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The Counterpoint Team
Meet the team
Richard Apps
Director and co-founder

At GKN Aerospace, Richard Apps worked on strategic planning, business development and the evaluation of acquisitions. He also managed GKN’s industrial offset commitments in Kuwait and prior to that he was the Group Strategic Planning Manager for Westland Group. He managed R&D projects at BICC (now Balfour Beatty) and was a Production Controller at Marconi Avionics (now part of BAE Systems). He has a degree from Cambridge University in Engineering and an MBA from Manchester Business School.

Joanne Zhang

Joanne joined Counterpoint from the University of Bristol where she completed her PhD degree in Aerospace Composites. During her 4-years research experience Joanne developed a patentable composite manufacturing technique which can be used to produce a multifunctional aerospace composite by introducing graphene and/or carbon nanotubes, outcome of which has generated a lot of industrial interest. Joanne also carried out a project for a tier-1 supplier researching next generation composites technology and has a MEng degree in Aerospace Engineering.

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Peter Woolfrey
Director, Systems and Equipment

Peter has spent his entire career working within Aerospace and Defense having originally  graduated in Mechanical Engineering.  He has worked for a range of blue chip aerospace companies gaining experience within systems and equipment, avionics, engines and airframes. Following successful completion of an MBA Peter moved into business development and gained experience in m&a, strategy deployment and major account management. His last role before retiring from full-time employment was as Group Head of Business Development with Senior plc. Since retiring from full-time employment Peter has worked part-time as an independent advisor/consultant.

Rob Semple
Project Director Aircraft Interiors

Rob Semple has worked in the aerospace industry for 39 years, split between a career in Rolls-Royce and then aircraft interiors.  This included working as Engineering and Programmes Director at Contour (now part of Safran), responsible for seating development projects.  For the last 11 years he has worked directly for airlines such as Finnair, United Airlines, AirTanker and Jet Airways as well as for suppliers on both retrofit and new aircraft projects which covered seating, in-flight entertainment, VVIP fit, monuments, crew rests, galleys, lavatories, and associated interior changes (bins, partitions, floor coverings etc).  Rob has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bath and a MSc in Manufacturing Systems from the University of Warwick.

George Burton
Co-founder and Senior Adviser

George Burton was the Director of Strategic Planning and Business Development for GKN Aerospace, and prior to that for Westland Aerospace, in a career there spanning over 20 years. Formerly a Research Partner for a City of London stock-broking firm, he has a degree from Oxford University in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.



To increase our capacity and bring in additional specialist expertise, Counterpoint has an diverse team of associates who work with us regularly on projects. We also have an extensive worldwide network of experts and can bring in other expertise as required.