Ian’s Bio

Ian Anderson MSc LCGI

Hopefully this page will give you an idea of who I am.

Ian Anderson

I am interested in just about everything! An incurable autodidact, which basically means that I love teaching myself new stuff! (OK, OK, I admit it, I love books!)

Technically though, I am a builder by trade, but I also love carpentry and other finishing trades, the internet, travel, writing, growing stuff and trying to look after my family in between. I also have a masters degree in Trauma and Disaster Management, which I took to try and make sense of my experiences working in East Africa.

My practical specialism, has evolved into working for discerning clients, looking after their often considerable homes, providing high quality services and also the restoration of old brickwork using traditional lime mortars (in the UK). I also provide occasional consultancy services to aid based construction projects in East Africa.


  • Project Manager on Project Umubano, a major social action project for the British Conservative Party, taking over 40 volunteers to Rwanda to work on 20 different projects.
  • Construction co-ordinator within the construction element of a £9.6m Family Health Project in Eastern Uganda funded by DfID and managed by CARE International.
  • Lots of UK based projects. Recent ones being the restoration of Langar House in Langar, a Queen Anne house built in 1722; the detailing of Trent Farm House, a large new riverside property in Newark; the restoration of Swallow Hole Farm, a rambling farmhouse in Saltby. Particular emphasis always placed on total client satisfaction, every time, through true craftsmanship.
  • Training apprentice builders through the local Chamber of Commerce (UK) and a long-standing employer of skilled, unskilled and sub-contract labour.
  • Taught and influenced many students of mixed ability and ages at Grantham College for Further Education.


  • Master of Science Degree in Trauma and Disaster Management Studies. Graduated at Lincoln Cathedral, Lincolnshire, UK in January 2007.
  • City & Guilds Institute of London .1987 to 1989. Construction Supplementary Studies 600 series: Surveying & levelling; Measurements & costs; Craft supervision; Principles of construction.
  • City & Guilds Institute of London. 1985 to1987. Brickwork Craft and Advanced Craft Certificates.

Professional Awards

  • Licentiateship award from the City & Guilds Institute of London in 2001. A senior award that recognizes a combination of qualifications and experience. Equivalent to the European ‘Master Builder’.
  • Awarded a ‘Silver Medal’, first prize bythe City & Guilds Institute of London in 1990, for outstanding results (highest in the country) in the Surveying & Levelling Exams.
  • Awarded the coveted ‘Silver Trowel’ in 1987 by the Brick Development Association for outstanding Advanced Craft Examination results.

Personal Attributes and Capabilities

  • Long-term self-employed specialist in the construction industry, with humanitarian/aid experience based on work undertaken in East Africa.
  • A Masters in Trauma and Disaster Management provided the academic focus for transferring management and practical experience from a profit generating sector to a humanitarian motivated sector.
  • Good strategic, tactical and operational planner; experienced in meeting project objectives and an innovative problem solver.
  • High integrity and reliability; good personal organisation skills; dedicated to exact, high quality professional and personal standards.
  • Adaptable and resourceful in self-teaching new skills through effective research and academic interest.
  • Positive, calm personality suited to demanding work, either individually or within a team.

Employment timeline

January 2011 to date

Handyman (Håndverker in Norwegian), plus webmaster and publisher through handycrowd.com plus a little bit of house-husbandry thrown in.

October 2010 to January 2011

Historic restoration work for Kaffebreneriet Coffee Houses in Oslo, Norway.Carrying out restoration works to the Fire Museum in Oslo. Being built in the 1880’s means that some areas of the building are in need of sympathetic repairs, restoration and improvements.

October 2008 to October 2010

A period of self directed learning primarily about Web resources. Touching on web design, HTML, CSS, FTP, PHP, MySQL, servers, image manipulation along with studying various marketing works from industry leaders in the online community.

Also, a primary care giver or house husband; looking after my full time working wife, two small children and just over 1 hectare of New Zealand countryside, (shocking hours, well below minimum wage but awesome working conditions!)

October 2007 to October 2008

Specialist Contractor working on the restoration of Langar House, a fine listed Queen Anne period house. Responsible for the restoration of ancient brickwork using traditional lime mortars, often replacing old inappropriate repairs. Also carried out restoration, renovation and re-modeling of various internal works including controlled demolition of later, inappropriate additions, changes to internal layouts, repairs to traditional plasterworks and updating various areas to suit modern living.

February 2007 to August 2007

Project Manager (Rwanda) for The Different Travel Company, to help manage Project Umubano, a Social Action Project for the British Conservative Party.

  • Liased with all key stakeholders, project partners, organising logistics of the placements, accommodation and transport.
  • Provided advice and logistical support throughout the volunteers stay in Rwanda.
  • Responsible for the local procurement of materials to build new classrooms and management of over 40 local Rwandan artisans, often teaching them modern and sustainable construction techniques.
  • Writing and distributing suitable pre-departure training, information and healthcare literature.
  • Assisted in the selection process of the applicants and assigning them to placements that match their skills.
  • Assisted volunteers new to Africa and advised on appropriate conduct.

June 1999 to February 2007

Specialist Contractor subcontracted to provide a complete solution for achieving client satisfaction on top specification, high value commercial and domestic construction projects.

  • Responsible for maintaining each clients full satisfaction with the finished project in order to secure the contract to manage their next project.
  • Also responsible for the management and application of labour and materials.
  • A hands on role spent working tightly with small teams.

February 1999 to June 1999

Consultant for CARE International, based in Mbale district, Uganda.

  • Compiled a report on lessons learned during the construction element of the project.
  • Wrote a local procurement guide.
  • Recorded the local capacity building within the construction element and acknowledged the individuals involved.
  • Assisted in the handover of South Mbale to replacement Volunteer from Voluntary Services Overseas.

1997 to 1999

Construction Co-ordinator working for CARE International in Uganda on a major DfID funded family health project, under the auspices of Voluntary Service Overseas. Part of a dedicated construction team and responsible for overseeing the building or renovation of 15 Health Units, all with two staff houses, pit latrines and ancillary medical buildings. Responsibilities: –

  • Finding and training local artisans in sustainable techniques.
  • Forming teams of trained men and women.
  • Arranging and overseeing materials deliveries in remote areas and on difficult terrain.
  • On site training, quality control and managing the newly trained local artisans as contractors.
  • Site visits to the Health Units covering the 2463 square Km’s of Mbale district, up to 5 hours a day spent driving off road.
  • Accountability trails and community participation organisation within the wider project aims and goals.

1990 to 1991

Lecturer in Brickwork Skills at Grantham College. Practical and theory sessions to a wide audience.

1986 to 1997

Formed Anderson Building Services. Undertook all forms of domestic and commercial construction works on contract. Managed both employed and sub contract labour to complete high quality construction projects. Managed quotations, invoices, accounts, employee obligations, health and safety at work legislation. All contracts won by personal recommendation only, usually had 12 months of work in the order book.

1984 to 1986

Apprentice builder for local small building firm. Straight into final year of Craft Certificate at Grantham College.

Additional skills

  • Qualified Basic First Aider with Red Cross.
  • IT and computer skills.
  • Certified off-road driver with over 2000 booked hours in Africa. Full driving license for car, light truck, trailers and motorcycle.
  • Motor mechanics.
  • Administration and bookkeeping.
  • Carpentry and joinery.
  • Roofing works.
  • Metal fabrication and welding.
  • Basic electrical wiring.
  • Basic Plumbing.
  • Painting & decorating.
  • Ceramic tiling.
  • Qualified diver with PADI certificate.


Wow, you made it all the way down here, thanks!

3 Responses to Ian’s Bio

  1. Moe Muise says:

    Wow, you have a fascinating bio, Ian. I love how you mix your building background with international development – very inspiring!

    I’m hoping to do the same some day (in my case, mixing market research and intl dev).



  2. Ian says:

    Your welcome Mark.
    Glad the info helped!
    Thanks for stopping by,

  3. mark swadling says:

    Hi what a change to find your site . Was only looking for some info on the dewalt flip over saw having been bidding and not winning on ebay for some weeks now . Anyway picked one up yesterday and am really pleased with it . having used the cheap ones
    Many Thanks

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