Senior Leadership Team

Ciaran O’Dowda – Principal

Ciaran is an experienced leader, advisor and trainer in education and school leadership. Over the past three decades he has led in a variety of school and college settings.

Ciaran studied at universities in Portsmouth and Bath. His time in industry before teaching took him all over Europe, working as a consultant geologist in the oil industry and as an engineering geologist working on road, bridge and tunnel construction projects.

One of Ciaran’s priorities in education has always been to motivate and enable students to be excited about the connections between the STEM subjects studied at school or college and the relevance they have to our lives, as well as the wonderful choice of career opportunities available.

James Doherty - Vice Principal: Director of College Curriculum   James has a passion for innovation in education at all ages, particularly in the sciences, and has lectured both locally and regionally on this subject matter. Conveying the awe and wonder of the wider world and scientific developments is a key feature of his lessons and his approach to leading science education.  James is an experienced science teacher and science leader with more than 10 years’ experience of delivering physics, chemistry and biology courses in local schools. His background is in chemistry, biochemistry and genetics and his decision to study these subjects stems from inspirational teaching received during science lessons in school.

James Doherty - Vice Principal: Director of College Curriculum

James has a passion for innovation in education at all ages, particularly in the sciences, and has lectured both locally and regionally on this subject matter. Conveying the awe and wonder of the wider world and scientific developments is a key feature of his lessons and his approach to leading science education.

James is an experienced science teacher and science leader with more than 10 years’ experience of delivering physics, chemistry and biology courses in local schools. His background is in chemistry, biochemistry and genetics and his decision to study these subjects stems from inspirational teaching received during science lessons in school.

 
Jeannie Crook - Assistant Principal: DSO, Director of Care Support and Guidance and SENCO   Jeannie is an experienced leader within schools and in her previous career in the Royal Navy. Jeannie has had in excess of 15 years leading Computing and Business faculties in Schools, College and University.  Jeannie studied at Chichester and Portsmouth, before moving into teaching. Within the Royal Navy Jeannie prided herself on building successful teams and improving leadership skills within them. She has taken this skill through to education where she has developed leadership in both students and staff moving numerous personnel to leading their own departments.  Jeannie has always thought the STEM subjects important in schools and colleges and is particularly interested in promoting women in engineering. She believes that solving problems, making things and mending things may accidentally change the way you think.  Outside of UTC, Jeannie is a keen sports person having competed in many racquet sports, predominantly tennis. In addition to this Jeannie has a love for skiing, her dog and her family but not necessarily in that order.

Jeannie Crook - Assistant Principal: DSO, Director of Care Support and Guidance and SENCO

Jeannie is an experienced leader within schools and in her previous career in the Royal Navy. Jeannie has had in excess of 15 years leading Computing and Business faculties in Schools, College and University.

Jeannie studied at Chichester and Portsmouth, before moving into teaching. Within the Royal Navy Jeannie prided herself on building successful teams and improving leadership skills within them. She has taken this skill through to education where she has developed leadership in both students and staff moving numerous personnel to leading their own departments.

Jeannie has always thought the STEM subjects important in schools and colleges and is particularly interested in promoting women in engineering. She believes that solving problems, making things and mending things may accidentally change the way you think.

Outside of UTC, Jeannie is a keen sports person having competed in many racquet sports, predominantly tennis. In addition to this Jeannie has a love for skiing, her dog and her family but not necessarily in that order.

Alex Blandford - Assistant Principal: Director of Technical Education and Enrichment   Alex has an interest in how all products look and how they work, stemming from a love of design, technology and innovative practice in education. Always keen to get the best from his students, he has introduced new technologies into the classroom alongside reinvigorating traditional skills and crafts. With over 10 years experience of working in a variety of schools as a teacher and subsequently Head of Product Design and Head of Design and Technology, Alex has managed a number of whole school initiatives and projects with great success. Alex believes that STEM in education is absolutely key to fulfilling the workplace shortfall of engineers and is passionate about making solid links between industry and education.  Outside of UTC, Alex enjoys all forms of motorsport and marvels at the precision and commitment that teams demonstrate in their engineering prowess. Alongside this he enjoys reading, the gym and spending time with his family.

Alex Blandford - Assistant Principal: Director of Technical Education and Enrichment

Alex has an interest in how all products look and how they work, stemming from a love of design, technology and innovative practice in education. Always keen to get the best from his students, he has introduced new technologies into the classroom alongside reinvigorating traditional skills and crafts. With over 10 years experience of working in a variety of schools as a teacher and subsequently Head of Product Design and Head of Design and Technology, Alex has managed a number of whole school initiatives and projects with great success. Alex believes that STEM in education is absolutely key to fulfilling the workplace shortfall of engineers and is passionate about making solid links between industry and education.

Outside of UTC, Alex enjoys all forms of motorsport and marvels at the precision and commitment that teams demonstrate in their engineering prowess. Alongside this he enjoys reading, the gym and spending time with his family.

Lorraine Swanson - Director or Operations     Lorraine is a knowledgeable School Business Leader with more than 10 years’ leadership experience working in a variety of school establishments, including local authority maintained schools, special schools and a Multi-Academy Trust.   After having a successful career in Banking, Lorraine changed direction to work in the education sector.To further advance her knowledge and skills, she gained qualifications in Certificate of School Business Management (CSBM) and Diploma in School Business Management (DSBM).   As the college Director of Operations, Lorraine is responsible for the strategic, financial growth of the college including income generation, estate management and management of resources.   Outside of UTC, Lorraine is an active member of the gym and enjoys spending time with her family and travelling.

Lorraine Swanson - Director or Operations

Lorraine is a knowledgeable School Business Leader with more than 10 years’ leadership experience working in a variety of school establishments, including local authority maintained schools, special schools and a Multi-Academy Trust.


After having a successful career in Banking, Lorraine changed direction to work in the education sector.To further advance her knowledge and skills, she gained qualifications in Certificate of School Business Management (CSBM) and Diploma in School Business Management (DSBM).


As the college Director of Operations, Lorraine is responsible for the strategic, financial growth of the college including income generation, estate management and management of resources.


Outside of UTC, Lorraine is an active member of the gym and enjoys spending time with her family and travelling.