Stephen Stewart Pearce
Current Employer/Organisation Name
Brookfield Park Risk Management
What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?
1. HSE Principal inspector. 1974 to 1994 including 4 years UK Head of Machinery Policy.
2. Health and safety manager. Tata Steel, Port Talbot and Llanwern. Occupational H&S, Process Safety, Occupational Hygiene, radiation protection and human factors. 1994 to 2011.
3. Director BPRM. 2011 to date.
4. Associate Director and Non Executive Chair HSEQ committee, Oil and Pipelines Agency. 2013 to date.
Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?
Career chosen largely by accident. But the key reasons I am still engaged after 47 years are :-
1. You can make a real difference to people’s lives.
2. The challenges that changing people’s behaviour and risk perception are motivating.
3. You are always learning.
4. You get a real buzz when your clients see the value of what you are recommending.
Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?
What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?
Difficult to say what I enjoyed the most as the programme was challenging but really useful. Highlights were my third year organic project, biochemistry studies and the relationships with fellow students. But perhaps overall it was the University environment.
What did you enjoy most about studying here?
The University environment, mostly my fellow students and the social scene.
Why did you choose to study at Exeter?
It was a recommendation from my Chemistry teacher at School. He was a man I greatly respected and was involved with various universities on examining boards. We didn’t fully appreciate him until we got to Exeter and found that he had included significant parts fo the first year university syllabus in our school studies.
What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?
I have had little use for my Chemistry qualification but the application of logic, investigative analysis and deduction has helped enormously. A degree from Exeter also carried weight with employers.
What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?
Firstly – consider your motivation. I made a mistake choosing to undertake PhD studies.
Secondly – Seek out others who have current experience of the subject and get a rounded view of what the career looks like now.
Thirdly – Establish a foundation in your first choice of employment and look to build from that foundation either with that employer or with others to broaden your experience.
What are your plans for the future?
I will continue on the Board of the Oil and Pipelines Agency until the end of 2022 and then step down after 9 years. I will continue to offer my experience and advice although it is likely that I will mothball my company next year and act as a sole trader. I will continue to offer my help on a pro bono basis to local charitable and community organisations.