Meet CIAT's Council members


Alex Naraian PCIAT



Alex Naraian PCIAT is the Institute’s President, inaugurated on 18 November 2017 and will serve a two-year term in this role.

He is a Chartered Architectural Technologist and studied at Southampton Institute of Higher Education (now Southampton Solent University) and started his career in the late 1980s.

Currently an Associate Director at Ascot Design, Alex heads up the technical department of the business. He was previously an Associate Director at ADAM Architecture. 

For the last decade, he has worked closely with Southampton Solent University in an employer liaison capacity, as well as on a collaborative academic basis for their Architectural Technology Honours degree programme. Alex became an Honorary Fellow of Southampton Solent University in 2016.

Alex has served as Councillor and Chairman for the South East Region.  He has sat on various CIAT Accreditation Panels for universities offering Honours Degree programmes in Architectural Technology. He speaks publicly on a variety of subjects at universities, exhibitions and events, such as UK Construction Week, Homebuilding and Renovating Show and Grand Designs Live. He has also sat on steering groups for leading exhibitions. As an author, his articles have appeared in various industry publications.

Outside of Architectural Technology, Alex is committed to philanthropic interests. He has served various charities and clubs, assisting in fundraising, the giving of his time and expertise where he can.


Eddie Weir MCIAT

President Elect and Vice-President Practice


The Vice-President Practice promotes the Institute’s practice standards and policies for members practising the discipline of Architectural Technology. As such, the Vice-President Practice works closely with the Vice-President Technical, Practice & Technical Director and Practice Department in overseeing the work of the relevant Taskforces and working groups. These groups cover topics on liability, practice and technical documents, building regulations and legislative issues.


Gordon Souter MCIAT

Honorary Secretary


Together with the President and Chief Executive, the Honorary Secretary is responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the Council, Executive Board, AGM and Conduct Committee in line with the Laws of the Institute (the Charter, the Bye-laws, the Regulations and Code of Conduct and other forms of regulatory provision made by the Institute).

For the first eight years of employment Gordon was in private practice with three small practices. As the practices were small, he gained a wide and varied experience quickly which has stood him in good stead through my career. During those years, Gordon was involved in projects from an attic conversion to a new hospital as well as bars, restaurants, factory units, health clubs.

In 1995, he joined a national housebuilding company and since then has remained within the housebuilding industry and is currently with Persimmon Homes West Scotland.

Having spent the majority of his career in the housebuilding industry it follows that Gordon's speciality will be housing of all descriptions, from multi storey flats to individual dwellings. Primarily he is involved in timber frame construction but traditional build poses no problem.

Gordon does not consider the projects he has worked on exceptionally noteworthy with the exception of one project which is the first six storey timber kit housing development in Scotland. He considers his main achievements to be ensuring the projects he works on are from an architectural prospective well managed.

Gordon thoroughly enjoys working in the building industry. It has a great variety of characters and no two projects present the same problems – thus he feels it is essential that he keeps fully abreast of changes to legislation, new products and construction techniques.

He never tires of promoting CIAT at any opportunity and he represents CIAT on a number of committees. Gordon believes CIAT belongs to it’s members and it is only with self promotion by the members that it will continue to flourish in the future. He feels we should all be proud of how much CIAT has achieved in such a short time.


Doug Fewkes MCIAT

Honorary Treasurer


The principal role of the Honorary Treasurer is as Chairman of the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee, works with the Chief Executive and Finance and Operations Manager, to oversee the financial matters relating to Institute business such as the budget, the setting of subscription rates and reviewing and approving the independently audited accounts; and makes recommendations regarding finances to the Council and Executive Board. The Honorary Treasurer also presents to members at the AGM and reports via the Annual Review.

Paul Laycock MCIAT

Committee Member


Paul was originally a site manager. He moved into design management and from there became an Architectural Technologist. He taught at Northumbria University and then moved back into industry as a developer, before returning to education at Birmingham City University in 2005.


He became a member of CIAT in 2004, whilst running his own development company. He is active on the West Midlands Regional Committee and has extensive national roles; as a member of the Education Board; as Chair of programme Accreditation Panels; as one of the original moderators of the Membership Assessment Panels and interviewing candidates on interview panels.  More recently, he has co-Chaired the Membership Grade Review and provided support to the Apprenticeship Trailblazer group in producing the Level 6 Architectural Technology apprenticeship standard.


Paul is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering and the Built Environment and Course Director for BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology.




Steven Hedley MCIAT

Vice-President Technical


The Vice-President Technical works closely with the Vice-President Practice, Practice & Technical Director and Practice Department and its relevant Taskforces in overseeing the technical issues relevant to the Institute, which ensure the maintenance and improvement of standards within Architectural Technology and the built environment. The role also embraces current industry issues and the Institute’s practice Awards; the Alan King Award for Excellence in Architectural Technology and the Award for Excellence in Architectural Technology.


Natasha Coles MCIAT

Regional Councillor, Region 02 Yorkshire


Natasha is a Chartered Architectural Technologist and is employed by Whittam Cox Architects as a Project Leader. Her current role focuses on the Retail sector delivering projects nationally across the UK.

Her career began at Sheffield Hallam University in 2004 where she studied for a BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology. Here, she gained a 2:1. As part of her studies she undertook a work placement at Humphreys Teal Partnership working on a variety of projects across commercial, retail, residential and specialist conservation projects.

She later completed a PGCE Secondary Design and Technology Education at Sheffield Hallam University gaining a first and later returned back to Humphreys Teal where she continued her career as a graduate. At this point Natasha became a proactive member of the Yorkshire Region and has held a number of roles since, including; Deputy Regional Councillor, Education Officer, aspirATion Chair and now currently holds the position of Regional Councillor and CIAT representative on the CIC Yorkshire and Humber Committee.

As part of a practice merger she joined the team at HTC Architects focussing on retail and housing developments and later joined Whittam Cox Architects undertaking a variety of roles focusing on student accommodation and retail.

Natasha has also recently completed an MSc Technical Architecture at Sheffield Hallam University where she focussed on Community Projects, Vertical Farming, Technical Design Innovation, Natural Disasters Architecture, BIM, Environmental Design and the UK’s Housing Shortage.

Natasha was shortlisted in 2017 for Best Woman in Architectural Technology at the WICE Awards.

Stephen Nicholls MCIAT

Executive Board Trustee, Regional Councillor and Secretary, Region 03 North West


Stephen is the Councillor for North West Region. Former Vice-President Innovation and Research, Executive Board Member and Member of the Institute for over 30 years. 

Chris Yorke MCIAT

Regional Councillor, Region 04 Yorkshire


Chris is a Chartered Architectural Technologist and, having spent 19 years working for Doncaster Architects Department, has been running his own private practice (Yorke Architecture) since 2006.

Chris qualified as a Chartered Member in 2003 and in addition to ONC and HNC Building Studies he also gained a BSc(Hons) in Architectural Technology from Sheffield Hallam University.

Robert Davey MCIAT

Executive Board Trustee and Regional Councillor, Region 05 West Midlands

Richard Helliar MCIAT

Regional Councillor, Region 06 Wessex and Regional CPD Officer

Simon Ward MCIAT

Regional Councillor, Region 07 East Anglia


Simon has been a Chartered Member of CIAT since 1993 and has worked in the field of architectural design since 1979.

He won the Housing Design category of the ‘Technician of the Year’ Award in 1991 and was voted ‘Technician of the Year’ in 1993.

After 23 years of working with architecture in local government, Simon started his own practice at the end of 2002. Current works consist of mainly housing projects in both the public and private sectors with clients ranging from individual home owners to Housing Associations.

Works undertaken typically range from new build to extensions, alterations and refurbishments of older properties.

David Handcock MCIAT

Regional Councillor, Region 08 Central and Regional Secretary


David has been a Chartered Member of CIAT since 2003 and has worked in surveying and architecture since 1981.


He worked with private practices in Central London, Northampton and Slough, local government in North Warwickshire before starting his own practice in Marlow at the end of 1996.  Projects consist mainly of housing projects and remodelling in the private sector, with clients ranging from individual home owners to small developers.  He also undertakes hand-drawn presentation work.


David has been involved with Central Region since 2003 and has been Secretary, Chairman and Councillor at various stages.

Richard Briffa MCIAT

Regional Councillor, Region 09 Greater London

Stacey Taylor MCIAT

Regional Secretary and Regional Councillor, Region 10 South East


Stacey qualified as a Chartered Member in 2013 having completed her ONC and HNC in Construction on a part-time basis. Stacey has been practising since 2004, working for award-winning practises in Kent.
Stacey is currently an Associate for a medium-sized practice based in the Weald of Kent, focused on delivering high-end residential projects along with conversions and adaptations to existing buildings throughout the South East. Stacey works very closely with private and developer clients alike to ensure every project is delivered to the highest quality, offering support and guidance throughout a project's duration. She has a keen eye for detailing, paying particular attention to the coordination of the project team. 
Stacey joined the South East Committee in 2013 and held the position of CPD officer before becoming the Regional Councillor in 2016. Stacey has sat on professional interview boards as well as being on the membership review panel and currently holds a position on the Finance Committee.  Stacey also attends several networking events across the region.
Stacey was nominated and became a finalist in 2017 for the WICE Awards (Women in Construction) for Best Women Architectural Technologist.
Stacey hopes to continue to work with the Institute to promote the discipline of technology and encourage new members to engage with their local committees.

Grant Steer MCIAT

Executive Board Trustee, Regional Councillor, Region 11 Channel Islands

Paul Chapple MCIAT

Regional Councillor, Region 12 Western


Paul is a Chartered Architectural Technologist, Chartered Building Engineer and Incorporated Member of the Association for Project Safety with over 30 years experience. Joining Bailey Partnership in 1998, Paul is now a Senior Associate and leads the technical team with a broad project experience and technical knowledge across many projects ranging from Healthcare and Education schemes in the UK and abroad; Leisure; Commercial; Local Authority and Residential.

Paul has a detailed understanding of planning; building control; environmental (including BREEAM); and fire safety legislation, and has extensive construction knowledge, specialising in design co-ordination and detailing and specification writing. Within the practice, Paul has overall responsibility to co-ordinate with all Principal Designers and Designers across the practice and disciplines on any CDM matters.

Paul is the current CIAT Western Regional Councillor, having previously been the Regional Chairman and Education Officer and has acted as a Professional Practice Assessor and a Registered Supervisor with CIAT. Paul is currently supervisor for a number of colleagues progressing through CIAT.

Alongside other colleagues, Paul is a panel member with Plymouth University Industrial Liaison Group, which encourages ‘cross-talking’ with local and national practices and contractors ensuring that students and tutors are made aware of the collaboration with other disciplines within the construction sector.  Paul has previously been an Associate Tutor at Plymouth University for the CIAT Accredited BA (Honours) Degree - Architectural Technology and the Environment, and actively encourages students to progress through CIAT.

Tom Warren MCIAT

Regional Councillor, Region 13 Scotland West & aspirATion Vice-Chair

David Smith MCIAT

Regional Councillor, Region 14 Scotland East


David has been working in the built environment for almost 30 years, having worked across both Scotland and England for a number of organisations in differing sectors. He has experienced a variety of Architectural roles including those for Housing Developers, Housing Associations and Private Practices. He studied at Inverness College of Higher and Further Education qualifying with an ONC in Building Studies and then an HNC in Architectural Technology.

David became a fully Chartered Member of the Institute on 19 April 2011. He has been an active member of the Scotland East Region since 2009, taking on a variety of positions over the years at regional committee level including CDP Officer, Secretary and elected to Regional Councillor in 2017.


David Traynor MCIAT

Executive Board Trustee and Regional Councillor, Region 15 Northern Ireland


David has been working as an Architectural Technologist in the built environment for over 40 years. He has worked across the UK and Ireland for various and diverse organisations ranging from Public Authorities to private Architectural Partnerships and privately owned Development companies.

He was admitted as a full member of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) in 1995 and immediately joined the local Northern Ireland Region. David is a key contributor on the Regional Committee and held the post of CPD officer for 6 years prior to being elected as Regional Councillor for Northern Ireland in 2005, a post that he still holds today.

He currently sits on the Finance Committee, having been an Assessor for new Chartered Members and is Chairman/ Director of Architectural Technology Services Ltd. (ATSL) on behalf of CIAT. Additionally, David is an active Trustee on the Executive Board of CIAT since 2012 and was recently re-elected in November 2018 to serve for a further term.

In 2004, David was instrumental in bidding for and winning the honour of bringing the CIAT AGM to Northern Ireland for the first time in the Institute's history. This event included a Technical Conference that was attended by all the professional related bodies within the built environment. On the back of this success, Region 15 bid for the AGM to again be hosted in Belfast in November 2012, in conjunction with the centenary celebrations for the Titanic. This was held at the Titanic Signature Building where over 300 members and invited guests attended an evening of Technical Awards, the inevitable speeches, good food, great music and hours of joyous dancing. Over the weekend, Members attended pre-booked tours of the new Titanic Visitors Centre and enjoyed the fantastic range of exhibits including the state of the art interactive visitor experience housed in an iconic, 6-floor building at the heart of Titanic’s birth place.

This event proved to be very successful and has truly put Region 15 on the map as a must go destination for people to visit and sample all there is to offer in Northern Ireland.

David’s current post as Project Manager with a local Council proves how Architectural Technologists’ skills are transferrable within diverse sectors. Importantly, it demonstrates how CIAT has the ability to establish new partnerships and collaborations to educate others outside the construction industry and to develop and promote shared interest and benefit within the built environment.

Wayne Hopkins MCIAT

Regional Councillor, Region 16 Wales and Regional Treasurer


Wayne is an Associate with Holder Mathias in Cardiff where he has been employed for many years and works in a number of sectors producing information and administrating contracts as well as taking the lead as Principal Designer for certain projects on behalf of the practice.

He has worked all his adult life in the construction Industry and has acquired a varied but extensive knowledge within all sectors of the industry.

Wayne has a strong technical understanding of; many aspects of the industry such as Building Regulations, Construction, Design & Management Regulations (CDM), Building Information Modelling (BIM) etc.

He has been a member of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists for over 30 years and currently acts as the Regional Treasurer for the Wales region. He is also currently Regional Councillor and Treasurer for APS Wales Region.

Wayne is also a Local Authority Governor at a local Primary School as well a Community Councillor for the Ward of Onllwyn where he lives. In his spare time, Wayne enjoys watching rugby, listening to music, reading and playing the odd game of football. 

Helena Lee Chui-Lin MCIAT

Centre Councillor, Centre C1 Hong Kong and centre Secretary

Michael O'Keeffe MCIAT

Centre Councillor, Centre C2 Republic of Ireland and Centre Education Officer


Following graduation from Waterford I.T. in 2009, Michael was fortunate to work in a practice in my local county, Kerry. He joined CIAT in 2010 as an Associate and became a Chartered Member in 2014. He is also an Incorporate Member of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB). 

In 2011, he joined design-led architectural technology practice healycornelius design in London. Commuting regularly, he has worked on many high-end residential refurbishments and new-builds as well as the restaurant, entertainment and retail sectors in the Greater London area. Michael is responsible for all aspects of projects from brief development and design through permissions and co-ordination of construction teams to management of live projects and site inspections. As of 2015, he manages the Republic of Ireland branch of the practice from our design studio in Killarney, Co. Kerry.

Michael  joined the Republic of Ireland Centre (C2) Committee as he's keen to raise the profile of the Institute in Ireland. In his role as Education Officer, his aim is to form the link between the Third Level Institutes and CIAT and help in the promotion of the Architectural Technology discipline by way of membership guidance, informational presentations and attendance at careers events.

Mark Scott-Jeffs MCIAT

Centre Councillor, Centre C3 Australasia and Centre Treasurer


Current location: Perth, Western Australia

Current Employer: Campion Design Group

Associate Design Director for Campion Design Group. One of three directors working closely with our cosmopolitan team of 20 graduate architects and designers. My role is usually as lead designer for a given project.



Louise Drysdale MCIAT

Centre Councillor, Centre C4 The Americas

David Wright MCIAT

Centre Councillor, Centre C5 Asia

Paula Bleanch MCIAT

Centre Councillor, Centre C6 Europe


Paula studied Architecture and Construction Project Management at University and her main field of expertise is in Design Management. In industry she worked for various large contractors as a Design Manager and then led a team of Architects and ATs in a large architectural practice. Much of her work in industry concerned the design and build of large PFI (Private Finance Initiative) projects, including award winning schools, offices, hospitals and library buildings. 

In 2008 Paula left industry to join the teaching team at Northumbria University where she was final year tutor on the AT and CM courses and led the final year professional practice project, as well as teaching Building Technology and Design Management at various levels.

She has previously undertaken mentoring training as part of a scheme set up by the National Association of Women in Construction and has particular experience working as a woman in construction. She is very happy to be part of the new CIAT Europe Centre committee and hopes the Committee can work together towards promoting the discipline of Architectural Technology in the Region. The Europe Centre represents the profession of Architectural Technologist across nineteen different countries (Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland) and therefore covers a wide area with many diverse approaches to Architectural Technology. They are keen to develop initiatives that will increase the profile and visibility of all our members in Europe.

Please join in whatever capacity you can offer and help us to build a strong voice for Architectural Technologists in the Europe Region! Please feel free to contact her on


Rori Millar MCIAT

Overarching aspirATion Group Chair & Regional CPD Officer


Rori has been involved with CIAT since graduating in 2012 and has been on the Regional Committee since 2015. During this time, he and CIAT and university colleague Matt Weir founded the “Young Architectural Technologists’ Network” in Northern Ireland. Since, CIAT have adopted this movement in the form of “aspirATion” of which he is the current overarching chair.

Rori has a keen interest in BIM and as a leading figure within the BIM network within Northern Ireland, sits on the NI BIM Steering group. One of his goals for 2019 is to gain Chartership with CIAT, so he looks forward to working his way through the process. He is also honoured to be a Northern Ireland Ambassador for the Architects’ Benevolent Society, a charity that is dedicated to helping architectural technologists, architects, assistants, technicians, landscape architects - and their families – in times of need. 

Rori is Head of Digital Construction for the Newry based contractor “Felix O’Hare & Co Ltd” and leads the Integrated Project Team through design development and verification stages. One of the main responsibilities of his job is to ensure collaborative working throughout projects and that everyone is working from correct up to date information. His comparable project experience highlighted is the prestigious £30m Southern Regional College Armagh project. 

Rori loves his job, no day is the same! BIM is all about collaboration and he loves interacting with the different roles that it takes to complete a project. He also look after everything to do with IT within the organisation and has a passion for finding innovative ways for completing tasks where processes have remained unchanged for years. There are of course challenges with this, mainly the people so Rori loves it when people are open to new ways of doing things. Solving problems for people gives him great satisfaction.