Dr Ariadne Tampion CEng MIET
Photo: Steve Jones

Welcome to my web page. Here I present brief autobiographical notes. If you have any questions, or wish to contact me for any reason, please feel free to do so using the details at the end.

*** Please Note *** The address of this page is http://www.ariadnetampion.info.

Present situation: I am in a transitional phase between being primarily a stay-at-home mother and whatever I become next. My primary non-domestic role is Chair of the East Midlands Branch of Railfuture, as a result of which I am acquiring considerable knowledge of all aspects of railways.

Professional background: I have a BSc (1987) and PhD (1990) in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southampton. My PhD thesis is entitled Double-frequency Stator Core Vibration in Large Two-pole Turbogenerators, my final year BSc project Development of a Digital Servo Drive. I worked as a Development Engineer for Brush Electrical Machines for three years subsequently. Having authored a character for Loebner Prize winning chatbot Joan in 2006, between 2010 and 2013 I played an active supporting role in the artificial intelligence community as a committee member of the BCS Specialist Group on AI. I joined the Institution of Electrical Engineers (now the Institution of Engineering and Technology) in 1987 and attained Chartered status in 1993. I served on the IEE Professional Group Committee M2 (Engineering and Society) between 1993 and 1996.

Family: I married John Catt in 1991 and we have two daughters, Sophie (born 1993) and Isobel (born 1999).

Breastfeeding support: I joined the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers shortly after Sophie's birth, set up a local support group and qualified as a Breastfeeding Counsellor. I continued in this role until 2009, for the final five years serving in the ABM Training Team as their specialist on Breast and Nipple Problems.

Politics: I joined the Labour Party in 1992 and served on Charnwood Borough Council between 1995 and 1999. I dropped my membership along with my political ambitions in 2004, but continue to support and help my many friends in the party when they need me, e.g. at election times.

Writing: Between 1994 and 2017 my most significant and widely-read work was probably my annual Family News, prepared for extended family and friends in the run-up to Christmas, from which I then announced my retirement. I have written countless pieces for magazines, newsletters and websites of organisations with which I have been involved. In 2005 I wrote the novella Automatic Lover to share with my various communities via the web. My subsequent involvement with real-life artificial intelligence triggered a novel-length sequel Automatic Lover – Ten Years On, which I published with the novella as a book in 2008. In 2012 I published Metal Molly, an exploration of the same theme for children. It is illustrated by Laura Buckland. Plans subsequently announced for a novel exploring artificial intelligence in the electricity supply industry have been shelved indefinitely.

Cycling: As transport, leisure and a key ingredient in my recipe for a better world, cycling has always been an important part of my life. I rode regularly with Cyclists' Touring Club (now Cycling UK) groups from my teens until starting my family. I was a founder member of the Loughborough and District Cycle Users' Campaign in 1992, having played a leading role in the relaunch of the Southampton Cycling Campaign in 1988.

Humanism: I became active in the British Humanist Association (now Humanists UK) after marrying John in a Humanist ceremony. Campaigning for Humanist weddings to have legal standing, so that future Humanist couples do not have to register their marriages separately as we did, has been an unbroken thread through my life since. I was active in the (now defunct) Humanist Family Network when my daughters were young. I am also a member of Leicester Secular Society.

Early life: I was born and grew up in Caversham, a suburb of Reading north of the Thames, famous for its role in WW2 intelligence. I attended Caversham Primary and Highdown Schools. As a teenager I was typically eager to leave Reading, but in maturity have a greater appreciation for what the town did for me, and have become a staunch supporter of Reading Football Club.

Other: There is of course much, much more! However, I want to make sure I keep my promise of 'brief' autobiographical notes, and think I have covered the things of greatest significance.

Contact details

Email: (1) for personal business, ariadne at the last two parts of the website address as specified at the top of this page (i.e. not the server address which your web browser might show); (2) for Railfuture business, as given on the Railfuture website. Twitter: @AriadneTampion. Postal: 32 Bramcote Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 2SA. Landline telephone: +44 (0) 1509 211468. My mobile telephone number can be made available on application.

Last updated May 2018

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