Lord David Chidgey, President
Lord Chidgey originally studied Mechanical Engineering at the Admiralty College in Portsmouth followed by Civil Engineering the Portsmouth Polytechnic. He was elected as Liberal Democrat MP for Eastleigh in a byelection in 1994, holding the seat until he stood down in 2005. He entered the House of Lords in the same year.
Richard Balmer, Vice President
Richard is a chartered civil engineer and spent most of his career in water engineering. He was a Solihull MBC councillor from 1988-96 and then Aldes Secretary from 1996 to 2008. He has been a member of the party’s policy groups on Energy, Climate Change, Water and GM Crops and prepared the majority of the early Aldes briefing notes.
Josh Matthews, Chair
Josh originally studied Chemical Engineering at Loughborough, spending time in industry and at UC Santa Barbara focussing on sustainable hydrogen production. Josh moved to Cambridge where he added an “MBA for engineers” – alongside consulting work and sustainability-themed research – before graduating and settling in Cambridge where he now researches sustainability, business, and emerging technology. Josh joined the Lib Dems in February 2019 before being elected to the Cambridge City Council that August and as Aldes’ Chair in January 2020.
Dr Jenny Woods, Vice Chair (Science)
Jenny originally trained in Physics before pursuing a PhD in Astrophysics. She is currently working to connect policymakers with academic research to drive evidence-informed policy and campaigns within the Liberal Democrats on digital civil liberties.
Jenny ran for Reading East for the Lib Dems in the 2015 general election.
Peter Lord, Vice Chair (Engineering)
Peter is a semi-retired Chartered Engineer and Member of the IET. A graduate of Essex University, his career has included electronics design, electrical product safety, lecturing in electronics at the Univerity of Hertfordshire and latterly DSP software design and development for embedded systems such as mobile phones and bluetooth devices. He takes an active interest across the broad range of science and engineering disciplines.
Emma Colliver, Secretary
Emma originally studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, specialising in physics. After spending the next five years in fundraising, Emma returned to academia via a Master’s in Data Science at UCL, and is now a computational cancer research PhD student at The Francis Crick Institute, where she studies the lung cancer tumour microenvironment.
Emma joined the Lib Dems in 2015 and is a member of the Twickenham and Richmond local party. She was one of the founding members of the party’s Your Liberal Britain initiative, and looks forward to helping party members to engage with ALDES events and STEM-related policy development going forward.
Chris Lomax, Treasurer
Chris Lomax is a Chartered Chemical Engineer and Scientist working as a Consultant and Design Engineer in offshore and onshore energy. Chris is a Cambridge graduate, and has worked for 20 years in a range of positions in the Engineering and Industrial sectors, mainly in food production and energy generation. As a Chemical Engineer, Chris’ main focus is the overall integration and design of industrial plant, understanding what goes on inside the pipes and equipment. Chris also has a background in software engineering and industrial control systems. Chris is a member of the Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE).
Dr Richard Gomer, Membership Secretary
Ian works as a systems engineer in the Space Industry. He has been involved in the design, manufacture, test and launch of a number of spacecraft for both private and national customers. At the University of Birmingham he studied a Masters in Physics and Astrophysics and continued his studies at Cranfield University in Astronautics and Space Engineering. He was selected by Watford Liberal Democrats as a prospective parliamentary candidate in 2016, and is a former Chair of ALDES.
Ian is a Chartered Engineer and a graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast and the Open University. After 29 years in the BBC, he was an Associate Lecturer with the Open University for 15 years, teaching courses on computers and computing. He was the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Romford in 2015.