By Gerald Heneghan
Will Whitehorn, a transport industry pioneer, has been appointed as the new chairman of the Transport Systems Catapult.
The Department for Business Innovation and Skills announced yesterday (February 22nd) that Mr Whitehorn will take the reins at the centre, which is in the process of being set up by the Technology Strategy Board to promote innovation and efficiency in national transport systems.
Universities and science minister David Willetts hailed Mr Whitehorn as a “real expert” in the field.
“He will be able to take forward the development of the Catapult and I look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have to transport systems across the UK and beyond,” he said.
Mr Whitehorn welcomed his appointment, lauding the UK’s transport industry as a “huge global success story”.
“While facing real issues that arise from the rapid pace of modernisation at home the industry continues to operate infrastructure for tens of millions of customers every day,” he said.
Mr Whitehorn went on to praise the Technology Strategy Board for its foresight in setting up the Catapult and relished the chance to turn its vision into a reality.
He will take responsibility for meeting strategic objectives in regard to finding sustainable and efficient ways to transport people and goods across the UK by road, rail, air and sea.
In a previous role, Mr Whitehorn was responsible for the establishment of Virgin’s train franchise and more recently served as president of the company’s commercial spaceflight wing Virgin Galactic.