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    In the Driving Seat: Christopher McHugh, Technical Manager, Sigmatex

    Although committed to developing the latest textile technology for industries such as automotive, it sounds like Christopher McHugh may secretly prefer to be driving up the Pacific Coast Highway in a Pontiac Firebird listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd

    Christopher McHugh


    Technical Manager

    Apart from that
    Associate with the Textile Institute, Member of SAMPE, and have close links with University of Manchester and University of Bolton where I gained a Masters degree in Materials at the CMRI. I have been fortunate to also receive two innovation awards with my team at the JEC in Paris, and am named in a number of Textile related patents.

    Association with NAA
    Associated with the NAA since July 2012, have used our membership to good advantage using the resources to improve our business and management effectiveness. Existing partnerships and associations with some members already including Bentley and JLR. Most recently became partners in an AMSCI proposal with other NAA members.

    I am married with two children Rachael 21 and Chris 18 – Rachael is currently working for Disney in London as an intern but is studying Accounting and Finance at Lancaster University. Chris started his University life this year studying Business Management and in his spare time buys and sells Carbon Fabrics on ebay! Both my wife and I enjoy holidays and spending time with family here in the UK and in the USA, Disney discounts anticipated! I enjoy cycling for fun, thrill rides, although getting a little long in the tooth now, and sampling the real ales at the local pub.

    Favourite football team
    Although not an active supporter, I always enjoy the last months or two of the Premiership and watching Wigan Athletic fight to stay in the league. But as we know they left it too late last time but took a nice trophy to end the Premiership run.

    Musical performer
    I enjoy a broad range of music but favourite performances I have seen are by Whitesnake and Thunder. My Sigmatex colleagues in the USA enjoy my attempts at Karaoke, with my highlight being an attempt at singing Luther Vandross at a rather eclectic Funk bar in the back streets of Washington! President Obama was not there to comment.

    I cannot put my finger on a single favourite, but enjoy funny films with the main ones being old school, American Pie and Step Brothers. The best cinematic experience was watching Avatar 3D.

    My favourite book of all time was The Lord of The Rings and I’m pleased movie makers waited until recently to make the experience similar to how I saw the book.

    Best motoring moment
    Two best motoring moments, first was when I was 18, living in LA, being fortunate enough to have access to my sister’s Pontiac Firebird, driving up Pacific Coast Highway with Lynyrd Skynyrd on the 8 track. This was only surpassed recently when a friend took me for a spin in his Bentley Super Sport. The only thing I remember was him telling me that all drivers need instruction to handle the power, I laughed for a millisecond until my eyes were pressed back into my sockets, the next five minutes were a blur of excitement and adrenalin. My son has been instructed that following his first million I want one.

    Best business advice you’ve ever received?
    Don’t be afraid to take risks to move forward, nothing was ever achieved by standing still.

    European Regional Development Fund Northern Powerhouse
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham