Alexander Hayward FMA

Case study
“Leads an organisation and/or an area of practice or field of knowledge, and creates a demonstrable benefit to colleagues, peers and/or the public.”

Alexander Hayward FMA, director of collections, research and lifelong learning, Queensland Museums, Brisbane, Australia

I moved to Australia in June 2015 to take up the new role of director of collections, research and lifelong learning with Queensland Museums in Brisbane, Australia, a move that I think the FMA helped me achieve.

Prior to that I was keeper at the Department of Science and Technology at National Museums Scotland (NMS).

As NMS's keeper of science and technology I led a large specialist curatorial department responsible for outstanding objects ranging from a 1786 Boulton and Watt steam engine to space rockets, from early computers to Concorde.

On arrival at NMS in 2005 I was appointed project director responsible for delivering the innovative science gallery Connect, where historic objects and interactives are interlinked, and subsequently led the implementation of the first phase of the development plan at the National Museum of Flight including three new interactive and historical exhibitions.

Latterly I was project director for a successful Round 1 Heritage Lottery Fund bid for new science and art galleries at the National Museum of Scotland.

Working on the FMA provided me with an opportunity to reflect on the fundamental purpose of the collections I curate, and to strive to find ways of using these to stir up interest in the way things are made and how they work, and, at NMS, to stimulate debate about the role and impact of engineering and technology, past and present, in all our lives: ourselves, our colleagues, our public.

This concern was of particular relevance for me at NMS as I led the development of a suite of new science and technology galleries in Edinburgh, the largest reappraisal and representation of these topics in the national museum for over a century.