Richard Alan Engineering - Our people

Our People

Richard Alans workforce now numbers in excess of 160 people and each and every one of them has an important role to play in the success of the business, from the youngest apprentice to the longest serving team members, from its back office teams to its coded welders.

Richard Alan never lose sight of the fact that its people are its business. It is their skills, expertise and commitment that make Richard Alan Engineering what it is today and by continuing to invest in them, they secure the future success of a business that is built on teamwork.

As well as ensuring that CPD plans are in place for all current operatives, the company have also put into a place an apprenticeship programme designed to attract and retain young people of the calibre necessary to take its business forward. The fact that apprentices make up 10% of the workforce is something in which it takes immense pride.

Richard Alan also believe that the personality of its people reflects positively on the company’s image. Business is all about personal relationships so here is an introduction to some of the people you’ll encounter when working with Richard Alan:

Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson, Group Managing Director

Robert joined Richard Alan Engineering in 1973 at the age of 16 as an apprentice plater-welder in the fabrication shop.  As business grew, Robert moved into the office, taking responsibility for the overall management of Richard Alan Engineering when the two founding fathers retired in 1993.  As Group Managing Director, Robert is still involved in the Engineering business on a day to day basis and to a lesser extent with other Group companies.

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In 2007 Robert asked his wife Tracey to join the the business to work alongside him.  Robert and Tracey have a fantastic relationship where they complement each other for the good of the business utilising his technical skills, ability and business acumen coupled with Tracey’s people skills, strategic thinking and can do attitude. Robert has enormous admiration for her strength and direction and often complains about her talking work over the dinner table!

Outside of work Robert is passionate about gardening, cooking, walking his two lovely dogs Tess and Lex and getting roped in to help Tracey with her horses.

Though the business has grown over the years, family values remain very important to Robert and are inherent in all he does.   He is immensely proud of his son Wesley who manages the successful group Scaffolding business SAS Scaffolding, assisted by Roberts nephew Nathan. When time allows Robert and Tracey love spending time with their grandchildren Harry and Issy. 

Tracey Johnson

Tracey Johnson, Group Operations Director

Tracey is adaptable with an analytical mind and the ability to move between businesses, quickly gaining credibility with both employees and customers. 

She joined the business in 2007 taking on the mantle of trouble-shooter after Robert acquired AM Recruitment.  Tracey established this business within the group turning it in to a successful company with a good reputation. 

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After this and looking for her next challenge she joined our machining company Ramco CNC.  She spent time learning the business from the shop floor up to understand the weaknesses and then implemented changes which resulted in a more streamlined, profitable business.  It was not long before Tracey entered the Engineering arena.

Tracey’s role as Operations Director within Engineering is varied in that she can be dealing with strategic issues regarding the direction of the business, resource planning for the workforce, standing in for Project managers or even donning her PPE and visiting sites.  Over the years she has been in Engineering she has made sure she has a good technical understanding of the business we operate in and can stand her own in a technical conversation with the best of them!

Her management and people skills gained in her previous career as a police officer have been invaluable in building her creditability and reputation.  She operates a firm but fair approach and ensures everyone has a clear understanding of their responsibilities and tasks.

Outside of work Tracey has a passion for horse riding having 2 horses of her own. Tracey is hopeful that in time her passion for horses will be shared by her grandchildren Harry and Issy. She has recently started to enter local equestrian competitions with good results.  She also enjoys good food, often as the guinea pig for Roberts’s culinary experiments.

Stuart Deakes

Stuart Deakes, Financial Controller

Stuart has been with the Richard Alan Group since 2006 and became Group Financial Controller and Company Secretary in 2008.

With over 24 years accounts experience in both industry and practice environments he has an excellent understanding of all financial matters.

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Stuart’s role is to oversee all financial matters for all companies within the Richard Alan Group.  He advises the Directors and Managers on all financial and commercial matters in addition to responsibility for a team who deal with accounts payable, credit control and payroll. 

In his free time Stuart is commited to his young family, however when he gets a bit of 'me' time he can be found on the golf course on a Saturday morning. Hole in one?

Claire Westerman

Claire Westerman, Human Resources Manager

Claire is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and holds a Masters in HR Management. 

She has worked in Human Resources for over 15 years, the last 10 years as an HR Manager. Prior to joining the Richard Alan Group, Claire worked in both the public and financial sectors. Her role is to provide HR support to both managers and employees across all group companies. Claire is responsible for providing advice and guidance on HR policy and employment best practice to facilitate the achievement of business objectives.

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In addition to her day to day role Claire has become invaluable in assisting Tracey and Robert within the business.  She always has a smiling face around the office, boosting morale even when times get tough.  Claire has an uncanny talent of bringing ideas to the business which resolve issues on matters that others find difficult to address.


Andy Jackson

Andy Jackson, Group Business Manager

Andy joined the company in 1997 with a background in controls and instrumentation, initially in the role of manager of the control panel workshop. Following this, he spent 18 months as one of three joint engineering managers, overseeing the operations of Richard Alan Engineering, during which time he attended Wakefield College, graduating with a diploma in management.

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For the last seven years Andy has held the position of Group Business Manager.  As a result of his depth of knowledge of the company, a desire to drive the business forward, his analytical approach and the ability to consider and identify the unknowns, Andy is a crucial cog in the senior management team.

On a day to day basis, Andy is responsible for providing technical support to the group’s companies and ensures continued availability of facilities, including communications, IT and fleet vehicles.

Andy has a teenage daughter who has roped him into camping and attending music festivals!  When time allows, Andy enjoys building, riding and maintaining mountain bikes and has recently revived his passion for listening to and collecting vinyl records.

Dave Clegg

Dave Clegg, Design Office Manager

Dave has 25 years’ experience in engineering gained with many manufacturing and EOM businesses. 

For most of his career Dave has been an AutoCAD Draughtsman, involved with countless projects, from pressure vessels, heat exchangers, access steelwork and pipework, planning drawings, building layout, dosing skids, centrifuge installation and  polymer dosing equipment.   

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Dave has a partner, Carol and two young children, Emily & Iwan.  His hobbies include walking and running and playing the cornet for the Hepworth brass band. He has been a keen fundraiser for various charities doing such things as the three Yorkshire Peaks, the three national peaks in 24 hours and the Everest Base Camp trek. Recently Dave took part in the London marathon to raise money for charity and plans to do so again!

Keith Challis

Glen Forth, Assembly & Production Director

Glen has worked for Richard Alan for over 26 years and has recently taken on the role of Assembly Production Director.  Working with the team he has brought in significant changes to working practices within the workshop and has contributed greatly revising and implementing changes to the quality system.

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Steve Batty

Steve Batty,  Engineering Director

Steve joined Richard Alan Engineering in 2012 after being known to the company for a number of years.

He has over 30 years’ experience in the engineering industry and came to RAE initially as a Project Engineer.  Steve’s knowledge, experience and work ethic quickly shone through and as a result he was promoted to Head of Engineering with responsibility for Site Installations, site maintenance and projects after a short period of time.

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More recently Steve has been seconded to manage a multimillion pound project for an important client.

In his younger days Steve was known to kick a football about but more recently his involvement is from the side-lines. He is happily married to Joanne and they have a teenage daughter Anna. The family purchased a caravan earlier in the year and are endeavouring to explore various parts of the UK when Steve’s work and Anna's many musical commitments allow.

Sean Wylie

Sean Wylie, Senior Site Project Manager

Sean joined the company in January 2003 initially as a Project Engineer working within the Site Installations Department.  He quickly progressed to a Technical Project Manager followed by Site Installations Manager with responsibility for major projects and resource planning.

Recently Sean was seconded to the internal design team in view of his technical skills, knowledge and experience. He was instrumental in developing and setting up new processes and procedures.

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He has a wealth of experience within the engineering sector and is currently responsible for managing one element of the delivery of a major project.  This involves all elements of project management including liaising with the client, managing employees, sub - contractors and ensuring project deadlines are achieved as well as technical input to the project.

Sean has a wealth of experience in the management of projects in excess of £1m.

Sean enjoys playing racquet sports, walking and spending time with his young family.  He has been a member of the Scout Association for over 25 years and is also involved in amateur dramatics.


Darren Spencer

Darren Spencer, CNC Machining Manager

Darren has been with the group for 6 years as CNC Machining manager running the Ramco machining division of RAE. 

He has spent his whole working career in the machining field initially completing his apprenticeship as a trained machinist.  Prior to joining RAE he held positions as a production and workshop manager.

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Darren is very passionate about the business and has developed excellent relationships with clients.

Darren has a wicked sense of humour and lists some of his outside interests as male model, attending Sunday school wearing a wig, working out at the gym and motorbikes.

Nick Harker 1

Nick Harker, Health & Safety Manager IOSH, Dip NEBOSH

Nick has a passion for health and safety and has vast experience developing safety management. He leads the H&S policies and procedures at Richard Alan. 

With a career spanning over 10 years, he has a strong background in the chemical and engineering industries having worked at a senior level within a number of companies.

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Nick loves to spend quality time with his wife and 4 children and when they are not out and about walking, you can find him looking for instruments to add to his collection! 

Paul Kajtar

Paul Kajtar, Technical Sales Manager

Paul joined the company in 2011 as a Technical Sales Engineer. 

He started his career as a Design Draughtsman 25 years ago.  Since that time he has worked in the water industry in various roles both regionally and nationally.

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He has a HNC in Mechanical and Production Engineering having an excellent rapport with clients.  His extensive product knowledge and understanding only enhances his reputation within the water industry as a man who “knows his stuff”.

Paul has a partner and teenage son and enjoys foreign travel preferably incorporating alcohol!  He has a passion for sports such as football and squash and used to participate however this has reduced lately due to his age!  He lists himself as an avid football fan although he does support Leeds (someone has too!)


Want to know more about what we offer? Got a specific project you’d like to discuss? Then we’d really like to hear from you! Call us on

+44 [0]1924 467040

...or click the button to send us a contact request.

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Products and services

Products & services

We design, fabricate, install,commission and maintain vessels, reactors and pipework for customers ranging from local industries to blue chip European clients.

Case studies

Case studies

We work for companies of all sizes and have built our business on reputation and word of mouth. Find out more about the type of projects we work on.