University of the West of England, Bristol, (UWE) to help set up the Intelligent Autonomous Systems Engineering Laboratory in 1993.
For 1993-94 I was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Zentrum fur interdisziplinare Forschung at the University of Bielefeld, Germany and in 1997 I was Visiting Associate in Electrical Engineering at Caltech, working in the Microsystems Laboratory.
In 1998 I was appointed Reader in Electrical Engineering at UWE, and in 1999 I spent a year as Principal Research Scientist at the CyberLife Institute (now CyberLife Research) before returning to Caltech in 2000.
My next port of call was the legendary Starlab, in Brussels where I spent several months as Chief Scientist before joining Essex in October 2001.