Tony Thornburn OBE

Tony served in the Armed Forces for 35 years, during which time he notes that he was fortunate to have benefited from a wide variety of appointments and roles, before becoming a Lecturer in Systems Engineering at Cranfield University, where he remains a Visiting Fellow.  He is currently involved with the STEM initiative in schools, the British Standards Institute, a Systems Thinking Special Interest Group and a Human Factors Integration Working Group, and is a Fellow of both the Chartered Management Institute and the Institute of Leadership and Management. A keen musician, he sings with not only his local Bath Bach Choir, near his home in Frome, but also whenever suitable opportunities arise. Tony is married to Kathy and they have two children, Daniel and Hannah, and seven grandchildren.

Tony has been a member of the Behçet’s Syndrome Society since 2006 when his daughter, by chance, was eventually diagnosed with Behçet’s disease. He feels immensely privileged to have been appointed Chair to such a supportive organisation, and aims to assist in building on all the hard work that has gone before to promote routine awareness of Behçet’s disease and achieve better coherence between patients and research, and all that should be in place to support them: the ever-expanding network in the medical profession, across and outside the NHS, within the rare diseases community both nationally and internationally, and among the science and research community to name but a few – as he puts it, “a true systems challenge”.