Chris’ career in aviation spans over 30 years, with innovation across the entire passenger experience.
He started out with British Airways before joining Virgin Atlantic as general manager of product development, working across aircraft livery, uniforms, business class lounges and seats. Chris’ introduction to aircraft seat manufacturing began when he supported the creation of Virgin’s first lie-flat bed, before becoming the managing director of Reynard Aviation.
In 2000, Chris became CEO and co-founder of FlightStore, a start-up software business that provided online shopping via seatback TV. After floating the business on AIM in 2003, he founded Acro Aircraft Seating, initially developing electrical actuators for business class seats before moving on to develop economy seats in step with the low-cost carrier revolution.
Acro grew to employ 250 people with a £50 million turnover, winning the Sunday Times: Fast Track 100 Award. The company was also an approved supplier to Airbus and counted many well-known airlines as customers before being sold in 2017.
Chris brings with him the experience, relationships and know-how to build a world class seat manufacturer from the ground up.
Call: +44 (0)7831 112387
Mark Hacker BEng CEng MIMechE
Chief Technical Officer
Mark is responsible for all engineering functions including product development and certification.
Mark spent the first 8 years of his career at Roll Royce and the next 16 in aircraft interiors rising to engineering leadership roles with two major cabin interiors suppliers: Engineering Director at Collins Interiors (formerly BE Aerospace) and Head of Engineering at Contour Aircraft Seating (latterly Zodiac Seats UK and now Safran Seats GB). After a 2-year direction change developing robotics for a subsidiary of Amazon, he returned to aircraft interiors in 2016, driving the development of NORDAM as a supplier of composites into the business class seating and interiors industry.
He has experience of building and subsequently leading engineering teams, first building a stress and certification team from 2 to 17 at Contour and then a general engineering team from 11 to over 75 at Collins; involved in delivering more than 17 business class seat products from initial concept into volume production. His background in stress analysis and certification provides confident guidance during all stages of product development.
Beata’s career in quality control began in the automotive, rail and aerospace industries, working as a consultant and auditor for environmental and management systems. She later held the role of BMS quality assurance manager at Acro Aircraft Seating.
Prior to joining Unum, Beata worked on complex projects related to the implementation of management systems, including ISO and EASA standards among others, and served as an auditor and project manager for the Association of Project Management (APM). She has also worked as a lecturer at Poznań University of Business and Economics in Poland and co-authored a book on quality and environmental management. Her research has been published in a variety of respected scientific journals.
At Unum, Beata is responsible for developing and implementing effective business management and quality systems, providing a resilient platform for business growth within the regulatory aerospace and management frameworks.
VP Business Development
Alan leads business development and sales for Unum, fuelling his passion for building new relationships.
Over the early stages of his career, Alan held the role of head of inflight services for several airlines including Thomas Cook, while also working in operational and commercial roles for cabin supply companies covering inflight services, retail and entertainment.
Prior to joining Unum, Alan worked as VP Business Development at Caeli Nova, implementing the necessary processes and procedures to support a recruited team as the business went to market for the first time. Prior to this Alan was SVP Sales at Acro Aircraft Seating where his team secured several major achievements, managing to double the company’s sales revenue in a three year period, in addition to securing Acro’s first customers in Asia Pacific, China, South America and the Middle East. Alan is goal driven and experienced in establishing new market opportunities.
Call: +44 7816 922130
Chief Project Engineer
Ana began her career within commercial wood processing after an Erasmus scholarship enabled her to hone her academic engineering skills at several European universities.
Fuelled by her interest in the aerospace industry, she then joined the composite team at Acro Aircraft Seating. Her primary focus was on the development of composite components in collaboration with several contracted suppliers, turning design concepts into saleable products. In addition, her team worked across surface finishing, dynamic test programmes, and the engineering change control process.
At Unum, Ana wears several hats day-to-day and is primarily responsible for driving the development of our QA/manufacturing engineering system, while also managing prototype development and testing, and surface finish development.
A true multi-tasker, Ana’s ability to plan, organise and engage with customers, colleagues and suppliers has allowed her to successfully deliver key projects with critical deadlines. She is a driven and passionate engineer ready to explore new challenges.
Head of Production-Composites
Chris’ career in the composite industry spans 35 years. He began his career constructing boats as an apprentice, which led on to pioneering several major projects managing the latest technology and manufacturing techniques.
Chris has experience in the marine, offshore, automotive and wind energy sectors, holding roles in major organisations such as Sunseeker International, Vosper Thornycroft and McLaren Automotive. At Unum, he is responsible for over-seeing and directing the composite production throughout the seat manufacturing process.
Chris brings to Unum an extensive expertise of manufacturing innovation to ensure timely and cost-effective delivery of all composite components in accordance with AS9100 standards, ensuring products maintain Unum’s high-quality standards.
Ben Scott-Geddes BSc (Eng) CEng
Head of Advanced Composites
Ben began his career in advanced composite design engineering at McLaren Cars. He was part of a 13-strong design team that delivered the iconic F1 road car and the Mercedes SLR.
From this experience he acquired unique whole vehicle knowledge and was instrumental in the development of advanced design techniques and analysis of the crash behaviour of composite materials. As head of composites, Ben established McLaren’s in-house advanced composite integrated design and manufacturing system. He later became technical director of Caparo Composites, before joining Ferrari in Modena, as head of innovation and BIW, developing the first volume production Ferrari to have significant structure in carbon composites.
Ben transitioned to economy and business class aviation projects when he joined Acro Aircraft Seating as head of advanced product development. With unique engineering experience and knowledge in the creation of composite engineering systems, he efficiently delivers technically and commercially effective composite designs.
Rob Semple Bsc (Eng), MSc, CEng, MIMechE
Rob’s 30-year career has centred on leading businesses, project and operational management.
He began at Rolls-Royce, later spending six years at director level and ultimately running the firm’s UK helicopter engine business. Rob also worked at director level for Contour Aircraft Seating, initially as a customer account manager before transitioning to engineering and programmes director, where he was responsible for leading around 35 business and first-class seat development programmes simultaneously for major international airlines.
Rob set up Racon Consulting in 2012 to provide strategic programme management and programme recovery services to business class seating projects for airlines and seat manufacturers developing and certifying seats for Boeing and Airbus installations and retrofit projects. He brings deep commercial knowledge of aircraft seating from both a sales and procurement perspective, together with many lessons learned from seat development programmes.