Dr Nick Appleyard’s first career was as a device physicist, but he gave this up to join the semiconductor manufacturing industry in early 2001, with timing that still smarts. He worked on the development of plasma etching and thin film tooling and techniques for Trikon Technologies and Surface Technology Systems, and still claims the world record for cutting a trench into silicon using a plasma, at 8 inches per hour. Nick joined the new Technology Strategy Board in July 2007 as Lead Technologist for Electronics, Photonics and Electrical Systems. This involves formulating the strategies for government to invest in the future of technology-intensive industries, and then delivering on them. Nick is now leading the Technology Strategy Board’s efforts around the Digital Britain agenda, and is a director of Westmill wind farm in Oxfordshire.