Our Team

Emma Parkinson

Chief Executive Officer

Following her early career in civil aviation at Luton Airport, as Airport Duty Manager and Operations Manager, Emma brings 20 years of experience in a range of commercial roles within BAE Systems including Head of Commercial for BAE Systems Saudi Arabia within the UK and Head of Commercial for the Service Delivery Organisation.  Emma’s most recent role has been as Head of Commercial for Prismatic Ltd, a BAE Systems wholly owned entity which, like ARA, is an important part of the FalconWorks family.  As a member of the Prismatic Senior Leadership Team, Emma has contributed significantly to the development of Prismatic as a bold and ambitious business and facilitating the alignment of its governance,  processes and practices with those of BAE Systems. 

Timothy Figg

Head of Business Development

Timothy Figg joined ARA in March 2018 having spent 34 years with Lucas, GKN and Meggitt. He trained in Mechanical / Production Engineering and also Business & Marketing.  He initially worked at industrial engineers George Fischer Castings and after joining Lucas Aerospace (acquired by GKN) held a variety of progressive positions including Airbus Programme Manager, Product Sales Manager and Key Account Manager. The business designed and manufactured bespoke safety-critical equipment for civil and military aircraft manufacturers and airline operators. He later joined Meggitt working for several of the divisions but predominantly for the Safety Systems business as Director of International Sales. He led the business development with its international aerospace and defence clients providing bespoke highly engineered equipment and sub-systems.

Tim is a former air force cadet achieving solo glider proficiency, a former school governor, and has interests in classic cars and motorcycles.

Steve Iley

Head of Design and Manufacture

Steve comes from a process and automation background and has a passion for all things mechanical. He has worked with Pharmaceutical, food and automotive products.

He started out as a Mechanical Design Engineer in motorsport then moved to process development and manufacturing. He has designed high-speed manufacturing machinery and led multi-million-pound projects for international brands.

His role at ARA sees him heading the design and manufacture of test subjects to client specifications for both in-house and external wind tunnel testing.

Judith Miller

Head of Finance and IT

Judith joined ARA in 2017 and brings wide experience as Head of Finance and IT gained from major retail, engineering and start-up companies. Her previous experience includes working for a radio station.

Judith is passionate about enabling Finance and IT to enable the organisation to deliver the best service to its customers. She is working on developing a high performing, agile team to work with good data and clear processes.

Emma Gibson

Head of Engineering

Emma joined ARA at the end of 2019 as a Senior Project Manager working on both infrastructure and customer projects. Emma joined the Management Team in May 2022 as Head of Engineering and leads the team that develops, operates and maintains the main wind TWT and other facilities.

A Mechanical Engineer with a Masters’ in Environmental Management, Emma brings to ARA over 20 years experience of project and operations leadership in both a large corporate and an early stage SME in the energy sector. Emma plans to draw on this experience to deliver improvements to the facilities, and the processes and practices that support them, in anticipation of the company’s 75th birthday celebrations in 2027.

Lucy Fusco

Head of Capability and Innovation

Dr Lucy Fusco joined ARA in April 2019 as a Senior Project Manager, before beginning her role as Head of Capability and Innovation in 2022. In this role, Lucy assumes leadership of the Capability and Innovation strategy and is responsible for identifying new strategic technical goals. Lucy is a Chartered Engineer (IMechE) with a degree in Mechanical Engineering (University of Sheffield) and a PhD in Automotive Engineering (Cranfield University).

She joined ARA from Jaguar Land Rover where she worked as a Lead Engineer in research, technical specialist and product development teams. Since joining ARA, Lucy has successfully led a number of technically challenging commercial projects, as well as internal research and innovation projects. Lucy is passionate about research and innovation, as well as understanding ARA’s rich history so that old and new can be brought together to enrich the future of the company. Outside of work, Lucy is kept busy by her twin girls and dog.

Ladis Beeharry-Miners

Head of Human Resources

Ladis is a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and joined ARA in 2018. With extensive and broad HR experience in different industries, including financial services and pharmaceutical, (Santander and Deloitte, Milton Keynes and Stepra Ltd, Luton), Ladis has had the opportunity to support the development and implementation of a range of HR initiatives including rewards and benefits; change and performance management; learning and development and employee engagement.

As ARA marks its 70th-anniversary Ladis has taken the responsibility to lead the operation of our HR function putting our current and future staff at the heart of our organisation.

Contact us

Aircraft Research Association Limited

Manton Lane, Bedford, England MK41 7PF

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.