Our People

Our people are our greatest resource. There are around 650 of us and each has an important role to play in our drive for a better built environment. You can see some our dedicated professionals at work in our ‘BRE Uncovered’ film, and meet those who are leading our wide ranging activities below.

We see the people who work with us as our single most important resource. Our organisation simply would not exist without the talent, energy and professionalism they bring. We aim to recruit and retain the best people who are personally and professionally committed to make a positive difference to the built environment. This is the way to guarantee our continued success into the future’

CEO Dr Peter Bonfield OBE FREng

One Day One Choir: 21 September 2017

We will all make a positive difference in building a better world together by expressing our individuality
while being united as one BRE.

On the 21st of September we will join choirs around the world on the occasion of world peace day by
gathering for 15 minutes to perform three songs:

  • Cat Stevens: Where the children play
  • Michael Jackon: Heal the world
  • John Lennon: Give peace a chance

One Day One Choir

AllBRE Group Board DirectorsBRE Group Executive CommitteeChief Scientist

Dr Peter Bonfield, OBE FREng

Chief Executive of the BRE Group

Peter joined BRE as a research scientist in 1992. He progressed through the organisation to become Chief Executive Officer in January 2012.

Dr Peter Bonfield, OBE FREng

Chief Executive of the BRE Group

Dr Peter Bonfield joined BRE as a research scientist in 1992. He progressed through the organisation to become Chief Executive Officer of the BRE Group of companies in January 2012.

A materials engineer with a PhD in wind energy and the design of turbine blades, Peter is passionate about the role that building science can play in finding solutions to the challenges that the built environment faces in delivering buildings, homes and communities that work for people, the environment and the economy.

In 2005 Bonfield created the BRE Innovation Park, a mini-community of demonstration buildings and homes that have been designed to push the boundaries of global knowledge on sustainability and innovation. The tens of thousands of visitors to the park have included Prime Minister David Cameron, HRH the Prince of Wales and Chinese Premier Li-Keqiang.

From 2006 until 2012 he was on part-time secondment to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), where he co-created the sustainable development strategy and took the lead on the sustainable procurement of construction products.

Peter has been instrumental in establishing university partnerships with Strathclyde, Cardiff, Bath and Edinburgh universities and more recently with University of Brasilia, creating a strong BRE university research base of more than 100 PhDs and 70 academic staff, with an annual research programme valued in excess of £20 million.

He is a Visiting Professor at Bath University, where he has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Engineering. In July 2014 he was also awarded Honorary Doctor of Science by Loughborough University. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (FICE), a Fellow of The Institution of Engineering and Technology (FIET), a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (FIOMMM) , a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building (FCIOB) and a Fellow of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE). He has been a Chartered Engineer for over 20 years. Peter is Chairman of the Health, Safety and Environment committee for AIRTO - the Association for Independent Research and Technology Organisations. He is a Vice President and Trustee of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

In May 2012 Peter received the prestigious Peter Stone Award from the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to building engineering and the built environment. CABE also awarded him Honorary Fellowship in 2013.

He was awarded an OBE for services to research and innovation in the construction industry in June 2012. The following month he was elected as Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in recognition of his leadership on innovative built environment research.

In 2013 former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson asked him to chair Grown in Britain, an initiative aimed at creating a sustainable future for UK woodlands and forests. In 2014 Paterson appointed him to lead a government-wide drive to improve public procurement of food. Bonfield’s recommendations to Government were published in July 2014.

In August 2015, Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) appointed Peter to lead a Review of Consumer Protection, Advice, Standards and Enforcement for UK Housing Energy Efficiency. The findings of the Review, due next Spring, will inform future Government policy decisions in this area.

Peter's passion is sport - he is a former National Cycling Champion and acted as Trainer for the Women's Triathlon Team in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

Jat Brainch

BRE Group Chief Finance Officer

Jat joined us in June 2016 having held a number of high-profile positions at leading telecoms and technology brands.

Jat Brainch

BRE Group Chief Finance Officer

Jat was appointed as BRE Group Chief Finance Officer in June 2016.

She has previously held a number of high-profile positions at leading telecoms and technology brands including Finance Director at Logica Group PLC (now part of CGI), Group Financial Controller at Telefónica Europe PLC and Head of Commercial Finance at T-Mobile (UK) Ltd.

First awarded a Directorship at 34, Jat’s proven commercial acumen has won her several key leadership roles in enterprise transformation initiatives. Over the course of her career to date, Jat’s responsibilities have included leading international investment committees, retooling Group-wide financial processes and planning and controlling growth to deliver maximum shareholder value.

Niall Trafford

BRE Group Chief Operating Officer

Niall is responsible for running the day-to-day business, and on maintaining its focus on continuous improvement, efficiency and collaboration.

Niall Trafford

BRE Group Chief Operating Officer

Niall Trafford joined the BRE management team in 2009 as Chief Operating Officer and was appointed to the main board of directors of BRE Group in 2013. The move to BRE followed an extremely successful career in retail, with Marks & Spencer and as a retail specialist in management consultancy.

At Marks & Spencer Niall led teams in human resources, training, store operations, programme management, strategy, change management, and store design and development. His work brought him into contact with the top retailer’s store development programme and with aspects of its standard-setting Plan A sustainability programme.

Niall therefore brings more than 20 years’ experience in operational roles, underpinned by a powerful customer and commercial understanding, to BRE’s board. His deep knowledge of the challenges and drivers of the private sector and corporate clients has helped BRE extend its client base both in the UK and in its growing international markets.

As Group Chief Operating Officer, Niall is responsible for running the day-to-day business, working with the executive team. He maintains the Group’s focus on driving continuous improvement, efficiency and collaboration to ensure that BRE works with customers to deliver the very best services, science, tools and standards. With the BRE Group board and external partners, he is spearheading BRE’s future vision to disseminate best practice knowledge via new digital platforms.

Niall ensures that BRE’s sights remain firmly set on commercial success. At the same time, he adheres to the Group’s principle to “build a better world together” both within the workplace and personally in his work with a London-based social enterprise that supports a sustainability body in South Africa.

Dr Julie Bregulla

Director of Fire & Building Technology

Julie oversees and develops work with UK and international clients on evaluating the performance of materials, systems and structures.

Dr Julie Bregulla

Director of Fire & Building Technology

As Director of Fire & Building Technology, Julie is responsible for overseeing and developing work with UK and international clients that supports the performance evaluation of materials, systems and structures in the built environment.

Julie leads BRE’s structural integrity framework with the UK government and coordinates BRE’s specialist consultancy for the development of UK building regulations concerning structural robustness and safety. She is technical secretariat to the Building Regulations Advisory Committee Working Party for Approved Document A, sits on numerous UK, European, USA and ISO committees and represents the UK and BRE at several expert networks.

A Chartered Civil Engineer and visiting professor at the University of Bath, Julie specialises in structures, structural materials, fire, loading, robustness and reliability standardisation, and has worked on collaborative research and construction projects in Germany, the US and the UK. She has acted as principal site engineer in Germany and supported the University of Surrey structural engineering team before joining BRE.

Julie has published over 200 client reports, papers and presentations on various technical aspects of structural engineering, including the implementation of Eurocodes, particularly EN1990 and EN1995. Her research work to date has a particular focus on the structural fire behaviour of building materials and systems and her strategic work spans the development of regulations and regulatory guidance - including regulatory barriers to the use of innovative products in construction, robustness and reliability of structures, risk analysis and perception, and use of experimental methods in engineering practice.

Dr Gavin Dunn

Director of Building Performance

Gavin is responsible for our flagship brands, BREEAM, CEEQUAL, YellowJacket and SMARTWaste, and for research programmes on the performance of homes, buildings and infrastructure.

Dr Gavin Dunn

Director of Building Performance

As Director of Building Performance, Gavin is responsible for BRE’s flagship brands BREEAM, CEEQUAL, YellowJacket and SMARTWaste along with research programmes related to the performance of homes, buildings and infrastructure.

Previously Gavin was Director of BREEAM and before joining BRE was Group Operations Director for Elmhurst Energy. He is an experienced building engineer, researcher, and specialist in the area of building energy and environmental performance.

He began his career in the US, working in the construction built environment and infrastructure sectors before returning to the UK in 1999 as a researcher with Cardiff University, where he had already gained a PhD in the energy performance of buildings.

In 2004 Gavin became a Technical Executive of the Association of Building Engineers where, among other things, he led the Association’s research activities. He joined Elmhurst Energy in 2006, leading on the development of its energy rating systems and certification offering.

Gavin was a member of the Construction Board that provided technical advice and oversight to BRE Certification Ltd., before it became BRE Global. He is a fellow of the Association of Building Engineers.

Chris Earnshaw OBE FREng

Non-Executive Chairman, BRE Group

Chris was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1999, served as Institution of Engineering and Technology president from 2008-09, and was awarded an OBE in 2015 for services to engineering and technology.

Chris Earnshaw OBE FREng

Non-Executive Chairman, BRE Group

Chris Earnshaw OBE FREng was appointed Non-Executive Chairman of the BRE Group Board in January 2014. He had previously served as senior Non-Executive Director since 2010.

Chris has worked in engineering and technology businesses for many years. He was a member of the BT plc executive management board until 2002. He had responsibility for the company’s major engineering and technology programmes, including the building of the digital network and systems that now underpin the broadband and information service enjoyed by the UK's corporate customers and consumers.

He was also responsible for BT’s extensive research and development programmes and global supply chain. Chris has a long standing professional interest in sustainability and was a member of the Prince of Wales’ Business in the Community Environment Leadership Team for many years.

Throughout his career he has actively promoted collaboration between industry and academia. He is an Honorary Fellow of University College London in recognition of his work to promote industry-university partnerships.

Chris was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1999 and served from 2008-09 as President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Europe’s largest professional engineering institution. He was awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours 2015 for services to engineering and technology.

In addition to his role as Non-Executive Chairman of the BRE Group he serves as Chairman of a number of other engineering based companies.

Dr Martin Ganley

Director - Electronics, Security & Inspection Services

Martin leads the testing and certification of products and services, including fire detection, fire system installers, security, microgeneration, BIM and ISO auditing.

Dr Martin Ganley

Director - Electronics, Security & Inspection Services

Martin joined BRE in 2011 and is responsible for business areas covering the testing and certification of products and services. This includes fire detection, fire system installers, security, microgeneration, BIM (Building Information Modelling) and ISO auditing. He is also the lead for BRE’s Smart Homes and Buildings activities which covers research, smart demonstrators, the development of training, standards and guidance across the areas of connectivity, cyber security, energy, health and wellbeing, safety and security, construction and installation.

Prior to BRE, Martin worked in engineering consultancy, concentrating mainly on radiocommunications and working across construction, rail, defence and aerospace sectors.

Michael Grant

Group Operations Director

Michael looks after the key services including commercial operations, performance management and delivery, IT systems and infrastructure and property and estates.

Michael Grant

Group Operations Director

Michael Grant is Group Operations Director at BRE, providing day to day operational leadership across the Group. He is responsible for the key group services including Commercial Operations, Performance Management and Delivery, IT Systems and Infrastructure and Property and Estates.

Mike has many years senior management experience and a proven track record of providing strategic and operational delivery across BRE's highly technical research, testing and certification businesses.

He first joined BRE in 2001 as Head of Fire Detection and Electronics Testing having previously worked at the Loss Prevention Council as Head of Electronic Security. He is an Electrical and Electronic Engineering graduate from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration, Management and Operations.

Rufus Logan

Director BRE Scotland, Wales and the South West

Rufus Logan takes the lead in growing BRE's regional businesses in Scotland, in Wales and in the South West of England.

Rufus Logan

Director BRE Scotland, Wales and the South West

As Director BRE Scotland, Rufus Logan is responsible for leading the growth of BRE's business in Scotland. BRE Scotland has a long established record as lead provider of technical and consultancy support for both the construction industry and Government in Scotland. Areas of particular focus for growth are in sustainable building design; energy performance of buildings; innovation support and professional training services.

Since joining BRE in 2002, Rufus has been responsible for the creation and delivery of a wide range of strategic projects for BRE, ensuring that BRE's expertise is maximised in supporting the projects of importance to both the construction industry and local economy.

Rufus led the consortium bidding to establish and run the Knowledge Transfer Network for the Modern Built Environment (MBEKTN). Having been successful in winning this work for BRE, in partnership with Arup, CIRIA and BSRIA, Rufus was charged with establishing the MBEKTN and leading its delivery.

Rufus has taken a lead role in developing and securing for BRE a number of other strategic programmes, including BRE's Innovation Park and Visitor Centre and the SmartLIFE project. SmartLIFE is an EU supported programme led by Cambridgeshire County Council, in partnership with BRE, which has built a new training centre for construction and oversaw a build programme of over 100 new, affordable homes using modern methods of construction built to the best sustainable principles. Rufus was part of the team that developed the concept and established the BRE Innovation Park, at BRE Headquarters site at Garston in 2003.

His work on BRE's regional growth resulted in the creation of a new office in Inverness - BRE Highlands, and in 2005 BRE Wales, based at Port Talbot. Both these and other ‘regional' development activities has required the Rufus to build good, close relationships with regional Government and development organisations as well as the local construction industry.

Previously, Rufus worked for Scottish Enterprise, based in Dumfries and Galloway, responsible for supporting the growth of a number of the region's businesses and key industry sectors including tourism and the forest industries. Rufus was also part of the Scottish Enterprise Network national team that led the development and subsequent delivery of Scotland's Forest Industry Cluster Strategy 1997 - 2001.

Kirsten Lord

BRE Group Human Resources Director

Kirsten ensures that BRE’s strategies for selecting, engaging and developing staff align with our overall business plan.

Kirsten Lord

BRE Group Human Resources Director

Kirsten Lord was appointed as BRE Group Human Resources Director in April 2016. Leading the HR team, Kirsten works to ensure that BRE’s strategies for selecting, engaging and developing staff align with the overall business plan.

Her role includes implementing initiatives that help BRE’s teams to realise their potential, gear their performance to delivering the company's ambitious growth plan and understand their contributions to its success. All of this takes place in an environment where health, safety and wellbeing are at the centre of all BRE does and where success is recognised and celebrated.

Kirsten’s previous experience encompasses the full range of HR disciplines, with a particular focus on organisational development. Her multi-sector, international experience includes roles in the hospitality and leisure, FMCG, logistics and professional services sectors. Immediately before joining BRE, Kirsten held a dual role as Company Director of Prime Hotels (UK) Ltd and Director of Human Resources at the Bulgari Hotel in London.

Dr Deborah Pullen MBE CEng FIMMM FCSaP

BRE Group Research Director

Deborah takes the lead on our research strategy, our research and learning programmes, strategic research partnerships and University Centres of Excellence.

Dr Deborah Pullen MBE CEng FIMMM FCSaP

BRE Group Research Director

Deborah is the BRE Group Research Director, responsible for the Research Strategy and the current research and learning Programmes delivered by BRE, its strategic research partnerships and University Centres of Excellence. This also includes the BRE Trust Future Cities programme, which now has over 70 partners from academia, industry and public sector with a collective value of £20M.

Deborah has a BSc(Hons) in Materials Science, a PhD in polymer chemistry, is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institute of Materials. Deborah has spent the last 20 years leading research teams and business units focused on the manufacture and use of high performance polymer materials in government and private sector organisations across a range of industries including defence, aerospace, oil & gas, transport and medical. Over the last 10 years Deborah has also set up and led a number of knowledge transfer networks and was awarded an MBE in 2014 in recognition of her work in innovation and knowledge transfer in the Built Environment.

In 2012 Deborah successfully completed a Post-Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business and is also now a Fellow at the Centre for Science and Policy at the University of Cambridge.

Deborah’s affiliations include:

  • UKTI Construction Industry Steering Group and Smart Cities Task Group,
  • IOM3 Construction Materials Group,
  • CIOB Research & Innovation Group,
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Engineering Strategic Advisory team,
  • UK National Platform for the Built Environment
  • Green Construction Board ‘Greening’ task group
  • Board member of the European Network for Building Research Institutes (ENBRI)
  • Chair of the AIRTO Task Group for the Built Environment

Dr Debbie Smith, OBE

Managing Director, BRE Global

Debbie joined the organisation in 1984 and is now MD of our independent certification arm which incorporates international brands such as BREEAM and LPCB.

Dr Debbie Smith, OBE

Managing Director, BRE Global

Debbie first joined the Fire Research Station (FRS) at BRE in 1984, straight after completing her PhD at the University of Birmingham in Metallurgy and Materials Science. During her career at BRE, she has been involved in a broad range of fire related work in research, testing, certification and consultancy which has included material fire behaviour, turbulent diffusion flame dynamics and development and validation of mathematical modelling approaches.  She has also been heavily involved in the developments of new European fire test methods and the classification schemes for construction products, in addition to the development of Fire Safety Engineering standards and guidance both within the National and International Standards arena. In recent times, Debbie has become involved in the area of sustainability, in particular its impact and influence on fire protection and construction methods.

Debbie is Chair of the European Committee CEN TC127 on Fire Safety which is responsible for the development of all of the fire test methods for construction products in Europe.  In June 2010, she was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list for services to fire safety.

Debbie is currently Managing Director of BRE Global Ltd, the certification arm of BRE which incorporates international brands such as BREEAM and LPCB.

Debbie also leads our collaboration with the BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering at the University of Edinburgh  where we are working together to deliver future generations of fire experts.

Brigid Sutcliffe

Non-Executive Director, BRE Group

Brigid is an experienced Non-Executive director and chartered accountant with a background in management consulting, professional services and business transformation.

Brigid Sutcliffe

Non-Executive Director, BRE Group

Chartered Accountant Brigid Sutcliffe was appointed to the BRE Group board as Non Executive Director in July 2016

Brigid is an experienced Non Executive director and chartered accountant with a background in management consulting, professional services and business transformation. She has held senior positions at Arthur Andersen and Telos Partners. Brigid will also take on the role of Chair of the Audit Committee which supports both the BRE Group Board and BRE Trust Council on finance and risk management issues.

Brigid is currently Non-executive Director of the National Physical Laboratory.

Pauline Traetto

Director, BRE Academy

Pauline is responsible for growing our training and education portfolio with the aim of driving excellence from the boardroom to the end of the supply chain.

Pauline Traetto

Director, BRE Academy

Pauline leads the BRE Academy and is responsible for growing its training and education portfolio which aims to drive education excellence from boardroom through to the end of the supply chain both in the UK and internationally.

The BRE Academy business has and continues to significantly grow by leading the profession through upskilling industry and lifelong learning. The BRE Academy is committed in working with industry to develop people and organisations to remain employable and competitive for tomorrow’s future new skills, knowledge and practises.

Pauline has over 16 years experience in supporting industry's education developments. Prior to BRE, Pauline worked in the IT industry developing international training at the rise of the dot.com and prior to that Pauline worked in the automotive industry where she worked on the education programme with BMW on the MINI car programme. Pauline is actively involved in STEM programmes to help support the future skills markets to enable individuals and companies to develop and be skilled for tomorrow's market.

Dr Miles Watkins

Group Business Development Director

Responsible for a range of business units and corporate services, Miles took up this pivotal role in 2013 after an outstanding 17 year career at Aggregate Industries.

Dr Miles Watkins

Group Business Development Director

Chartered environmentalist Dr Miles Watkins joined BRE in 2013 to take up the pivotal new role of Group Business Development Director.

Before his move to BRE, Miles had an outstanding 17-year career with Aggregate Industries. His final role there was as Director of Sustainable Construction, in which his responsibilities included marketing, safety, innovation and external and internal communications.

As Group Business Development Director, Miles is responsible for a range of business units and corporate services. He leads the events business, the BRE Innovation Parks, the international business programme, marketing and digital communications. With a focus on formulating commercial strategies to further strengthen BRE's presence in the UK and in its core overseas markets, he is also using his considerable expertise to grow the Group's international portfolio by providing high construction growth countries with the tools and support they need to achieve enduring commercial, social and environmental sustainability in the built environment.

Miles takes a proactive role in the industry. He has led sector-wide developments through trade bodies such as the Mineral Products Association and the British Pre-Cast Concrete Federation and is Chairman of the Institute of Quarrying. He spearheaded Aggregate Industries' founding membership of the UK Green Building Council and remains a Council ambassador. Amongst other numerous professional appointments, he is chair of the BSI Standards Committee for Sustainable Development and is non-executive chair of Care for the Wild International.

Prof. Jeremy Watson CBE

Chief Scientist and Engineer

Jeremy’s specialities include research strategy, innovation processes, emerging technology identification, R&D and technology deployment.

Prof. Jeremy Watson CBE

Chief Scientist and Engineer

Jeremy Watson CBE FREng FIET FICE is BRE’s Chief Scientist and Engineer, and Chair of the UK Chapter of buildingSMART.

Concurrently, he is Vice-Dean, with responsibility for engineering mission at UCL and Professor of Engineering Systems in the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy. Jeremy was previously Arup’s Global Research Director, and until November 2012, Chief Scientific Advisor for the Department of Communities & Local Government (DCLG).

An electronics and control engineer by training and practice, he has experience of research and technical direction in industry and universities, also governing board membership at TSB (InnovateUK) and EPSRC, plus service with NERC and HEFCE. He recently served on two government SAGE panels (Flooding and Pandemics) and a Blackett Review. His specialities include research strategy, innovation processes, emerging technology identification, R&D and technology deployment. Jeremy is Deputy President of the IET.

Ashley Wheaton

Non-Executive Director, BRE Group

CEO of the University College of Estate Management, Ashley, was appointed as a Non-Executive Director in July 2016 having served as a BRE Trustee since 2015.

Ashley Wheaton

Non-Executive Director, BRE Group

CEO of the University College of Estate Management, Ashley Wheaton, was appointed to the BRE Group Board as a Non-Executive Director in July 2016.

Ashley, who has been a BRE Trustee since 2015, brings with him considerable experience of online and digital training and education services. In his earlier career he was Director of Global Learning Services for Microsoft Corp based in the USA and Chief Executive Officer of InfoBasis Ltd, a global Talent Management software company. He holds a BA (Hons) in Economics from University of London.