18th July 2003




An RAF Dambusters engineer will graduate with a first-class honours degree in Engineering Management at Lincoln Cathedral later this month.


But studying for a work-based learning degree with the University of Lincoln has not been plain sailing for Squadron Leader Philip Spencer.


During his course he has been posted from RAF Brampton in Cambridgeshire to RAF Lossiemouth and he and his wife Helen have had to care for their young son, who was diagnosed with hydrocephalus at the age of six months.


But despite the upheavals in his life Sqn Ldr Spencer gained a first-class degree as well as a coveted Air Vice Marshal’s commendation for his work.


“Being posted to Lossiemouth made it more difficult to study as I had to move away from my primary research sources,” said Sqn Ldr Spencer, who based his studies on a better method of integrating the Storm Shadow missile into the RAF Tornado aircraft.


“My son William was born during the first year of my course and at six months he was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, so it was quite a challenge dealing with that, changing jobs and doing the degree course.


“Without Helen’s support I could not have done half the things I have been able to.”


Sqn Ldr Spencer, a Senior Engineer Officer in charge of 140 engineers and 12 Tornadoes, is one of 11 RAF engineers who will be at Lincoln Cathedral on the evening of Wednesday 30th July to collect their degrees in Engineering Management.


Their work-based degrees are the result of a unique agreement signed three years ago between RAF College Cranwell and the University of Lincoln which allows RAF engineers to study a BSc (Hons) in Engineering Management.


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For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincoln (tel: 01522 886042)                     email: jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk


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