Consultants – Learning & Development Associates

All our Consultants have extensive industrial experience in their own particular field and many years of higher level management service in the UK and International Water Sector. Our Consultants all hold current Teaching and Assessing qualifications and maintain their professional development through membership of appropriate institutions

Doogie Black

Environment & Climate change specialist


Doogie BlackLeading expert in reviewing and developing the organisational and systemic capacities required to address climate change and with organisations to assess and develop their capacity to take action against a changing climate.

Strategy and Organisational Change for Climate Change. Structuring strategic approaches to build resilience in addressing the challenges of a future with a different climate and carbon economy. Working at organisational, institutional, and systemic levels (e.g. sectors, supply chains, value chains, geographic areas, national and multinational). Providing vulnerability assessments and decision-support using tried and tested approaches that are robust, rigorous, rapid and highly scalable.

Stephen Board

Wastewater Treatment Specialist

Trainer / Assessor / IQA

Stephen BoardSteve is a Water Assessor & IQA, highly driven to support peoples’ development and has a background within the scientific, operational and training and development arenas. Active within the bodies responsible for developing Apprenticeships and regulatory qualifications.

Steve has a proven track record in operations management; team leading; asset management; process support; learning and development; and the assessing and quality assurance of development schemes (both internal & regulatory). Steve has joined L&DA as a trainer/assessor and IQA.

Mike Bowen

Incident Management Specialist


Mike has over 40 years’ experience within the Water Industry in the UK, mainly in customer service, control room management, alarm management and incident management. He has experience in coordinating and running incidents, monitoring and control of alarms and allocation of resources. He is aware of the intricacies of incident management and has designed training interventions for duty managers.

Simon Buckingham

Water Production & Water Network Specialist

Trainer / Assessor & IQA

A Water Industry Professional with over 30 years’ experience in a range of roles across operations, customer service and regulatory; of which 20 years were in a variety of senior management positions including: Regional Network Manager, Head of Service Delivery, Head of Metering, Head of Control Centre and Retail Services Delivery, all with a major UK Water Company. In addition, Simon also has extensive programme management experience in leading a number of large, multi-project programmes in the Clean and Waste operational area’s as well as Customer Services and Regulatory. Projects have included Smart Metering, Control Centre development and preparation for Retail Competition.

More recently, he has gained qualifications in Education and Training with a Level 3 Award in Education and Training as well as qualifying as an Assessor with an Advanced Certificate in Assessing Vocationally Related Achievements. He is an experience trainer and assessor. In addition, he is a qualified Internal Quality Assurer

Ian Cassidy

Water Production Specialist

Trainer / Assessor / IQA

Ian CassidyIan has over 45 years of industrial experience in the water industry including Water Operations Management on clean water production and water distribution, Senior Managerial experience of Field Service Engineers & Operator maintainer workforces. His experience has enabled him to deliver certified courses on Water Production Processes, plant & equipment to many Water Company Employees throughout the UK.

An outcome-driven individual with confident interpersonal skills, Ian successfully enjoys working closely with both students and employers to enhance their learner’s skills, knowledge and behaviours.

Ian is a fully qualified Level 5 trainer, an Assessor and IQA.

Keith Edwards

Wastewater Treatment / Water Network & Water Production Specialist / Developer Services Management

Chartered Engineer (CEnv), Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv), Member of Institute of Civil Engineers (MICE), Chartered Water and Environmental Manager (CWEM)

Trainer / Assessor

Keith is a Graduate of London’s Kingston University and is a Chartered Civil Engineer, Water and Environmental Manager and Environmentalist.  Keith is a life-long Water Industry Practitioner, with extensive competency development and training experience.  He has 51 years’ in the water industry with more than 35 years’ experience as an Engineer and Manager for two large UK Water Companies.

Keith has held many senior management roles dealing with Water Distribution and Treatment, Sewage Treatment and Sewerage Collection Networks.  Keith is a qualified Teacher and an Assessor and for the last 15 years he has focused on training and the development of competency within the operational workforce.  He is currently a Learning and Development Specialist, delivering training and advice to students at all levels within the industry.


Ahmed Esat

Water Network Specialist

Trainer / Trainee Assessor

Ahmed has over 28 years’ commercial and operational experience from progressive Management roles in UK Public and Global Private Sector. His expertise lies in multi-utility infrastructure, operations, asset management, business development, consultancy management, stakeholder engagement, risk and auditing and investment benefits realization where he has successfully led strategic projects in fast-paced change environments.

Ahmed also has extensive lecturing and assessing experience in engaging with partner universities and professional bodies conducting design and deliver for Business Studies, Leadership, Management, Built Environment, Procurement and Utility Sector disciplines. He is currently completing his Executive MBA Programme.

Peter Ferenczy

Water Production & Water Network Specialist

Chartered Engineer (CEng), CIWEM Member, Graduate Member Institute of Civil Engineering

Trainer / Trainee Assessor

Peter is a Chartered Engineer with 31 years of experience in the Water Industry. Over 15 years were as the Engineering and Asset Manager with a large UK Water Company, proving experience in the fields of contract and project management, health and safety, environmental and finance regulation, network analysis, water resources and asset management.

As an independent consultant, Peter has been working with a large UK Water Company assisting with their PR19 business plan and water resources management plans. He is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management.


William Love

Water Network Specialist

Trainer / Assessor

William has been in the Water Industry for 30 years, progressing through Supervisory and Management Roles. He then became an NVQ Assessor & Trainer which led to roles in Learning & Development, firstly as an Advisor then a Centre Manager. As a Learning & Development Partner Centre Manager William was responsible for Managing a large apprenticeship programme and was Premises Manager for a major Irish Water Company.

Over the last 10 years, William has designed and delivered training on a wide variety of industry related topics, Networks & Leakage, IOSH Managing Safely and Calm Network Training.

Geoff Miller

Water Production, Water Network, Risk & Resilience and Dam Safety Specialist

Chartered Engineer (CEng), Chartered Water & Environmental Manager (CWEM), Certified Risk Manager (CRM)

Trainer / Trainee Assessor

Geoff is a water industry professional with some 50 years’ experience. He is a chartered civil engineer, a chartered environmental manager, and a certified risk manager with a focus on Enterprise Risk Management. He is a former senior manager with extensive operational experience at FTSE 100 level in an international, multi-utility environment. Whilst Head of Risk Management for a major UK water company the team were named European Risk Management Team of the Year. He was the water sector’s representative before the UK Joint Parliamentary Committee of Enquiry on the draft Civil Contingencies Bill. Geoff’s work to establish the first regional utilities resilience forum has been nationally recognized. He has played a leading role in drafting BS, EN, and ISO standards in the water sector for 25 years and is currently Technical Secretary to the Water UK Standards Board.

Geoff is a member of the team developing and delivering the Risk & Resilience Level 5 Award.

Jim Oldroyd

Wastewater Treatment Specialist

Chartered Water and Environmental Manager (CIWEM)

Trainer / Assessor

Jim is a Water Scientist, enthusiastic Teacher and IQA with an extensive and varied operational management background underpinned by professional qualifications. Instrumental and influential in the development of qualifications and apprenticeships in the Water Industry.

He has a proven ability of effective asset and man management in the Water Industry and has worked for a major UK Water Company for many years.

Jim is a member of the team developing and delivering the Risk & Resilience Level 5 Award via classroom and virtual delivery.

Oberon Praties

Wastewater Treatment Specialist

Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv)

Trainer / Assessor / Trainee IQA

Oberon PratiesOberon is a water industry specialist with over 25 years’ experience in the field. Having gained a Ph.D in Chemistry, she has undertaken a variety of roles within the business, her main focus being on the water, wastewater and sludge treatment processes.

She gained status as a chartered environmentalist through the Institute of Water Officers and is dedicated to improving awareness of managing the impact of the industry on the environment through training and assessment. She has been involved in the design and delivery of many water industry training programmes across the UK.

Nick Preston

Water Network, Wastewater Treatment & Water Production Specialist

Chartered Engineer (CEng), Member of Institute of Directors (MIod), Fellow of Institution of Civil Engineers (FICE)

Advisor / Assessor

Nick has over 38 years’ experience in the Construction and Water Industries. He specializes in Operational Performance Improvement, Asset Management and Engineering across a wide range of engineering disciplines and sectors. Nick is passionate about developing the people of our future; it is through our people that we can innovate, improve customer service, research and develop new products, build, own maintain and operate assets to improve profitability. He has been involved in teaching for 5 years and assessing for 4 years.

He has recruited and trained teams of specialist Infrastructure Asset Inspectors for PR09 and PR14; 2 of which subsequently became Supervising Engineers under the Reservoirs Act 1975.

Nick has worked extensively with, and for, Water Companies in the UK, Europe and the Middle East, most recently as a consulting providing Expert Witness, business improvement strategies, leakage reduction, pipeline rehabilitation options, R&D, leadership training and mentoring. He is also a Qualified Emergency First Responder.

Martin Ralls

Water Network Specialist

Trainer / Assessor & Trainee IQA

Martin RallsA clean water networks specialist with over 20 years operational and leadership experience in Network Control, Asset Optimisation and Leakage Management. Martin also has extensive change management expertise with a proven track record in delivering large scale transformation initiatives.

Working as an independent consultant, Martin has worked with the majority of UK Water Companies over the last 6 years, focusing on accredited and bespoke competency development and training in areas of clean water network operations, leadership & management and hydraulics awareness

Grace Sandels

Environmental & Climate Change Advisory

Trainer / Trainee assessor

Grace SandelsGrace has a BSc. In Biology and Mathematics, a MSc. In environmental protection and sustainability and a PGCE in secondary science education.

Grace brings 23 years’ experience in environmental protection within the Environment Agency and has worked in the Water Industry private sector. She now teaches adults, running programs and workshops to support individuals through personal change.

Howard Snowden

Water Production & Water Network Specialist

Chartered Engineer

Advisor / Assessor

A multi-disciplined Chartered Engineer with over 40 years’experience in the Water Industry. His formative years were with Yorkshire Water Authority where he gained experience in the design, operation and management of water supply and wastewater facilities in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Moving into a consultancy role, he was responsible for the design, construction and commissioning of capital works for a number of UK water supply companies.

During the past 25 years Howard was responsible for the management and operation of the water supply undertaking on the island of Jersey. Whilst at Jersey Water he was responsible for the completion of Queen’s Valley Reservoir and the replacement of the original thermal sea water distillation desalination plant, with a modern electrically operated plant. In recent years, Howard has been training local college students and mentoring graduate engineers and technicians.

Steve Watson

Water Production Specialist


Following a successful 32-year career in the water industry commencing in Asset Delivery then operations covering Distribution, Sewage treatment and finally 20 years in Water Treatment.

For the last 9 years the focus has moved to training and development. This includes the design and delivery of a wide range of training to a number of UK Water Companies on both academically based courses or bespoke to a company or individual’s needs.

Stephen is a Chartered Environmental Manager, Registered Incorporated Engineer, Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and Member of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management.

Steve Whipp

Chartered Engineer


Steve Whipp, a chartered Civil Engineer with over 40 years post qualification experience, is an independent consultant and since retiring from United Utilities where he was the Head of Innovation he has held a number of roles including as a visiting Professor to Cranfield University’s School of Water Science. Steve’s background lies in research and development particularly as applied to modern asset management practice. He has also developed a strong interest in embedding innovation into business. Steve has an international reputation for research leadership in water.

Keith Williams

Water Network Specialist


With over 40 years’ operational experience in the Water Industry, Keith has a wealth of operational knowledge as both an Operations Manager and then Director.

With a Water Utility Company, he was responsible for mains rehabilitation, estates, water abstraction and treatment production, water network, metering and operations control function as well as involvement in incident/event management. He successfully managed the operational merger of two water companies, ensuring continued excellent operational good practice. He is a Level 3 Qualified Teacher.

Steven Willis-Culpitt

Wastewater Treatment Specialist

Working towards CIWEM Membership

Trainer / Assessor

A graduate from Heriot Watt University, he is an experienced water, wastewater treatment, solid and liquid waste management, and anaerobic digestion professional with over 20 years of experience in the industry. This includes Lean and Reliability Centered Maintenance approaches to Asset Inspection. He has been involved in business improvement project work which has given a well-rounded experience of how to identify and collect appropriate field information, how to present it and how to use it to improve reliability, function and efficiency.

As an experienced trainer and assessor, he is able to adopt a flexible approach to consider the individual needs of his learners.

Rob Wynn

Water Network Specialist

Trainer / Assessor / Trainee IQA

Credible and effective with extensive people management experience, he is passionate about the water environment & helping people & organisations understand, develop & implement strategies to manage & use this resource in the most efficient & effective way.

He has a sound water operations management background including river management, flood defence design & construction, catchment ecology, network management, leakage, new network design & construction, organisational & site level water efficiency strategy & implementation.

Extensive B2B and B2C customer service experience & a track record in strategy & policy development & implementation. Board level experience through non-executive director roles in the energy advice & human resource management sectors. Experience in setting up & developing new teams & taking business into new areas. An effective mentor, coach & facilitator, he enjoys identifying, exploring & developing synergies between people, projects & organisations.