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 of 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’

Niall Trafford, BRE Group CEO
AllBRE Group Board DirectorsBRE Group Executive CommitteeChief Scientist

Niall Trafford

Chief Executive Officer, BRE Group

Niall is responsible for the BRE Group strategy and working with the executive team, maintaining its focus on continuous improvement, efficiency and collaboration.

Niall Trafford

Chief Executive Officer, BRE Group

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. Niall became Acting Chief Executive Officer of the BRE Group of companies in May 2018.

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 strategic and 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 Acting Chief Executive Officer, Niall is responsible for the BRE Group strategy and 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 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.

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.

Nick Farrimond

Chief Financial Officer, BRE Group

Nick is responsible for driving the budgeting, financial planning and investment processes that underpin growth throughout the group of international companies that make up the BRE brand.

Nick Farrimond

Chief Financial Officer, BRE Group

Nick is BRE’s Chief Financial Officer with responsibility for driving the budgeting, financial planning, investment and cashflow processes that underpin growth throughout the group of international companies that make up the BRE brand.

He has over 20 years’ experience in senior finance positions, focussing on financial analysis to maximize revenue and contract profitability, acquiring and successful integrating acquisitions and building robust finance teams that deliver exceptional results.

Prior to joining BRE he worked within global blue chip groups and FTSE250 businesses including BBC Worldwide, Ford Motor Company, Northgate Information Solutions plc, Misys plc and PizzaExpress plc.

Nick leads on KPI reporting to the board, he manages BRE’s finance team along with internal & external audit relationships.

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.

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.

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.

Jon Mussett

BRE Group Strategy Director

Jon is responsible for supporting the development of BRE Group strategy, identifying future growth opportunities and challenges, developing effective commercial responses and leading change projects and programmes.

Jon Mussett

BRE Group Strategy Director

Jon is responsible for supporting the development of BRE Group strategy, identifying future growth opportunities and challenges, developing effective commercial responses and leading change projects and programmes.

Jon’s experience includes establishing and operating Programme Management Office and New Product Development functions. His background is in environmental sustainability especially in construction: he has headed technical projects for government departments, local authorities, contractors and corporate clients, including sustainable construction frameworks for Marks & Spencer, Audi UK and John Lewis Partnership.

Jon has worked extensively on BRE’s contribution to the Construction Sector Deal, working with UK Government, industry and research organisations to scope a transformation in sector productivity through the adoption of digital platforms, advanced manufacturing processes and new technologies. He delivers mergers and acquisitions for BRE, bringing networks such as Constructing Excellence and products such as YellowJacket into the BRE Group.

Dr Deborah Pullen MBE CEng FCIOB FIMMM

Executive Director of the BRE Trust

Deborah leads the strategy to maximise the positive societal impact and success of the BRE Trust, one of the UK’s largest charities focused on supporting transformational change in the built environment. 

Dr Deborah Pullen MBE CEng FCIOB FIMMM

Executive Director of the BRE Trust

Deborah is a core member of the BRE Trust Board, providing leadership of the Trustees in setting the vision and strategy to maximise its positive societal impact and success of the BRE Trust, one of the UK’s largest charities focused on supporting transformational change in the built environment.  She also works closely with BRE Group executive colleagues to ensure ongoing synergies and collaboration in achieving complementing strategic objectives. She is responsible for the BRE Trust research and education programmes, which use the gift aid received from BRE Group and other external sources to commission research, provide scholarships and disseminate outputs widely through a range of physical and digital formats. Prior to formal appointment to this role Deborah was the BRE Group Research Director and as a member of the BRE executive team still maintains a strategic role in ensuring that BRE has an integrated research strategy to ensure the success of the BRE Trust and its subsidiaries. 

Deborah has a BSc(Hons) in Materials Science, a PhD in polymer chemistry, is a Chartered Engineer, and a Fellow of the Chartered Institutes of Building and of Materials, Minerals and Mining. In 2012 Deborah successfully completed a Post-Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Hertfordshire in 2014 for her leadership of the BRE Trust Future Cities Programme. She 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. Deborah has also set up and led a number of knowledge transfer networks and was awarded an MBE in the 2014 Queen’s New Year Honours in recognition of her work in innovation and knowledge transfer in the Built Environment. Deborah’s current affiliations include: Scholarships Committee and also a Court member of the Worshipful Company of Constructors Livery Company, a Board member of the European Network for Building Research Institutes (ENBRI). Previous affiliations include: Fellow at the Centre for Science and Policy at the University of Cambridge, UKTI Construction Industry Steering Group and Smart Cities Task Group, IOM3 Construction Materials Group, CIOB Research & Innovation Group, CIOB Professional Membership Advisory Panel, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Engineering Strategic Advisory team, UK National Platform for the Built Environment, Green Construction Board ‘Greening’ task Group, 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.

Alan Somerville

Director of Building Performance Group

Alan leads the Building Performance Group which delivers Advisory, Benchmarking & Data tools to the owners, occupiers and managers of global real estate & infrastructure.

Alan Somerville

Director of Building Performance Group

Alan leads the Building Performance Group which delivers Advisory, Benchmarking & Data tools to the owners, occupiers and managers of global real estate & infrastructure.

Alan joined BRE during 2018 to lead and grow the Building Performance Group. He joined BRE from Cushman & Wakefield where he was a Partner and led the Energy, Infrastructure & Sustainability group for the EMEA region advising many of the world’s largest investors and occupiers. Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield he created and led the energy strategic solutions group for Capita plc, led a restructuring and IPO team for an energy company and spent 11 years with property company Grosvenor leading on complex development and regeneration projects such as Liffey Valley in Dublin.

The Building Performance Group of BRE has deep expertise and capability delivering standards, data & solutions for commercial real estate and housing as well as infrastructure. As real asset performance becomes further driven by data the skills and knowledge of BRE have a significant role to play in the global market as it continues to evolve.

The Building Performance Group has four key pillars of expertise:

1. Strategic Advisory – Delivering strategic solutions to global clients from both the public and private sector. The team specialises in the performance of the built environment, enhancing business performance, sustainable cities & innovation.
2. Housing – Global experts on housing condition and energy modelling. Our housing team is responsible for the world’s largest housing dataset and leads the longest running National Housing Survey in the world. Increasingly the team are providing insight to clients on the relationship between housing condition and health / fuel poverty
3. Benchmarking & Certification – We deliver the BREEAM certification system which is the most authoritative, comprehensive and widely used building environmental certification system globally. BREEAM is used in 77 countries covering 2.2m buildings.
4. Data Tools – We deliver data solutions to help monitor Health, Safety & Environmental impacts within the built environment. Our YellowJacket & SmartWaste solutions are widely adopted by many of the world’s largest companies.

Alan contributes to a number of industry initiatives aimed at driving change in the real estate market including RICS Sustainability Valuation Taskforce. He is part of the leaders’ network and a mentor for UKGBC, a member of the European benchmark committee for GRESB and British Property Federation committee on renewable energy and sustainability.

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.

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.

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.