Each year we award honorary degrees to individuals with a link to the University or to the Salford region – in recognition of their outstanding contribution to society.
Brian Highlands is a retired Ops Equipment and Technical Manager for Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service.
Having served in the Royal Air Force from 1988, both in the UK and abroad during the 1st Gulf war conflict, Brian joined the Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service in 1993. He married Kirsty in 2004 and has two teenage daughters, Kaitlyn and Jessica.
In his 28 1/2 years with the fire service, he fulfilled a variety of roles including Community Safety Officer, Establishment Planning, Operational Officer, Service Improvement, Station Manager (as part of a borough management team), fatal accident investigation, Operations Support.
Throughout his career, he has and continue to, strive for professional improvement and development. He gained a post graduate diploma in ‘Strategic Leadership and Management’, Masters Degree in ‘Business Management’ and in recent years being awarded Chartered Management status and Fellow of the ‘Chartered Management Institute’.
Brian has a keen interest in psychology, particularly as it pertains to leadership theory, analysing what psychological traits, habits and actions constitute an effective leader.
Prior to retiring from the fire service his role gave him the opportunity to work with many suppliers, to drive and deliver some significant operational capability improvement projects, including wildfire and many equipment and PPE advancements.
His passion, as part of this role, was for firefighter safety, project managing a collaborative, three way research project, in partnership with Dräger and the University of Salford into firefighter physiology and the development of a practical operational solution to measure and monitor physiological markers in real time.