About Us

The Team

Nigel Smith
Director of SWS

Nigel is responsible for the Company’s UK CAA DOA. With over 25 years’ experience as a Mechanical Engineer, he remains an eminent figure in the aerospace and civil aviation industry.

During his time in the the industry, Nigel has worked for major UK aerospace companies such as Matra-Marconi Space Systems, Martin-Baker Aircraft, M. L. Aviation and Contour Premium Aircraft Seating. He has also held several positions where he has been responsible for overseas programs.

This valued experience has given him a considerable understanding of the industry in which he works and where possible, he endeavours to pass this extensive knowledge and experience onto his colleagues and clients.

Nigel’s professional achievements reflect his personal passion and drive. He was a key member of the FAA Aviation Regulatory Advisory Committee (ARAC ) responsible for the AC25.562-1b, the now very familiar FAA advisory circular, (a dynamic evaluation of seat restraint systems and occupant protection on transport airplanes). Most recently Nigel has been instrumental in pioneering a unique certification approach for Air New Zealand’s Skycouch™ (the application of a new seating design); he has also supported Greenpoint Technologies by working with them to establish an airworthiness approvals route for the new Aeroloft® dealing with UK, European and US organisations.

In his role as company MD and Head of Design, Nigel is frequently invited to speak and advise clients and other organisations on certification and approval issues. Along with fellow SWS Director Phil Williams, he has been invited by EASA to present to regulators, advisors and other DOAs at an EASA workshop.

Paul Priestman
Designer, Chairman of PriestmanGoode

Paul studied Industrial Design at Central Saint Martins and at the Royal College of Art in London. He leads a wide range of projects, from product design to transport including for Transport for London, Iconic Radiators and Embraer.

He has built a reputation for his award-winning future concepts – visionary ideas to improve our everyday and encourage sustainable, long-term thinking. He is an inspirational speaker on the subject of design and creative future thinking and flies the flag for British design around the world.

In 2015, Paul was voted one of London’s 1000 most influential people by the Evening Standard for the third consecutive year. In January 2016 he was announced as one of Britain’s 500 Most Influential individuals by The Sunday Times.

Christoper Wood MBE
Founder of Flying Disabled

Christopher has travelled the world lobbying and campaigning the aviation industry and governments to make commercial airlines Power Wheelchair accessible, Air Travel is the last bastion of transportation that has not designed its cabin for accessibility. Chris is a single parent to two young adults he still calls children, both are Power Wheelchair users. A flight in 2015 with his daughter triggered his passion and desire to try and remove the indignity and unsafe process of flying, to do this the industry would need a solution.

Chris has the backing of the UK Governments Department for Transport and its Regulator the Civil Aviation Authority. He also recently gave evidence to the Department of Transport in Washington.

His role has expanded into an advisory role on accessibility, he sits on Heathrow Airports advisory group and the CAA’s advisory panel. He has consulted on several accessibility projects for aviation designers. Chris is often found at conferences speaking and presenting on this subject.