John Newman, Operations Director, Construction
Experienced People

John Newman

Operations Director

Construction, UK

John has worked on baggage handling and screening system projects for over 20 years, and has become synonymous at Mace for leading the design of complex baggage projects. In his role as operations director at Heathrow Airport, John leads large scale design teams to produce audited solutions for the client.
How did you get into what you do?
In the 1990s I was involved with Mace through a PhD course at Reading University. I worked with the founding team and, following the conclusion of my studies, I was asked by a colleague if I was interested in joining the company. I jumped at the opportunity.
What do you enjoy most about your role at Mace?
Working with a team who have a common goal and shared understanding. I work with the best team at Heathrow. Everyone works so well together and know their jobs inside out. It makes for a very enjoyable work environment.
What’s your proudest achievement at Mace?
I couldn't possibly pick one. Each time we undertake another project I feel more proud. The Mace baggage teams impress and surprise me continuously. I'm going to say that my proudest achievement is the continued relationship with Heathrow and its baggage infrastructure that has spanned over 20 years.
What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?

Try to get exposure to the many aspects and interfaces that baggage projects demand. By their very nature, they are more complex than traditional construction projects and can significantly impact on operations and passengers.

Our baggage projects have the potential to make the news every day. When I drive to work I know that my projects have the potential to disrupt terminal operations if they are not managed correctly. When you hear on the radio ‘flights are delayed from. . .' I am immediately on the phone to check that all is OK on everything we're responsible for. Not many other jobs present that kind of pressure and potential exposure.

John Newman, Operations Director, Construction

“Everyone works so well together and know their jobs inside out. It makes for a very enjoyable work environment.”

What do you see as the big trend for your specialism in the next five years?
Airport growth and capacity issues always make the headlines. There has been, and will continue to be, higher passenger demands at all UK airports. Security threats will also affect how capital expenditure is planned. New forms of technology will carry on driving greater automation in baggage systems, thereby increasing the dependency on complex integrated control systems.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
Old cars and old motorbikes. But with two small children it can be difficult to find time to get in the garage!