University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you.

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings.

Scott O'Brien


Associate Director (Operations)


As Associate Director of Operations I provide leadership and professional management of Operational technical support across Schools that are involved in work that can potentially be hazardous, including oversight of general workshops, provision of technical infrastructure support, core equipment compliance and maintenance, hazardous waste stores and specialist cleaning services.

I support the Director of Technical Services to ensure that operational technical services meet legislative compliance requirements associated with teaching and research support. This requires proactive and committed management to ensure that where appropriate, technical support remains flexible across Schools. Such support may encompass a range of disciplines and a range of areas, including teaching spaces, research spaces, research facilities and operational activities including hazardous waste stores, workshops and laboratory supplies.

I am responsible for leading and managing technical staff within the Operations Team. This involves induction, the Performance Development Review (PDRs), career development, and change management, the promotion of professional behaviours, performance management including capability and disciplinary procedures, absence management and succession planning. This Ensures delivery of services across a number of areas, working closely with the other Associate Directors, Heads of Schools and Academic staff to ensure that technical staff are efficiently, effectively and equitably deployed so that appropriate operational support is provided across all Schools.

Career history

Prior to taking on this role, my entire career history of 25 years was working for British Airways Engineering. I started my career as an Apprentice, after completing a National Diploma in Aerospace studies at Solihull College. After the 3 year Apprenticeship was complete I accepted a role as an Engineering Technician at Glasgow Airport, managing just one year there before being transferred back to Heathrow. I spent several years working in the Hangars, working on a wide variety of specialist jobs such as fuel tank entry, structural repairs and winglet modification and installation to name but a few.

I was then given the opportunity to work in one of the specialist Ramp areas in Terminal 5, as part of the Cabin Enhancement Team. Here I learned about and worked on various In Flight Entertainment systems, seating products, and basically anything a passenger would see and touch when they board the Aircraft. This is where I was able to develop my career and take on the role of Duty Engineer, where I was responsible for the work allocation, safety and compliance of my teams and Aircraft.

After several years honing my Managerial skills I ultimately took the position of Duty Manager, giving me full ownership and oversight of the Department. This led to me moving to Terminal 3 Engineering where the role required me to provide Engineering services to both BA and third party customers. A role not too dissimilar to the one I now perform at the University.