Paul joined Council in 2016. Sir John Gains had just completed his term, and the University needed an expert in major construction, not only to be on Council but also to serve as a valuable member of the Estates Management Committee. Paul’s name was suggested and as he went through the appointment process, it became clear he was just the person the University was looking for.
Paul was a qualified architect, with over 40 years of experience in the construction industry. Not only was he a key player in many major construction projects in the United Kingdom, he also was involved in a Social Housing association and always brought the important human element into his construction work. Paul was also a keen advocate for supporting more women in the construction industry, both of which were apparent in his work at Loughborough.
His big character, welcoming nature and enthusiasm for all aspects of his personal and working life brought huge affection from those he met. He gave freely of his time and was always willing to help Estates colleagues, past and present, with advice.
Paul played a key role in supporting several major projects at the University, including the Claudia Parsons Hall, the Elite Athlete Centre, adaptation of Keith Green for the new Architecture course - particularly interesting for Paul - and the Tennis Centre Extension.
His impressive knowledge meant he was quick to point out the real costs of a project which were often higher than consultants were committing to, and this ensured that there were no nasty surprises at the end. He gave interesting insights and anecdotes of his experience with obtaining planning permission for developments that his own company had secured and applied his experience to best advise the University. Paul was also invaluable in speaking truth to power and advising the University when it should not do something. He always did this with a smile and played the role of a critical friend brilliantly.
Recently, Paul had been asked if he would be willing to serve a third term on both University Council and Estates Management Committee, something which he expressed his genuine excitement for and was humbled to be considered.
Paul gave generously of his time and his experience and was always such a vibrant and entertaining part of Council. Members of Council had the privilege of sharing Paul’s last evening with him, at a Council dinner. At the dinner Paul was ambitious and challenging on how the University will deliver its new strategy, but also lit up the room talking with immense pride about his two sons and what they were learning in their careers, and how that too could help the University in its thinking.
He will be deeply missed by many in the University community, and they will be saddened not to enjoy his vibrant spirit, his challenging insight and of course, his distinctive hat at future meetings.
The University’s thoughts are with his family, especially his wife and sons at this incredibly difficult time, and we thank them for allowing us to share a small part of Paul’s wonderful life.