The Kura Team

An unparalleled wealth of experience and talent

Since 2014, Kura has expanded its aviation inspired Human Factors training into other industries including: Healthcare, Construction, Finance, Safety and Peer Support.

KURA HUMAN FACTORS is not a ‘one size fits all’ organisation.  We believe very much in tailored solutions for both individuals and companies  with one thing in common – we break down silo’s and share knowledge about well-being, human performance and the overwhelming benefits to organisations across all industries.

The Kura team offers an impressive wealth of experience from across the aviation training, airline, construction and insurance industries.

Meet the team!

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The dedication of the Kura team is inspiringly limitless and inexhaustible. They are truly amazing.

marjon tiebert norwegian first officer

Marjon Triebert

Norwegian First Officer

Founding Director

Niven Phoenix

With over 20 years’ experience as a pilot, instructor, and facilitator, Niven offers a wealth of practical experience in flight operations and other safety critical industries. As a former military pilot, and current commercial pilot, he is ideally placed to advise on Human Factors, Safety Management and recruitment issues.

Niven is one of the founding members of Kura Human Factors.

Director of Operations

James Thurrell

James Thurrell has over 25 years of experience as a former Royal Air Force pilot and training captain who taught and mentored new pilots on the Boeing C-17 Globemaster. He is current on the Boeing 747 and is skilled in engaging with confidence and knowledge necessary to help develop new skills and abilities.  He facilitates using soft skills; communication skills, loss and bereavement, coping with stress and looking after yourself and has been delivering Human Factors training since its introduction in the mid-90s.

James is one of the founding members of Kura Human Factors.

Managing Director

Peter Whitten

Peter Whitten is a former Royal Air Force pilot who has seen at first hand the need for positive attitudes in the arena of mental health, especially when working with emotive issues in arduous circumstances. He has a steadfast belief in peer support and the benefits it can have on a pilot’s wellbeing and livelihood.  He currently flies the Boeing 787 on worldwide long haul operations.

Peter is one of the founding members of Kura Human Factors

Director of Compliance

Simon Mahon

Simon is a highly experienced Human Factors and Safety Management consultant presenting with a strong understanding of industrial psychology and human performance.

He has a proven ability to translate organisational change needs into results-driven programmes, extensive knowledge and experience gained as a result of 25 years’ service in high reliability roles. Simon possesses an eclectic, cross industry skill and knowledge base that translates readily into any safety critical role or organisation.

SMS and HF Team

Ross Priday

Ross is a qualified safety professional, strategic programme manager and inspiring public speaker. Ross draws on his 30 years of experience in the aviation sector to advise clients on how to improve business performance whilst enhancing safety across operations. Ross’s key consultancy skill is listening to the client, in order to fully understand what is really needed.

As an accomplished public speaker, Ross has presented widely on a variety of engineering, Human Factors, Just Culture and general interest topics. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and is a regular speaker on the RAeS lecture circuit. He presents on a variety of topics at conferences and events around the world, as well as entertaining cruise passengers as an onboard enrichment speaker for cruise lines such as Cunard.

Peer Support Supervisor

Craig Hunt

Craig Hunt is a former RAF pilot who completed front line tours supporting operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. He also instructed and managed aircrew under training as they began their careers as RAF pilots. These roles involved managing individuals during demanding and stressful periods of their lives and emphasised the personal and organisational benefits of peer support and mental health awareness.

Craig is a TRiM Practitioner and Manager as well as a Mental Health First Aid Practitioner. He is passionate about promoting positive mental health, resilience and wellbeing to ensure an individual can fulfil their potential and help an organisation reach its goals.

Peer Support Supervisor

Tom O’Reilly

Tom flies the line as a Senior First Officer on the Boeing 787 and is one of our team of Pilots, First Officers, Captains & Training Captains working for airlines around the world.

Tom’s career has spanned many departments within the airline industry. He started as an Aircraft Dispatcher at Stansted Airport before completing his Professional Flight Training. After completion he joined BMI as cabin crew before securing a First Officer position with Loganair on the Saab 340. From there he moved to British Midland followed by British Airways on the A320 which he flew until 2016, before moving on to the Boeing 787.

This varied career before becoming a First Officer and subsequently in a First Officer role allows Tom to view all aspects of the industry with a clear and personal viewpoint providing excellent guidance for the support of pilot peers.

Aviation Clinical Psychologist

Paul Dickens

Paul is a Chartered Psychologist and Accredited Aviation Psychologist specialising in aircrew psychological assessment as well as team development in the aerospace and defence sector. Registered Practitioner Clinical Psychologist with the UK Health and Care Professions Council.

Mental Health Team

Dr Simon Petrie

Simon is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist who read Psychology at Aberdeen and Edinburgh Universities and practiced as a clinician in the NHS in Scotland for 12 years prior to going into the corporate sector in 2006.

Simon has a specialism in fear of flying and has successfully treated hundreds of people with this particular anxiety. His passion is sport and has worked closely with high profile Olympians, professional athletes and world champions in numerous sports, as well as having travelled overseas with international teams.

Mental Health Team

Dr Kirsty Dalrymple

Dr Kirsty Dalrymple is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, and an alumni of Glasgow University where she did both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. She was employed in the NHS in Scotland from 2001 in a variety of posts, most recently at the Consultant grade, prior to working full time in the private sector.

Kirsty has significant experience of working with children, adolescents, families and adults, with particular expertise in the the field of attachment and trauma. She is an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Glasgow, and is invited to talk nationally on childhood attachment and trauma.

A specialism of Kirsty’s is providing expertise into the legal system, where she regularly produces reports and expert evidence.

Registered Aviation Psychologist

Marc Atherton

Marc is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist and Accredited Aviation Psychologist. His background is in psychological assessment, psychological wellbeing, stress management, and training needs analysis in the aerospace and defence sectors. Statutorily Registered as a Practitioner Occupational Psychologist with the UK Health and Care Professions Council.

Mental Health Team

Claire Beharrell

Accredited as an MHFA England instructor member and psychology graduate, Claire is passionate about reducing stigma and engaging in conversation around mental health.

Over the last two decades she has gained a wealth of experience as a member of the Human Factors training team for a large commercial airline and as a trainer of Pilots, Cabin Crew, Directors and management in the aviation industry.

Having written and developed many courses, Claire ensures their effective delivery with a warm and engaging facilitation style. She has also developed valuable organisational and interpersonal skills whilst running the aircraft cabin on both long and short haul routes.

Claire is a Peer Support Volunteer with Kura Human Factors and also a regular volunteer as a team leader with the charity ‘Feed Manchester’, helping the rough sleepers with food, clothing and outreach services. A recent, personally organised, initiative also allowed her to develop a team of Mental Health First Aiders to help the vulnerable and homeless on the streets of her favourite city.

Christo Hudson

Christo initially started his flying career in the RAF and subsequently became a commercial pilot with a regional airline.  As a Line Training Captain, his role led him to become an incident investigator as a Flight Data Monitoring Gatekeeper. Examining data from onboard flight data recorders, he soon found that there was much more going on behind the flight-deck door and that pilots and cabin crew felt unable to talk openly about their mental health.

Following his redundancy and his own period of poor mental health, Christo trained as a Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Trainer. Through his roles as a mentor and peer support volunteer, he has seen how life’s struggles can be debilitating and how it is possible to help and support someone when they are unwell.

As an MHFA England Instructor Member, he has passed the licensed training programme, accredited by the Royal Society for Public Health and licensed by MHFA International. He delivers Suicide First Aid Courses with the accreditation of the City & Guilds and is also qualified to teach up to Level 3/Level 6 Award in Supervising First Aid for Mental Health.

Head of CRM Training

Helen Heenan

Helen was Head of the CRM training department for Flybe.  In this role Helen led and trained a team of 10 instructors, and was responsible for the creation and delivery of all the initial and recurrent courseware for the company’s 1700 aircrew.

Her work has been acknowledged by the UK CAA as, ‘The most engaged class observed for a very long time’ and from external clients as, ‘The best delivery of CRM I’ve ever seen’.

Helen remained at Flybe for over 20 years, until when in March 2020 she was made redundant following the sudden collapse of the regional airline.  She now works as an independent training consultant, specialising in all aspects of CRM training, and the Application of CRM/Human Factors Principles in other Safety Critical Industries.

SMS and HF Team

Nicola Steevenson

A former fast jet Navigator, Nic spent over 10 years in the RAF where she was a highly qualified instructor and mentor. She latterly worked as a key operator; planning and leading developmental missile firings in a demanding, pressured environment.

In addition to her military experience Nic worked as Chief Ground Instructor for a major European Airline with oversight of all theoretical knowledge instruction.

Nic is a qualified Crew Resource Management Trainer and has provided specialist advice and training to Devon Air Ambulance Crews including doctors, paramedics, pilots and ground staff.

SMS and HF Team

Darryl Protheroe-Thomas

Darryl has over 15 years experience in Civilian and Military Aviation, he offers a blend of experience between the Aviation Training and Safety Management Industries.  His interest lies with education coupled with Practical applications of SMS, Auditing, Accident Investigation, Human Factor Training, Crisis and Disaster Management and Business Continuity which bring a unique set of skills he is keen to apply to new industries.

Aeromedical Advisory Team

Dr Eleanor Ivory

Dr Eleanor Ivory qualified from Cambridge University and St Thomas’ Hospital Medical School. She specialised in Accident and Emergency Medicine and has been a CAA Authorised Medical Examiner since 2004.

Totally smitten with aviation she obtained her PPL before going on to complete several flying courses including commercial. She worked as an air ambulance doctor and medical officer for NATS before becoming a First Officer for bmibaby on the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320. Flying part-time has allowed a continuous active involvement in aviation medicine.

Eleanor moved to British Airways in July 2012 and is now a Senior First Officer on the A320. She runs a busy aviation medical practice and acts as a civilian medical office for Air Tanker. Eleanor is a Trustee and Medical Adviser for Flying Scholarships for Disabled People.

Aeromedical Advisory Team

Dr Ian Mollan

Ian Mollan is current Head of Aerospace Medicine Interoperability at Air and Space Interoperability Council. At the height of the Afghan Conflict he was the sole UK Validating Flight Surgeon overseeing control and coordination of the UK’s strategic Aeromedical Evacuation system. Responsible for the safe, appropriate and cost-effective repatriation of 18,000 patients over the 4-year period and during the period of highest operational intensity of Operation HERRICK.

A former President of the RAF Medical Board, Ian has over two decades of experience in providing health and well-being advice to the aviation community. Ian, in conjunction with many of the Kura team saw the benefits of the military peer support system, TRIM, and used it to great effect in the RAF. He is a valued advisor on peer support and medical issues for all aircrew and a fantastic resource for the Kura Team.

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