Donald RossDonald Ross

Location: Manchester

Qualifications: BA Land Economy, MPhil Development Studies

I joined SQW in 2014 after studying at the University of Cambridge and then teaching English in China. I started as a Research Consultant in our Manchester office and have since been promoted to Managing Consultant. Having initially worked on projects covering the breadth of SQW’s expertise, I’ve now chosen to focus primarily on the spatial development and innovation policy areas.

Over the past month I’ve been helping to develop the evidence base for the Liverpool City Region Local Industrial Strategy. I’ve worked with colleagues to analyse official data sets on a range of factors including demographics, businesses and employment. We have also reviewed national and local policies, reports on specific local issues, and foresight material on the future of particular sectors. We’re now analysing this information and will shortly test our findings with stakeholders from across the City Region.

I’ve also just finished supporting two of the most recent wave of the UK Government sponsored Science and Innovation Audits (SIAs). I managed our inputs to the South Wales Crucible SIA which focussed on steel innovation, smart manufacturing, health innovation, and agri-food tech. This involved both quantitative and qualitative research, with the aim of understanding better the research strengths of universities and the performance of key sectors.

Looking ahead, I’ll be working on the evaluation of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult over the autumn. This is a longer-term project and we’re into Year 3 already. I'll be visiting companies that have worked with the Catapult and writing case studies about their use of the support.

Alongside project work, I have various other responsibilities within SQW. For example, until very recently I managed GIS activity within the firm. We use GIS to create maps for a lot of our projects and I enjoyed training new Research Consultants in how to use the software. It was also interesting to go to external events to learn about new features of the software and how these could be relevant to the maps that we produce at SQW. I now have responsibility for our website.