Ian first went on the Bristol Hannover school exchange in 1972 in order to improve his knowledge of German. It worked, and started a relationship with his partner family, the Kullaks, which has endured and developed over 50 years, as well as an engagement with German society and culture as an academic and professional interest.

Ian served in the British Army on the Rhine in the 1970s before studying for a degree in European Studies and German at Manchester University. He completed his PhD in 1984 with a thesis on the postwar occupation of Germany.

For most of his professional career he has worked in management education and executive development, first at Henley Management College (now Henley Business School), where he became Professor of Management and Director of Programmes, and latterly as Executive Director at Duke Corporate Education where many of his clients were large German companies.

Ian now lives in Clevedon with his wife Anna, a fellow member of the Bristol Hannover Council and enthusiastic Germanist.