THE deputy chief executive of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), Dr Pete Thompson, has been chosen to chair the governing body of the new South Wiltshire University Technical College (UTC). T

he UTC, which will open in September 2015 in the former Salisbury Police Station on Wilton Road, will have places for 600 budding scientists and engineers aged 14 to 18.

In addition to Dstl, the board of South Wiltshire UTC includes major local employers QinetiQ, Public Health England, 43 (Wessex) Brigade, Serco, Chemring, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, Esterline and Tetricus Science Park as well as the University of Southampton, Wiltshire College and Wiltshire Council.

Dr Thompson said: “I am honoured and excited to take on the role of chairman of the UTC. Science, engineering and computing are the engine room of the economy and there are tremendous opportunities in this area for young people with the right combination of skills and commitment.

“I will be working closely with the UTC principal designate, Gordon Aitken, to encourage as many employers as possible to support the UTC with work placements, expert guest lecturers and case studies of science and engineering in action.”

Applications for Year 10 and Year 12 in 2015 open in September.