Meet the External Trustee's

Name: Bob Saunders

Occupation: Retired – Career with International Engineering and Manufacturing Companies

Board Member Since: October 2013

Other Guild Involvement: Sabbatical Officer 1974-75

I retired early in 2012 after a career with international engineering and manufacturing companies. Now that I have time I am keen to give something back. I have very fond memories of my time at University of Birmingham in the early 1970s and especially of the Guild where I became one of only two sabbatical officers during the academic year 1974-5.

On leaving University I eventually found my niche in technical sales and had a number of business development jobs, with increasingly international focus. I was fortunate to be able to work and live abroad on a number of assignments during the nineties and subsequently my general management responsibilities have been for business operations in many countries.

About 15 years ago I was persuaded as a non-engineer to become involved in promoting Engineering careers to young people and I currently Chair Young Engineers, a national charity providing STEM enrichment activities.

I currently live in Shropshire with my wife and have two adult children, neither of whom was I able to persuade to come to University of Birmingham.

I see my role as an Alumni Trustee as providing advice and guidance to the Sabbatical Officers and the Guild Management Team, to ensure the long-term independence and viability of the Guild. Given the challenge of new Sabbatical Officers every year I think it is helpful to have some continuity in the Guild leadership, apart from the full time professional management. I expect to challenge the work that has been done by the full-time staff and ensure that ideas have been thought through and there is evidence of membership support. As far as possible I want the Guild to be run by and for the current student generation at Birmingham.

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