Our People

We are prepared to wait for the best people. As a result we have a team of top engineers working together to provide our customers with a complete service to take initial concepts through to demonstrator vehicles and onwards into volume production.

Mark Findlay – Managing Director

Mark has a long track record of success in the transmission industry from both a technical and commercial background. He has been instrumental in the creation and development of highly skilled Computer Aided Engineering, Design Analysis and Research and Development facilities. During his time at Drive System Design he has become a recognised spokesman for the continued development of innovative AMT systems. He has a wealth of technical experience generated over a huge variety of transmission projects which is rarely matched in the field of automotive transmissions. His continued exposure to the commercial aspects of the transmission industry has given him an unrivalled insight into its challenges and opportunities.

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Alex Tylee-Birdsall – Technical Director

Alex is widely recognised as having exceptional technical expertise in the design and analysis of geared transmission systems across all industries. He has worked as a project manager and a principal engineer delivering numerous successful design and analysis projects. As Engineering Services Manager of Romax Technology he built a globally recognised consulting group working in both the automotive and renewable energy markets. As an acknowledged expert in transmission design analysis Alex has helped Drive System Design to build unrivalled design toolsets. His project management skills allow the company to be exceptionally customer focused and respond quickly to customer needs.

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David Kelly – Director

David is a simulation specialist. He led the Dynamics and Simulation team at Ricardo UK and has since gone on to create cutting edge techniques in optimisation and simulation. His skills were developed in the design of automotive transmissions and now also encompass the simulation of engine and vehicle systems. He is an expert in the simulation of gear selection systems providing solutions to gear shift quality problems that have traditionally been considered irresolvable. As Simulation Manager at Drive System Design, David provides the capability for the simulation of any dynamic regime in the transmission system. He also helps Drive System Design to provide robust optimisation of any aspect of the design features, or functional characteristics, of a modern transmission.


John Morton – Engineering Director

John's design skills were honed in the design of transmissions firstly for off-highway vehicles, then the mainstream automotive industry and finally for motorsport. Since then he has gone on to forge a highly successful career working for manufacturers in the design and engineering of race cars in the British Touring Car Championship. This has given him an enviable grasp of the technology involved in all mechanical, hydraulic and aerodynamic vehicle systems and, crucially, their effects on performance. Within Drive System Design John brings responsive and highly focused design processes developed in the arena of motorsport. This allows efficient
and reliable designs to be delivered within challenging lead times.

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Jon Brentnall - President, North America

Jon has worked in the field of transmission engineering for over 10 years, stemming from a Masters Degree specializing in gear design. As Chief Engineer at an international consultancy, he led programs covering transmissions, e-drive transaxles and rear-axles, power-split electrical hybrid transmissions, CVT (wind-turbine) transmissions and dynamic modelling of motorcycle shift systems. Jon was also a lead engineer working for DaimlerChrysler in its hybrid joint venture with GM and BMW. He has supported several programs with patented inventions and is actively growing DSD’s capabilities in transmission efficiency through design-analysis.

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Tony Walsh - Vice President, North America

Tony’s experience in transmissions engineering dates back over 30 years, having started his career as an apprentice before going on to complete his Engineering degree. Since then Tony has held a number of senior roles, most recently as Commercial Director and Lecturer before becoming Vice President of DSD Inc. Tony’s most notable projects include the engineering of a 750kW Wind Turbine gearbox, and the management of the engineering, from specification through to volume production, of a 2 speed active transfer case.

Tony Walsh

Rob Oliver – Chief Engineer

Rob’s development skills within off-highway engineering were built over 15 years at an OEM leading driveline and complete vehicle development programmes. As Director of Product Development at Torotrak Ltd Rob gained an in-depth knowledge of traction drives including the grant of eleven patents related to the architecture, materials and control of traction drive transmissions. As VP Engineering and COO, Rob managed a US company specialising in transmissions for the Outdoor Power Equipment market. He brings considerable experience of the development of off-highway vehicles and transmission sub-systems to DSD where he is focused on ensuring the company's development capabilities achieve world class standards.


Mike Savage – Chief Engineer

Mike has worked on heavy duty vehicles since joining Massey Ferguson as a graduate trainee. His experience spans agriculture, construction and military vehicles, including not only powertrains but complete vehicle development. At JCB he was Product Engineering Manager in the Heavy Products Division, responsible for wheel loader machine design and development. Previous projects include the design of new powershift transmissions for the world’s largest tracked-tractor, and revolutionary series-hybrid electric transmissions for high-speed armoured vehicles. Recent experience includes heavy-duty industrial gearboxes, including wind turbine units. Mike’s practical understanding of diverse heavy duty applications is an asset to DSD in tailoring new designs for customers, in transmissions, drivelines and implement systems, where improvements in efficiency, driveability and reliability continue to be demanded.

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