Background of Norman Harris - Twitter @20ccnorman

On graduating Norman Harris was very taken with management subjects and had a place with the Manchester Business School then just about to be launched. But launch was delayed and so a choice was made between REME and ICI.

He has been involved with the Process Industry since 1960, entering the technology of computer applications to design for ICI in 1967, with significant involvement in pioneer systems in piping and 3D modelling, the successors of which are today the normal method of design for all projects. He led the Engineering Computer Applications team at BNFL which broke new ground in 1981 by issuing a contract which required that all 4 engineering contractors engaged on the £1.0b THORP project used the same proprietary computing systems for schematic design and piping isometrics.

He continued promoting and specifying the developments of the technology in senior European Marketing positions for software companies until 1991. He lectured throughout Europe and in several locations in the USA.

For more than 30 years from 1976 – 2008 he was an Associate Lecturer for the Open University teaching successive versions of their Engineering & Systems Thinking courses. His final appointments included being External Examiner for 4 years to the Arab Open University in Kuwait.

He has been involved in considerable voluntary work in athletics and the Billingham Synthonia Athletic Club Hon Sec after a knee injury stopped his competitive career. With the local Council as sponsor he organised the first B Internationals to be held in the North East of England. After moving to Croydon in 1972 he joined and later chaired the 1,400 strong branch of what was then the British Institute of Management (now Chartered Management Institute). He also joined the SDP and was its Chair when the merger with the Liberals took place.

He has been a Member/Fellow of the IMechE for over 50 years. His first voluntary work for the IMechE commenced in 1979. He formed the Computer Application Committee specialising on Process CAD and chaired it for many years, he also formed the Pharmaceutical Committee leaving it to become Chair of the Process Industries Division from 2001- 2004. Latterly he led the re-formation of the Food & Drink Committee.  He chaired Membership Panels since 1986 and now is an Industrial Assessor reviewing Fellowship applications

Still a resident of Croydon he served on the Board of the apartment block in which he lives for 30 years and chaired its Board of 14 years. He chaired the Trustees of the private estate of 311 homes on which his home is situated. These posts were honorary.

He was invited to join the Worshipful Company of Engineers and became a Freeman of the City of London on 6th April 2006 and then a Liveryman 10th October 2006.