Laurence Dellicott, with his Silica workmate Pete Carr, is aiming to raise £30,000 for charity in May during a 750km, five-day cycling marathon. The route is work related in that as well as taking in six universities, they will stop at some of the company’s key suppliers as well as six of Silica’s UK offices. The goal is to raise money for the Neuroblastoma Alliance and Alzheimer’s Research UK as well as providing support for the next generation of electronics engineers.
Starting on 21 May 2012 in Bolton, the first day will include stops at Manchester University and NXP. The second day takes in universities in Stafford, Aston and Birmingham, followed on the third day by Warwick University and Intel before stopping in Newbury. Day four kicks-off with a visit to Reading University, Microchip, ST Microelectronics and Renesas. The pair will complete their marathon on 25 May travelling from Aylesbury to Freescale and the University of Hertfordshire before arriving at Silica’s UK headquarters in Stevenage.
Dellicott read electrical and electronics engineering as Aston University, graduating in 1998 when he joined Memec as a graduate trainee. He went on to become the Altera field applications engineer at Thame Components Memec. He then switched to being a Xilinx FAE for Impact Memec. His initial work at Silica in 2004 was as the product line manager for Xilinx before becoming technical marketing manager and then director of field applications.
His hobbies, naturally enough, include cycling and more cycling, but he also likes collecting music from most genres and playing golf.
1. Why do you like cycling?
I really enjoy getting out on my own. I find it a good way to relax and unwind after work. I’ve always had a bike and when I was young I just wanted to go further and further. It progressed from just wanting to go past the end of the street, and then to the park and so on. I also watch professional cycling but with work it is too much time to even be a member of a cycling club.
2. Why did you pick Neuroblastoma Alliance and Alzheimer’s Research UK as the charities?
Both myself and Pete Carr have been personally affected by someone with Alzheimer’s over the past 12 months. With an ageing population, it is going to become more of an issue and we want to do more in that area.
Neuroblastoma is a common cancer in children. The alliance is using all the latest technologies and the internet to raise money for young children who are suffering. The NHS can’t give the treatment in the UK as it is just too expensive. So the alliance is raising money to send children for treatment in Germany and the USA.
3. You also aim to help the next generation of electronics engineers. What do you intend to do and why?
In the distribution community, we get to see a lot of suppliers and customers and they are finding it harder to attract the best-in-class engineers into the distribution community. So we want to highlight electronics engineering in the UK and give students an opportunity to engage with us.
We are going to offer a catalogue with demo boards for students. They will be able to select three boards and then use them to make an innovative project. The winning student will get sponsored for they final year – they will get their fees paid. The competition will start in September this year. We couldn’t cycle round all the universities but we have selected certain ones along the route where we will pass on the message and then get it out to other universities in other ways. Anyone on a relevant course is eligible.
4. You have worked with both Altera and Xilinx FPGAs – which are best?
They both have their positives. Xilinx is the best, but that is who we distribute for now. If you look at the product offering and roadmap for Xilinx, such as where they have aligned themselves with Arm, they have a lead to win new sockets in new markets. With Altera, they have a more solid base in some of the lower end, high volume markets – that is another way of saying price. That is where we see them as a competitor.
5. If people still want to donate, what must they do?
They can go along to the web address – www.pedal4innovation.silica.com – and click through to the JustGiving link. The web site gives information about the event. We will also be collecting en route at the offices we will be stopping at. There are also loads of raffles happening.