New Head of National Marine Facilities Sea Systems appointed

Leigh Storey

NOC has further strengthened its management team with the appointment of Leigh Storey as Head of National Marine Facilities Sea Systems.

In this role Leigh will be responsible for managing the delivery of large seagoing research infrastructure to the UK marine science community, providing a user-focused, high quality and cost-effective service to a diverse range of universities and research institutes.

Leigh comes to the NOC with an outstanding background of senior engineering and operations management experience within the maritime and defence sectors. Having spent much of his previous career as a Royal Navy Marine Engineering Officer in nuclear submarines, he brings a wealth of experience in engineering, operations, repair and maintenance, safety assurance and risk management.

Among his responsibilities will be to see NOC’s brand-new research ship, RRS Discoverythrough its first full year of science in support of the national and international science community. Along with NOC’s other ship, RRS James Cook, this fleet is now, tonne for tonne, the most modern and capable research fleet in the world, enabling the UK marine scientific community to take a lead in making new discoveries, and to undertake strategically important science in the national interest. In addition, Leigh will play a leading role in transforming ocean observation technologies, as NOC continues to apply the Government’s ‘Eight Great Technologies’ investment in autonomous and robotic systems to understanding how the global oceans impact the world community.

Leigh commented, “I am truly thrilled to have the opportunity to join NOC at such an exciting time. The centre’s world-leading research ship fleet, as well as its work with autonomous vehicles, is changing the face of science at sea, and I’m excited by the prospect of managing this fantastic capability.”

Welcoming the appointment, Director of National Marine Facilities, Geraint West commented “We are delighted that Leigh is joining us at this crucial time for ocean research. NOC’s seagoing infrastructure is underpinned by high quality staff, and Leigh’s vast experience in engineering management is a significant enhancement of our team.”

National Marine Facilities Sea Systems comprises two deep ocean Royal Research Ships, James Cook and Discovery; the Marine Autonomous and Robotics Systems (MARS) facility, the National Marine Equipment Pool and specialist marine science and technical staff and facilities.