Meet The Team

Our team of exceptional Systems Engineers and Consultants is drawn together by a compelling need to comprehensively understand the bigger picture.

We collaborate within our team to enrich delivery to our clients because we understand that several heads are better than one. We’re independent with no hidden affiliations, so you get our unbiased view.

Our reputation is built on meticulous analysis, agile response and technical expertise. And as a people business we know that relationships are vital to the success of an enterprise. So if you’d like to get to know us better, either as a client or a colleague, please get in touch.

Managing Director

Chris Lamb

Chris is an expert Systems Thinking Consultant who is highly experienced in decision making and leading teams in stressful environments across many industry sectors. Chris… Read More

Chris is an expert Systems Thinking Consultant who is highly experienced in decision making and leading teams in stressful environments across many industry sectors. Chris is highly effective at a strategic level, developing technical and management approaches, establishing thought leadership and intellectual property, creating and training teams, and growing the engineering capability. Chris is recognised by clients for his achievements and professionalism and is well known at a national level in the Systems Thinking profession through his many activities with INCOSE.

Prior to founding Optima Systems Consultancy, Chris was an Engineering Director and Principal Consultant, where he both developed the engineering capability of the business as well as providing a wide variety of technical consultancy.

In his earlier career, Chris was Underwater Sensors Engineering Manager and Systems Design Authority at BAE SYSTEMS Submarines where he led the sonar engineering team for Astute class submarines and managed the development of an integrated multi array sonar suite, Sonar 2076, for Trafalgar class submarines.

Technical Director

Dr. David Bamford

David Bamford is a versatile Systems Thinking consultant and manager with fifteen years of experience within Defence, Aerospace and Academia. David uses his broad experience… Read More

David Bamford is a versatile Systems Thinking consultant and manager with fifteen years of experience within Defence, Aerospace and Academia. David uses his broad experience and strong technical background to quickly grasp the technical and managerial challenges facing a project and make the right decisions.

David uses his strong interpersonal skills to engage with stakeholders, lead technical discussions and developing balanced solutions. He builds trust with all parties by consistently doing what is right for the project and is able to lead negotiations and brings all parties together to address the key issues.

Prior to joining Optima, David was a Senior Consultant, where he performed a variety of technical, managerial and business roles. David has lead the development and testing of new systems as Chief Engineer for the Green-Wake project, been the Lead Technical Assessor for a £1,250M Cat A MOD project, managed a portfolio of research projects and supported the technical development and testing of many systems and sub-systems.

Engineering Director

Dr. Kevin Howard

Kevin Howard is a highly motivated and pragmatic enterprise thinker applying Systems Engineering principles to all levels of technical business from Engineering Director and Vice… Read More

Kevin Howard is a highly motivated and pragmatic enterprise thinker applying Systems Engineering principles to all levels of technical business from Engineering Director and Vice President to Chief Engineer and detail design. He has been Chief Engineer and Design Authority on a range of technologies include radars, sensor data fusion systems, armoured fighting vehicles, ICT system, mmW communications and networking systems. He has hands on experience in the development of multi-spectral sensors, software intensive systems, land platforms and space based radars. His PhD in optimising complex systems derives from this experience and underpins his systems thinking today.

Kevin has led developments of multi $bn programmes on behalf of the DE&S, has led complex technology developments in multi-national collaborative programmes and has successfully realised enterprise change in a number of defence and civil businesses. He teaches Enterprise Engineering at Bristol UniversityAdvanced Vehicle Systems Thinking for Cranfield University.

Director

Lloyd Pryce

Lloyd Pryce is a skilled Principal Systems Thinking Consultant & Project Manager with over sixteen years experience in the defence & security sectors. He’s a qualified… Read More

Lloyd Pryce is a skilled Principal Systems Thinking Consultant & Project Manager with over sixteen years experience in the defence & security sectors. He’s a qualified Chartered Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Degree in Electronic & Electrical Engineering from the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Systems Thinking from the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. He started his career with Marconi Radar, now BAE Systems Insyte, developing signal processing software for naval radar systems before moving into Systems Thinking & Engineering Management. He then transitioned into engineering consulting in 2005 and has since supported a wide variety of complex programmes across industry and MoD.

Lloyd has provided engineering and management support to a range of Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) teams and industry suppliers. These have included programmes delivering: armoured fighting vehicles, communications systems, sensor systems, complex weapons, cyber security systems and submarine combat systems. He is an experienced Project Manager and led a multi-disciplined industry team delivering the System of Systems Approach (SOSA) support contract to DE&S as part of an industry consortium, as well as providing consultancy to tasks within Maritime, Land and Air domains.

Principal Consultant

Simon Cooper

Simon Cooper joined Optima in 2020, contributing to the growing ICT and Agile product management skills of the company.  He also brings over 30 years… Read More

Simon Cooper joined Optima in 2020, contributing to the growing ICT and Agile product management skills of the company.  He also brings over 30 years of broad experience in Government ICT Systems, Maritime Combat Systems, Complex Weapons and Nuclear programmes.

Simon is known for his enthusiasm to fully understand situations at both the strategic and tactical level, necessary so that he can make carefully considered, risk- based decisions and recommend credible solutions.  He fully embraces Agile and incremental approaches, using self-organizing teams to successfully deliver valued products in short timescales and then to rapidly evolve them.

Working as a Consultant since 2005, Simon has supported a wide variety of clients, companies and teams, winning a number of awards whilst doing so.  He utilizes his skills in Business Analysis, Change Management, Test, Evaluation and Assurance to exceed expectations whenever possible.  Simon is studying for his International Diploma, to build on his practitioner certificate in Business Analysis.

Principal Consultant

Andrew Cobbett

An accomplished chartered engineer, systems thinker and problem solver, Andrew rapidly appreciates situations and develops pragmatic solutions that enable clients to meet their objectives and… Read More

An accomplished chartered engineer, systems thinker and problem solver, Andrew rapidly appreciates situations and develops pragmatic solutions that enable clients to meet their objectives and realise benefits.  His core values of trust, integrity, commitment and good humour with a determination to get the job done, nurtured during a career in the military and as a consultant, underpin the exemplary delivery for which he is known.

Working alongside clients in the nuclear, infrastructure and defence sectors, Andrew brings particular technical expertise in requirements analysis and management, stakeholder management, model-based design, and system proving and validation.  He is particularly adept at quickly understanding the totality of the problem space and communicating it in an easily understood format to the client and stakeholders across the enterprise.  This clarity provides the team with the foundation upon which to build prioritised and achievable solutions.

Some of Andrew’s past achievements include the delivery of urgently needed capability into the hands of users; design and delivery of technical work packages to help clients achieve design and system acceptance; and the establishment of a programme management office for multiple in-flight projects.

Andrew looks forward to bringing his experience, skills and personality to clients across an expanding portfolio to help them achieve even greater success.

Principal Consultant

Justyn Crane

Justyn joined Optima in 2016 as an expert on systems thinking and techniques to improve organisation performance and delivery. He uses his facilitation skills to… Read More

Justyn joined Optima in 2016 as an expert on systems thinking and techniques to improve organisation performance and delivery. He uses his facilitation skills to understand stakeholder needs and employs systems engineering to communicate complex solutions in an actionable form. Justyn leads our Technology Management Community of Practice developing our offerings, tools and techniques.

Before joining the Optima team, Justyn has worked in Systems Engineering and Operational Analysis for more than 20 years. With QinetiQ and Jacobs, Justyn delivered business analysis to support multibillion-pound business cases, engineer enterprise-wide transformation plans and develop defence-wide best practice for technology management. He has worked closely with defence and nuclear clients to deliver their programmes and implement systems thinking.

He has supported MOD to direct delivery of major programmes including Warrior CSP and Submarine upgrades, support active operations and develop and deliver Knowledge in Defence best practice improvements. Justyn has a strong track record of being able to work effectively with a wide range of clients, both in the UK and abroad including Germany, Australia and Finland.

In the future Justyn is looking forward to the next big challenge facing systems thinking and business transformation, so that he can work collaboratively with organisations who deliver and operate complex systems which make a positive difference to the people they touch.

Senior Consultant

Dr. Jim Ballard

Jim is an accomplished Consultant & Systems Engineer with 24 years of experience working in a wide variety of technical and managerial roles in the… Read More

Jim is an accomplished Consultant & Systems Engineer with 24 years of experience working in a wide variety of technical and managerial roles in the defence sector.

His current role includes providing technical and project management advice to clients in MoD, defence primes and Other Government Departments.

His prior professional experience as a chartered engineer and project manager includes having shaped, led and delivered projects in land, sea, air, weapons & C4ISTAR domains. He has experience of the full systems lifecycle from Government and Industry Research; through MoD Acquisition; to being a multimillion-pound budget holder leading 30+strong Industry teams to design, develop, manufacture and support systems in operational use.

Jim is passionate about delivering effective solutions through his tailored approach of: Challenge, Analyse, Plan, Do, Learn. His proactive, collaborative approach has yielded plaudits from customers, suppliers and partners for achieving better solutions, quicker and with less expense – resulting in many repeat contracts for his advice & support.

Principal Consultant

John Bradley

A Chartered Physicist with solid scientific research background in innovative Defence, John brings specialist expertise in developing architectures and requirements for Land based military and… Read More

A Chartered Physicist with solid scientific research background in innovative Defence, John brings specialist expertise in developing architectures and requirements for Land based military and Nuclear Fusion equipment.

Prior to joining Optima John shaped complex military vehicle upgrade programmes in Defence procurement, gaining experience at both the customer and client sides of procurement programmes, so understands what information and evidence is critical to the other party. Experienced at all stages of the project lifecycle, John has conducted innovative research, requirements driven architectural design, equipment verification trials, and technical project support.

His enthusiastic, highly motivated and inquisitive nature enables him to quickly adapt to new domains, technology areas, and work environments. John thrives on delving into the detail of a project whilst keeping a strategic view of wider commercial and programmatic impacts when making technical decisions. This makes him a valuable asset on complex projects.

John continues to develop himself by applying his knowledge and experiences to new domains and solving our customer’s complex problems.