Tuesday, 21 February 2023

Dr Jeff Allan (Ha. 1968-73) is a chartered engineer whose company, Jeff Vehicles Ltd., is developing electric and hydrogen solutions for road and rail vehicles.

When you were at Brighton College, what did you want to be when you ‘grew-up’?

An Electrical and Electronic Engineer with a PhD.

Tell us about yourself now you've grown up.

I am now an Electrical and Electronic Engineer with a PhD!

What about your life now would most surprise your Brighton College teachers?

I met my maths teacher, Oliver Smyth a few years ago after I had competed in an electric car at Brighton Speed Trials and I don’t think anything I was doing surprised him.

What are your favourite memories of your time at school?

I loved my Maths lessons from Rodney Fox and Oliver Smyth, also my Physics lessons from Peter Andrews and Colonel David Gibson.

What advice would you give to your school-age self?

Anything is possible if you work at it.

What do you do as a career?

I am retired now but I run a small company, Jeff Vehicles, which allows me to carry on working. I design hydrogen trains and helped to design the first two in the U.K. I am currently working on projects three, four and five. I was with the second at Glasgow station during COP26 where it received visits from the prime minister and King Charles III.

I promote electric cars and electric bikes and have held two electric car Guinness World Records. I have also published a widely read free book on electric cars and bikes available here

What does your work involve?

Alongside what I have described above I also visit schools to promote batteries and hydrogen for transport with live demonstrations. I am waiting for an invitation from Brighton College!

What are the most challenging parts of your job?

Getting government funding for hydrogen trains.

What are you most proud of?

My partner, Amanda, our four children and two grandchildren.

What are the three objects you would take with you to a desert island?

Food, water and a motorboat fitted with GPS navigation.

How would you like to be remembered?

As someone who tried desperately hard to reverse climate change.

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