Dennis Mendoros is owner and managing director of UK-based Euravia Engineering & Supply, which tests and refurbishes turbine aeroengines, and carries out post-design services on various aerospace programmes

You began your working life as an engineer with the Greek air force. Did you always see yourself working in aerospace?

As a child I used to cycle to Port Sudan airfield and spend most of my days with engineers and flightcrews. Aerospace and aviation are my passion and I am fortunate to be able to live my passion daily through my work.

How did your career progress after qualification?

I started my career as a "hands on"' licensed engineer on the flightline. I then moved on to Hellenic Aerospace and General Electric as a quality assurance specialist, production superintendent and head of foreign contracts before I decided to set up my own business. In 1988 I started Euravia Engineering.

Dennis Mendoros 
 © Euravia

What made you move to the UK and start your own business?

During my employment period I realised that large companies were interested only in mega-contracts and that smaller operators were experiencing difficulties in obtaining dedicated and cost-effective MRO services.

The UK is recognised as an aviation centre of excellence with an extensive supply chain and immaculate airworthiness standards. It also has strong commercial links with North America, the European Union and the Commonwealth.

Finally, I believe we have robust public sector support which complements the private sector initiatives.

You were an experienced engineer and manager. How was running your own enterprise different?

This is the real challenge. The international MRO business is very competitive and predominantly is dominated by very large public companies. The international aerospace industry is managed by a small number of senior executives who dedicate their professional careers to our sector. I made a rule, very many years ago, that propriety and reliability are my professional drivers. That is how I conduct myself and lead my business.

The key to success is to employ clear communication methods and ensure each team member feels empowered to deliver a specific part of the objective.

You have been very influential in developing the aerospace cluster in the north west of England and encouraging co-operation between the private and local government sectors to promote the industry. Why has that been an important aspect of your work?

At the end of Cold War the defence budget collapsed and, at the same time, the airline business was suffering from the international recession. It was quite clear to me that the best way forward was to consolidate resources and optimise production costs to secure new business. In 1994 I proposed to my regional colleagues the formation of an aerospace consortium and in parallel we developed a UK regional aerospace strategy, which I delivered to the government.

The Consortium of Lancashire Aerospace has evolved into the North West Aerospace Alliance and now represents over 750 companies.

How is the role of the SME changing in today's global aerospace industry?

I believe the government must establish a structured development programme offering assistance to SMEs in reinforcing their competitive positions and acquire new technology that will safeguard the long-term future.

What's the best bit about coming into work every day?

I love my work and enjoy my working environment.

Are there still challenges for you in the years ahead?

Running a business is always challenging. Euravia's issues are directly related to growth and new capabilities. Challenges provide the opportunity for us to improve our management skills.

Source: Flight International