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Thank you to all our speakers for making MRE2018 such an informative 2 days

Rebecca Endean

Director of Strategy, UK Research and Innovation

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Professor Philip Nelson CBE

CEO, EPSRC

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Dr Ruth McKernan CBE

CEO, Innovate UK

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Laura Jones

Consulting Fellow, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

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Chris Warkup

​Chief Executive Officer, Knowledge Transfer Network

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Stuart McDill

Chair of the Industry Panel discussion and freelance broadcaster and journalist

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Phil Williams

Knowledge Transfer Manager, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Knowledge Transfer Network

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Dr Ellen Pope

Graduate Analyst in Materials and Manufacturing, Innovate UK

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Professor Philip Withers FRS, FREng, FRAes, FIMMM

Chief Scientist, Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials

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Andrew Hosty

CEO, Henry Royce Institute

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Simon Edmonds

Director for Manufacturing and Materials, Innovate UK

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Sue Dunkerton OBE

Director, Knowledge Transfer Network

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Tatiana Correira

Knowledge Transfer Manager, Nanotechnology, Knowledge Transfer Network

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Mark Summers

Head of Technology (Manufacturing, Materials, & Structures), Aerospace Technology Institute

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Alan Banks BEng (Hons), MSc, CEng FIET

Ford Motor Company Limited

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Richard Gunn

Head of Advanced Materials and Peer Review, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

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Professor Allan Matthews

Director, The BP International Centre for Advanced Materials

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Ben Griffin

Innovation Lead, Design Innovate UK

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Duncan Fitzsimons

Director, 7TH Design & Invention

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Dr Kalyan Sarma

National Contact Point and Global Innovation Lead, Innovate UK

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Robert Quarshie

Head of Materials, Knowledge Transfer Network

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Ben Walsh

Innovation Lead in Advanced Materials, Innovate UK

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Jacqui Murray

Head of Advanced Materials, Innovate UK

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David Gardner

Knowledge Transfer Manager - European Programmes, Knowledge Transfer Network

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Nick Cliffe

Innovation Lead, Manufacturing & Materials, Innovate UK

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Peter B. Littlewood

Founding Executive Director, The Faraday Institution

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Kevin Lindsey

Managing Director of Far Composites, (part of Far UK Ltd.)

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Dr Bryan Allcock

CEO Group, TRL9 Limited

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Kevin Bygate

Chief Executive Officer, SPECIFIC

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Prof Leela Biant

Academic Head of Dept Trauma & Orthopaedics University of Manchester, Honorary Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Manchester University Foundation Trust, Honorary Professor, Salford University

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Dr Andre Prette

Technical Manager, Flash Sintering Technology, Lucideon

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Nigel Walker

Head of Innovation Lending, Innovate UK

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Lynne McGregor

Innovation Lead in the Manufacturing and Materials sector, Innovate UK

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Deborah Creamer

Director, Optimat Ltd

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Edward Owen

Director, R and D Tax Specialists Ltd

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Deirdre C. Fox

Director, Strategic Business Development, Tata Steel

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Sally Beken

Knowledge Transfer Manager – Polymers, Innovate UK

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Craig Brownlie

Senior Associate Patent Attorney, Potter Clarkson

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Byron Tucker

R&D Manager, Swansea Technology Centre, Tata Steel Europe

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Su Varma

Incubation Portfolio Manager, NSG Global R&D

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Katerina Busuttil

Standards Publishing Manager, Manufacturing Sector, BSI DPhil Inorganic Chemistry

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Lien Ngo

Innovation Lead for Advanced Materials, Innovate UK

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Professor Simon Donell

Honorary Professor, Norwich Medical School

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Jonathan Mitchener

Innovation Lead, Emerging Technologies

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Paul Gallen

Automotive Sector Manager, National Composites Centre

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Sinead Balgobin

Portfolio Manager, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

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Tonino Amorelli

Campaign Manager, QinetiQ

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Adrian Davis-Johnston

Head of Research, Development and Innovation - Nuvia Consulting

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Andrew Bell

Professor of Electronic Materials, University of Leeds

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Mark Gaddes

UK/European R&D, Network Rail

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Richard Trask

Professor of Advanced Materials, University of Bath

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Billy Beggs

Engineering Innovation Manager, University of Central Lancashire

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Dr Rob Deffley

Research & Development Manager, LPW Technology Ltd

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Rachel Williams

Professor of Ophthalmic Bioengineering, University of Liverpool

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Professor Kaspar Althoefer

Director, Advanced Robotics, Queen Mary (ARQ)

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Mark Bowering

Chief Technologist, National Composites Centre

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Professor Tim Ashley

Director of Graduate Studies, School of Engineering, University of Warwick

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Monica Craciun

Professor in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, University of Exeter

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James Currer

Lead Specialist – Insights, Innovate UK

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Dr Sara Robertson

Tutor (Research) for Smart Textiles, Royal College of Art

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Rebecca Endean

Director of Strategy, UK Research and Innovation

Rebecca Endean was appointed as the Strategy Director for UK Research and Innovation in March 2017. She works with the UK Research and Innovation’s design project to develop the plans for the strategic centre. She has a particular focus on supporting the new Board and developing key functions such as analysis and communications.

Rebecca is also building a small strategy and analytical team in the transition phase. This will work closely with the nine constituent parts of UK Research and Innovation to develop advice on how to invest the additional research and innovation funds announced in the Autumn Statement 2016.

She was previously Director of Research and Innovation Reform, Business and Science at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with overall responsibility for the Higher Education and Research Bill that created UK Research and Innovation.

She has a background in research, science and innovation. Originally trained as an economist, Rebecca has considerable expertise on a wide range of economic and social policy issues, in particular poverty, family policy, the labour market and justice. She has worked in a number of Government departments in policy and analysis roles, including as the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Ministry of Justice.

Professor Philip Nelson CBE

CEO, EPSRC

Philip Nelson served from 2005-2013 as Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton, with particular responsibility for Research and Enterprise. He previously served as Director of the University’s Institute of Sound and Vibration Research and as Director of the Roll-Royce University Technology Centre in Gas Turbine Noise. He holds the post of Professor of Acoustics and has personal research interests in the fields of acoustics, vibrations, signal processing, control systems and fluid dynamics.

Professor Nelson is a Chartered Engineer and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Institute of Acoustics, and the Acoustical Society of America. He is the recipient of both the Tyndall and Rayleigh Medals of the Institute of Acoustics, and served as President of the International Commission for Acoustics from 2004-2007. He also served as the Chair of the Sub-Panel for General Engineering in REF 2014. He is the author or co-author of 2 books, over 120 papers in refereed journals, 30 granted patents, and over 200 other technical publications.

Professor Nelson has had a long association with EPSRC, most recently serving as a member of the Council’s Strategic Advisory Network since 2010.

Dr Ruth McKernan CBE

CEO, Innovate UK

Dr Ruth McKernan CBE joined Innovate UK as Chief Executive in May 2015. Ruth has 25 years of research and commercial experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including heading up research units in the UK and the US. She is a member of the Ministry of Defence’s Innovation Advisory Panel and the Royal Society’s Science, Industry and Translation Committee. Ruth was also a Council Member for the Medical Research Council for five years. Ruth was awarded a CBE in 2013 for services to business, innovation and skills.

Ruth’s previous roles include Senior Vice President at Pfizer and Head of the Merck Neuroscience Research Centre. She is a published author and winner of the Glaxo/ABSW Science Writers’ Award. Ruth has published more than 120 scientific papers, 15 patents and a book for non-scientists, “Billy’s Halo”. Ruth graduated with a BSc in Pharmacology and Biochemistry and a PhD in Molecular Neuroscience from King’s College, London, and she held a Fulbright Scholarship. 

Laura Jones

Consulting Fellow, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

Laura graduated from the University of Surrey in 1996 after completing an Engineering Degree in Materials Technology. Her early career was spent in industry, working on diverse aspects such as the growth and characterisation of synthetic diamond, 3D medical ultrasound, the development of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), materials for new SONAR systems and active vibration and noise control. In 1999 she joined the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, an Agency of the UK Government, which was privatised and became QinetiQ in 2001. In 8.5 years with QinetiQ her main focus was on the development and application of smart and functional materials for both military and civil applications. After a brief interlude working for her Professional Institute she returned to work for the UK Government at the MoD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory in 2008. 

In her early work at Dstl she gained an MPhil from the University of Southampton for research into the high-strain rate properties of novel functional materials. Laura’s work at Dstl is focused on harnessing innovation in the supplier base for the benefit of the MoD and her technical remit includes both materials and manufacturing. She is a Principal Adviser for the Materials for Strategic Advantage Research Programme ; this is a tri-service programme with a value of ~ £12 million per year, undertaking the fundamental materials and structures research needed to ensure the future-proofing of defence equipment. Laura is a registered Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. She has held honorary positions at the Universities of Southampton and Birmingham, and has been a guest lecturer at Imperial College London.

Chris Warkup

​Chief Executive Officer, Knowledge Transfer Network

Chris Warkup is the CEO of Knowledge Transfer Network Ltd (KTN), that provides innovation networking for Innovate UK and other funders.

KTN exists to drive productivity and growth by connecting R&D active businesses, entrepreneurs, academics and funders to realise the potential of innovative new technologies, ideas and creativity.  Across all technologies and industries and across the whole of the UK, KTN matches needs and capabilities to find solutions to problems and markets for new ideas.

Chris is an animal scientist by background with a keen interest in genetics and genomics.  He has over 25 years’ experience in research and innovation, working in both the public sector and industry.  Prior to joining KTN in 2014 he was the CEO of the BioScience KTN, one of 14 merged at that time. Chris is the former Chairman of the Genomia Seed Fund, and a Trustee of the Roslin Foundation.

Stuart McDill

Chair of the Industry Panel discussion and freelance broadcaster and journalist

Stuart McDill is a freelance broadcaster and journalist with nearly thirty years experience working for Reuters and the BBC, amongst others. In the last ten years he has written and filmed science and environment stories from as far afield as ice shelves in Antarctica, the Philippines after storm Haiyan and the annual Arctic sea ice minimum story from within 500 miles of the North Pole. He has also worked as a solo video journalist reporting from Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. He helped set up the science and technology desk for Reuters Television, where he now freelances, on the lookout for innovation stories.

Phil Williams

Knowledge Transfer Manager, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Knowledge Transfer Network

Phil is Knowledge Transfer Manager, Robotics and Autonomous Systems and has a background as a project manager for both KTN and for HELIO (the Heliophysics Integrated Observatory) at UCL. He holds Master’s degrees in Intelligent Systems and Satellite Engineering.

Dr Ellen Pope

Graduate Analyst in Materials and Manufacturing, Innovate UK

Ellen joined Innovate UK in September 2017 shortly after completing my PhD in nanomaterials at the University of Bristol. She currently works in the materials and manufacturing sector within the advanced materials team and since joining Innovate UK has been focused on the portfolio analysis and management of the advanced materials team projects as well as supporting events such as MRE. Her main role at MRE will be the coordination of the cohort event, facilitating interactions between companies looking for future collaboration.

Professor Philip Withers FRS, FREng, FRAes, FIMMM

Chief Scientist, Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials

Professor Philip Withers FRS, FREng, FRAes, FIMMM has made a seminal contribution to our fundamental understanding of the performance of materials through his pioneering use of neutron, synchrotron X-ray and laboratory X-ray beams to provide new insights on behaviour, often inoperando under demanding conditions.  Further, through his leadership of the BP International Centre for Advanced Materials to his new role as Chief Scientist for the Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials, he has striven to deliver industrial impact as well as science and engineering excellence and recently became the UK’s first Regius Professor of Materials.

Philip Withers read Natural Sciences, and completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge in the 1980s, focusing on mental matrix composites. In 1989, he became a lecturer in Materials Science and Metallurgy at Cambridge, before being appointed to a Chair at The University of Manchester in 1998. In 2000, he set up a Unit for Stress and Damage Characterisation using diffraction and destructive methods to map residual stresses in engineering components and materials. In 2008, to complement this work he established the Henry Moseley X-ray Imaging Facility (HMXIF), which is now the most comprehensive suite of X-ray imaging systems in the UK.  In 2010, he was awarded the Royal Society Armourers & Brasiers’ Company Prize for his pioneering work on stress and damage characterisation using X-ray and neutron beams. In 2014 his facility was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in recognition of the impact, excellence and innovation in X-ray imaging conducted by his team. 

In September 2012, he became the founding Director of the $100m BP International Centre for Advanced Materials, in 2014 Director for the Centre for Doctoral Training Materials in Demanding Environments, in 2016 became the first Regius Professor of Materials in the UK and in 2017, the Chief Scientist for the £235m Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (2016), the Royal Academy of Engineering (2005), the Royal Aeronautical Society (2008) and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (2004).  Yet a core focus for Professor Withers remains the training and development of early career researchers, the next generation of scientists. 

As a passionate communicator of science, he has developed a number of tools for public engagement. In particular, he has presented at three Royal Society Summer Science Exhibitions and at the Queen’s 80th Birthday Science Day at Buckingham Palace. His work in this area has been recognised by the Royal Academy of Engineering/Nexia Solutions Education Innovation Prize (2007) and the Sir Colin Humphreys Education Award (2014) of the IOM3.

Andrew Hosty

CEO, Henry Royce Institute

Andrew Hosty is CEO of the Henry Royce Institute and previously worked for Morgan Advanced Materials Plc, where he was Chief Operating Officer.

A Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, Andrew has more than 25 years’ experience of the commercial sector with main board experience of FTSE 250, SmallCap and private businesses and has worked at all stages of business growth and economic cycles.

He was one of the key architects of the technology-led commercial strategy for Morgan Advanced Materials, and is tasked with ensuring Royce becomes a world leading centre for advanced materials research and commercialisation.

Andrew’s broad expertise in advanced materials spans strategy, research and operations for ceramic, alloy and composites businesses across aerospace, medical, electronic and petrochemical sectors.

He has been responsible for manufacturing facilities and successful high value contract negotiations in Europe, China, India and Latin America and has led a number of acquisitions and divestments.

Simon Edmonds

Director for Manufacturing and Materials, Innovate UK

Simon Edmonds is Director for Manufacturing and Materials at Innovate UK. Simon joined Innovate UK in 2013 as Director for the Catapult Programme. He was previously Director for Innovation at the UK Government’s then Department for Business Innovation and Skills where his role included sponsorship of the Technology Strategy Board (now Innovate UK) as well as other bodies within the UK innovation ecosystem such as the Design Council, Nesta, National Measurement System, BSI and UKAS. Through his Business Sectors focus within Government business and trade departments covering all industrial sectors, he has been responsible for many innovation and growth reviews and the manufacturing strategies published in 2004 and 2008. As Director for Innovation he worked closely with Hermann Hauser to deliver the review and subsequent Catapult funding by Ministers. He was previously Chief Executive and Divisional Managing Director of a number of SME businesses and had a 16-year career with Raychem Corporation. Simon graduated with a Business Degree from Aston University and has an MBA from Henley Management College. Simon is also a graduate of the Government’s Major Projects Leadership Academy.

Sue Dunkerton OBE

Director, Knowledge Transfer Network

Sue Dunkerton OBE, BSc, FIMMM, is Director at the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), responsible for priority themes within Materials, Chemistry and Industrial Biotechnology, Health and Agri-Food. KTN is the UK’s innovation network supporting the acceleration of innovation in UK businesses ultimately leading to UK wealth creation.

Sue has a degree in Metallurgy from UMIST, is a chartered engineer and had a long career in materials engineering before moving into knowledge transfer and innovation in the materials and life sciences sectors. She works closely with UK government and particularly Innovate UK to help represent business input to future technology and innovation strategy.

Sue spent much of her career at Research and Technology Organisation TWI, and whilst there initiated the Medical Devices Faraday Partnership which paved the way to a next phase in her career knowledge transfer and innovation networking.

Sue sits on the following: Governance Board for Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership, Advisory Boards for NIHR’s Mindtech and Devices for Dignity Medical Innovation Cooperatives, BBSRC Bioscience for Business Board and EPSRC’s MedTech Innovation and Knowledge Centre Board at Leeds University.

Tatiana Correira

Knowledge Transfer Manager, Nanotechnology, Knowledge Transfer Network

As Knowledge Transfer Manager for Nanotechnology for KTN, Tatiana supports innovation and knowledge transfer across the nanoscale manufacturing community; dealing with instrumentation adoption, the characterisation of advanced materials and surfaces, nano-based sensors and energy harvesting technologies, online quality control and compliance with underpinning regulatory regimes. Tatiana is the author of several scientific papers and co-editor of the book Electrocaloric Materials: New Generation of Coolers. She is also the co-inventor of a ceramic material for energy storage at high temperatures, a project in which she led a consortium of academic and industry partners in the development of a capacitive product from TRL1 to TRL 7.

Mark Summers

Head of Technology (Manufacturing, Materials, & Structures), Aerospace Technology Institute

Mark Summers, ATI’s Head of Technology, is responsible for the Institute’s manufacturing, materials and structures strategic research programme. Mark’s role is global – he undertakes a strategic advisory role representing the ATI and UK aerospace sector internationally.

Mark brings the benefits of his multi-sectoral and diverse career to this challenging role. A fourth generation engineer, Mark followed his apprenticeship in production engineering with roles in multiple industrial sectors in the UK and beyond, focusing on Factory of the Future technologies. His determination and enthusiasm to excel saw Mark simultaneously gain a degree in Manufacturing Systems, and he made the move into a more research-focused role when he joined Airbus as a Senior Research Engineer in 2003. Progressing to become Head of Manufacturing Research for Airbus in the UK, Mark joined the ATI in April 2015.

Alan Banks BEng (Hons), MSc, CEng FIET

Ford Motor Company Limited

Alan Banks is the commercial vehicle suspension supervisor and a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering Technology specialising in the design and release of commercial vehicle suspension systems. He has over 34 years of automotive experience working on a broad spectrum of Chassis systems at Ford Motor Company. He has a first class honours degree and an MSc from the University of Bradford.

Richard Gunn

Head of Advanced Materials and Peer Review, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Richard Gunn is Head of Advanced Materials and Peer Review at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Richard advises leading academic researchers, universities and companies. He works in partnership with research organisations, businesses, funders and government to develop and implement collaborative research, innovation and training initiatives. Richard’s role involves developing EPSRC’s research and training portfolio in advanced materials and he is project lead for the formation of the Henry Royce Institute. He is also responsible for developing EPSRC’s peer review policy and overseeing the expert assessment of research proposals according to EPSRC’s principles of peer review. Since joining EPSRC in 2012, Richard has managed research and training portfolios in computer science, materials engineering and quantum technologies. He has particular experience in supporting the development of emerging technologies and international funding programmes. As part of his involvement in the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme, Richard led on skills, innovation and international engagement initiatives, including establishing a UK-wide network of Training and Skills Hubs in Quantum Systems Engineering.

Prior to joining EPSRC, Richard worked for a leading firm of patent attorneys where he worked with inventors, start-ups, universities, SMEs and multinationals, on a variety of intellectual property issues.Richard has a Masters degree in chemistry from the University of Leeds, and a Masters degree and PhD in chemical biology from Imperial College London.

Professor Allan Matthews

Director, The BP International Centre for Advanced Materials

Allan Matthews is Professor of Surface Engineering and Tribology in the School of Materials and Director of the BP International Centre for Advanced Materials. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

He spent his early career in the UK Aerospace industry with Hawker Siddeley Dynamics then British Aerospace Dynamics group, before returning to academia and completing a PhD at Salford University in advanced plasma-based coating processes for the deposition of ceramic coatings for industrial applications.

He then moved to the University of Hull, where he was a member of a team which created a new Engineering Department there. He also created the Research Centre in Surface Engineering. After 21 years at Hull, he moved to the University of Sheffield, growing the Surface Engineering research there and also acting as Head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering 2007-2011.

He has published over 300 refereed papers as well as several books and book chapters. He has had a central role in many professional and learned societies, including the British Vacuum Council, the American Vacuum Society and the Society of Vacuum Coaters. He has received several awards, including the IoM3 Gold Medal in 2011. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Elsevier journal Surface and Coatings Technology.

Ben Griffin

Innovation Lead, Design Innovate UK

As Innovation Lead for Design at Innovate UK, Ben is responsible for the development of the organisation’s national design strategy and support programme. Ben has a background in industrial, UX and service design consultancy, and his interest lies in the application of human-centred design methodologies within companies to improve their innovation efficiency.

Email: ben.griffin@innovateuk.gov.uk

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/bengriffindesign

 

Duncan Fitzsimons

Director, 7TH Design & Invention

Duncan Fitzsimons is a product designer and engineer, and is the founder of 7TH Design & Invention, a multi award winning product design studio based in London. 7TH’s aim is to create new products and new interactions that go beyond the norm of everyday design.

Duncan’s product design work spans both home-grown invention and design consultancy work across a diverse range of industries. His work has ranged from children’s toys to surgical devices and is often for some of the worlds best known brands. He has been a product design judge for both the D&AD and James Dyson Awards. His work has won multiple Red Dot awards, featured in Designs of the Year under Product, Digital and Transport categories, and his invention of the world’s first foldable wheelchair wheel has won Transport Design of the Year at the Design Museum, Icon Magazine Product Design of the Year and also the Institution of Engineering Designers Alex Moulton Award for Innovation.

In addition to design consultancy, Duncan is also a director of Salar Surgical, winner of both MediWales and Medilink Startup of the Year awards. Duncan is a long-term collaborator with MRE18 partner Materials and Design Exchange (MaDE).

Dr Kalyan Sarma

National Contact Point and Global Innovation Lead, Innovate UK

Kalyan provides advice and support for UK organisations interested in applying into the European programme in Nanotechnologies and Advanced Materials. Prior to joining Innovate UK Kalyan worked for a Singaporean based technology Incubator and an Innovation Fund. His primary role was to evaluate a number of projects from technical, financial and business planning perspectives. He also worked closely with the senior management team to develop the company’s strategy; and help build a portfolio of 5 early stage companies in field of healthcare biotechnology. In this role Kalyan also worked extensively with a range of strategic investors from Singapore, the USA and China.

In 2012, Kalyan started his own company based on the technology he developed as part of his PhD research. During this time, he successfully oversaw the transfer this technology from Cambridge University’s lab to the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech). Kalyan has a bachelor’s degree in electrical & electronics engineering from the university of Madras, and a PhD in Biomaterials from the University of Cambridge. Outside of work, Kalyan also acts as an external guide to support two Cambridge University MPhil projects on investment and innovation related issues in nanotechnology. Kalyan enjoys hiking and reading historical books.

Robert Quarshie

Head of Materials, Knowledge Transfer Network

Robert leads all materials activities at KTN. He was a key member of the Materials Innovation and Growth Team (Mat IGT) that developed the UK Strategy for Materials; and previously worked as Senior Technology Advisor for BIS. A materials technologist and business school graduate, Robert has more than twenty years’ industry experience working in polymeric and metallic coatings for steel and aluminium, including senior management roles at Tata Steel. Robert also leads the Graphene and 2D Materials Special Interest Group.

Ben Walsh

Innovation Lead in Advanced Materials, Innovate UK

Ben is an Innovation Lead in Advanced Materials. He is responsible for developing and implementing the advanced materials technology strategy for UK wealth creation. A large part of his role is to work with other public bodies to secure further funding for the advanced materials community. He has been championing the Materials Research Exchange, leading on a large review of the materials landscape and working with the steel community to secure its future in the UK. He manages the Advanced Materials Leadership Council and is part of the team developing materials focused bids into the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Before working at Innovate, he has nine years’ experience as a consultant at the forefront of environmental policy development. He had a focus on in resource efficiency, policy, sustainable technology and innovation, where he advised government and industry on a wide range of issues including nanotechnology, macroeconomic industrial strategy, innovation strategy, remanufacturing and resource efficiency. He has a PhD in chemistry and hands on experience of innovation and commercialisation.

Jacqui Murray

Head of Advanced Materials, Innovate UK

Jacqui is currently the Interim Director of the Faraday Battery Challenge.  This is the £246 Million Industrial Strategy Challenge to get the UK to world class in Battery Technology and create a battery supply chain in the UK.  The innovation needed in batteries includes the most cutting edge nanomaterials, ceramics, metals, glass, polymers and functional materials and how to recycle, model and predict performance throughout the battery life cycles.  Previously Head of Advanced Materials, her background in Materials comes from working in automotive steel and her degrees in Materials Engineering and following her MBA, she moved into industrial environmental regulation policy at the Environment Agency and also Welsh Government.

David Gardner

Knowledge Transfer Manager - European Programmes, Knowledge Transfer Network

David is a Chartered Chemical Engineer with over 30 years experience in product and process development, and working with many types of technology and process equipment. David’s experience has included coordinating a number of European funded projects, and working with Government Departments as an expert in sustainable production and innovation.

Nick Cliffe

Innovation Lead, Manufacturing & Materials, Innovate UK

Nick is interim Head of Advanced Materials at Innovate UK, the team de-risks commercialisation of materials of the future on behalf of the UK Government.  This includes the most cutting-edge ceramics, metals, glass, polymers, nanomaterials and functional materials.

He has a particular focus on resource efficiency, circular economy and sustainability - embedding these themes across Innovate UK strategy and competitions, helping innovators consider the wider environmental and societal drivers of their markets and supporting UK businesses in exploring new manufacturing methods and business models.

Nick’s background in resource efficiency and circular economy was gained across 15 years in industry, he worked for Closed Loop Recycling, a large plastic bottle recycling business based in Dagenham, East London, where he managed various projects, including a project to create the first commercial plastic bottle made from recovered marine plastic waste. Nick also worked for a spin-off consultancy business, Closed Loop Environmental Solutions, managing projects such as launching a range of on-site food composting machines in the UK and a large waste auditing program for Heathrow Airport and various airlines to develop recycling options for both terminal and cabin waste.

Prior to Closed Loop he worked at: Green-Works, a Queen’s Award winning social enterprise that recycled large volumes of office furniture across multiple UK sites; the Forest Stewardship Council, a world-wide timber and forest product certification scheme; Storebrand Investments, a leading socially responsible investment fund manager.

Nick has a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Imperial College and a master’s degree in Oceanography from Southampton University. When not working he spends his time learning how to make things, especially from wood, and is an active member of the Makerspace community in London.

Peter B. Littlewood

Founding Executive Director, The Faraday Institution

Peter B. Littlewood is a Professor of Physics at the University of Chicago, and founding Executive Director of the The Faraday Institution in Oxford, UK. His research interests include the applications of materials for energy and sustainability, and he has advised on a number of major battery initiatives, including the DOE’s Joint Center for Energy Storage Research. He is former Emeritus Director of the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, former Head of the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, England and a member of the science advisory board of the recently formed Responsible Battery Coalition.

Founded in October 2017, The Faraday Institution is the UK’s independent, national institute for electrochemical energy storage science and technology, supporting research, training, and analysis. Bringing together expertise from universities and industry, The Faraday Institution endeavours to make the UK the go-to place for the research, development, manufacture and production of new electrical storage technologies for both the automotive and the wider relevant sectors. 

Dr. Littlewood began at Argonne in Chicago after being appointed associate laboratory director of the lab’s Physical Sciences and Engineering directorate, and served from 2014 to 2016 as Laboratory Director. Argonne is a multidisciplinary science and engineering research center born out of the Manhattan Project, working to answer the biggest questions facing humanity, from how to obtain affordable clean energy to protecting ourselves and our environment. He spent the previous 14 years at the University of Cambridge, where he last served as the head of the Cavendish Laboratory and the Department of Physics.  He began his career with almost 20 years at Bell Laboratories, ultimately serving for five years as head of Theoretical Physics Research.

Dr. Littlewood holds six patents, has published more than 250 articles in scientific journals and has given more than 300 invited talks at international conferences, universities and laboratories. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of London, the Institute of Physics, the American Physical Society, and TWAS (The World Academy of Sciences). He serves on advisory boards of research and education institutions and other scientific organizations worldwide.  He holds a bachelor's degree in natural sciences (physics) and a doctorate in physics, both from the University of Cambridge.

Kevin Lindsey

Managing Director of Far Composites, (part of Far UK Ltd.)

Kevin Lindsey has a 1st class BSc. (Hons) degree in Materials Science from Brunel University and a PhD in Composites Technology from the University of Nottingham.  

After completing his doctorate, Kevin went into vehicle innovation, working at Land Rover, Aston Martin, Lotus Cars, and then Gibbs Aquada where he headed up the development of an innovative new, road registered passenger vehicle, taking it from concept to production.

More recently, Kevin was Technical Director of Northamptonshire based Axon Automotive Ltd., where he led the development of five lightweight composite chassis based concept electric cars and OEM technology demonstrators.

He is currently Managing Director of Far Composites, (part of Far UK Ltd.), located in Nottingham, which designs and develops lightweight automotive structural solutions in advanced materials.  

Dr Bryan Allcock

CEO Group, TRL9 Limited

Institution FIMMM – Fellow Institute of Materials Minerals & Mining.

Institution Cranfield University, PhD Corrosion Engineering 1993

Institution Dorset Business School MBA (Strategic Marketing & Finance) 1999

Institution Portsmouth University, BSC(Hons) Applied Chemistry 1990

After an extensive career in Aerospace manufacturing, Bryan acquired Monitor Coatings Limited expanding the business into the Middle East, South East Asia, China and Canada. The company was sold to the Messer Group in 2013 with 56 facilities operating on a global platform. In 2016 Bryan joined TRL9 Limited as a consultant continuing to support the HMS Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers build program while focusing on Digital Manufacturing combined with emerging and enabling technologies. Bryan has published a number of technical and strategy papers and has a number of patents to his name.

Kevin Bygate

Chief Executive Officer, SPECIFIC

Kevin Bygate has been instrumental in driving the vision of ‘Buildings as Power
Stations’ and is passionate about nucleating this activity out of Wales to deliver
maximum economic and environmental benefits, for “UK PLC”.

He has held a number of senior line positions throughout Tata (formerly British
Steel), including General Manager within the Colors business & various operations
and engineering roles throughout the company. He is currently the CEO of SPECIFIC
Innovation and Knowledge Centre, a collaboration between UK leading academic
institutions and world renowned industrial partners.

Kevin’s work is mainly centred on how technology can contribute towards delivering
sustainable development, especially in the built environment. The centre is
developing functional coated steel and glass products to give buildings’ surfaces the
ability to generate, store and release energy. Kevin is a Chartered Engineer, a fellow
of the Institute of Materials and is on the board of the Scientific Advisory Council for
Wales where he advises on the role of innovation towards economic growth; and he
also sits on the Energy & Environment Sector Panel.

Prof Leela Biant

Academic Head of Dept Trauma & Orthopaedics University of Manchester, Honorary Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Manchester University Foundation Trust, Honorary Professor, Salford University

Leela trained in London, with fellowships in Sydney and London. She spent 8 years as Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon in Edinburgh before moving to Manchester in 2016 as Head of Department.

Her thesis was on Articular Cartilage Injury and Repair in the Young Adult Knee. She was an ABC Fellow in 2010, and has won multiple awards for research. She has been peer-selected as one of the global top 15 cartilage repair surgeons to attend summits on advancing the science and surgery of cartilage repair, is an elected International Cartilage Repair Society Senior Fellow, founded the ICRS Global non-arthroplasty patient registry and is a Lifetime Honorary Fellow of the Biological Knee Society.

Her clinical and research interests are in the innovative field of cartilage biological regenerative surgery, design and clinical trials of novel implants,  optimising the outcome of implanted devices and joint replacement surgery.  

She currently serves as British Association for Surgery of the Knee Treasurer, ICRS Board and Chair of the Registry Committee, and on the British Orthopaedic Association Research Committee. Leela has been a clinician advisor to NICE on several device and technique appraisals. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles, and has authored many books including the latest edition of Grays Anatomy.

Dr Andre Prette

Technical Manager, Flash Sintering Technology, Lucideon

Andre was awarded his BSc in Materials Science and Engineering (with Honours) from Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), Brazil, where he began his love of the world of ceramics, which culminated with his PhD from University of Trento, Italy, on “Sintering of Co2MnO4 spinel for protective coatings in SOFC”. Andre completed his BSc in 2005 and continued at UFSC to earn his Master’s Degree.  He spent a year at the University of Erlangen, Germany, as part of his master’s course, which he finished in 2007 with the thesis “Development of ceramic glazes for application on high performance electrical insulators”.  He then went on to earn his PhD from University of Trento on “Sintering of Co2MnO4 spinel for protective coatings in SOFC”.  As part of his PhD he spent almost a year at University of Colorado at Boulder (USA) working with flash sintering with Professor Rishi Raj.

After his PhD, Andre moved to Germany again, to Bayreuth, where he worked as a Post-doc for the University of Bayreuth at the Institute of Ceramic Materials.  The main research topic was applications of Polymer-Derived-Ceramics (PDC) as protective/functional coatings. Andre is the author/co-author of several papers including two patents and a book.

At Lucideon Andre is Technical Manager of the Flash Sintering (FS) group developing a novel sintering technology for industrial applications, offering reduced energy usage, CO2 emissions and time to sinter.  He focuses on delivering FS projects, developing new technology concepts and researching innovative materials solutions for industry.

Nigel Walker

Head of Innovation Lending, Innovate UK

Nigel is developing new innovation lending products at Innovate UK as it evolves its funding models.  Prior to this role, he headed the organisation’s support for innovative SMEs in gaining access to private sector capital to accelerate the journey from concept to commercialisation.

Nigel has a background in the financial services industry, having spent over 10 years at each of Deutsche Bank and GE Capital.  At GE, he established the European ‘Access GE’ programme, advising, coaching and mentoring management teams of businesses owned by private equity firms on operational excellence, acquisition integration, strategy development and leadership.

Lynne McGregor

Innovation Lead in the Manufacturing and Materials sector, Innovate UK

Lynne McGregor is an Innovation Lead in the Manufacturing and Materials sector at Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency. Lynne has been with Innovate UK for over 5 years supporting high value manufacturing with a focus on the use of digital tools and approaches in manufacturing, and helping UK manufacturing companies access funding.

Prior to this, Lynne spent 8 years at Imperial Innovations, providing incubation services for start-up companies, leading seed investment rounds, and serving on spin-out company boards, where she has also helped troubleshoot early stage challenges in these companies. Lynne’s background is in chemical engineering, with a degree from the University of Waterloo, Canada, and an MBA from London Business School.


Deborah Creamer

Director, Optimat Ltd

Deborah is a Director at Optimat, one of Europe’s leading niche strategy consultancies.  Deborah has almost 20  years’ consultancy experience following a career in materials R&D where she focused on high performance metallic materials, polymers and composites with applications in the process industries, and new product development.  She has a BSc (Honours) in Metallurgy and Materials Engineering and an MBA.  In her current role at Optimat she specialises in strategic industrial analysis, focusing on high technology sectors and applications, and developing a robust evidence base to support strategic and economic development and policy making.  She works with clients in both the public and private sector, across the UK and Europe.

Edward Owen

Director, R and D Tax Specialists Ltd

Edward co-founded R and D Tax Specialists Ltd in 2009, a specialist consultancy assisting innovative UK businesses companies claim their full entitlement to R&D Tax Credits for their qualifying development work.

He is responsible for managing a team of scientists and engineers who work with a broad range of companies in the technology, engineering and software sectors and has a proven track record in securing valuable tax refunds for companies engaged in technical and scientific innovation. 

Following initial management training with Rolls-Royce Motors, Edward completed a Master’s degree in Marketing at Lancaster University Business School. He moved into financial services with GUS and Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance where he became Marketing Director. He also has extensive consultancy experience working with a broad range of SME companies.

Deirdre C. Fox

Director, Strategic Business Development, Tata Steel

As Director, Strategic Business Development for Tata Steel in Europe Deirdre works across all market sectors and with government and stakeholders to develop long term commercially based strategic partnerships and approaches.

Deirdre has held a number of senior positions with Tata Steel and its predecessors based in the UK and overseas including Head of its Energy and Power business and MD of its international division.

Deirdre sits on a number of industry and sector boards including the Steel Council and Metals Council where she chairs the supply chain group for both: she is also a member of the Offshore Wind Programme Board. These positions enable her to actively and positively promote the importance of the steel industry to the wider UK economy and to promote steel as an innovative and critical part of many UK supply chains including automotive, construction, packaging, energy and others.

Most recently Deirdre has been instrumental in delivering a UK Steel Sector Deal proposal to government as part of the overall UK Industrial Strategy.

Sally Beken

Knowledge Transfer Manager – Polymers, Innovate UK

Sally is on secondment to Innovate UK until April 2018. Sally holds a degree in chemistry and a doctorate in polymer technology. She has nearly 30 years’ experience of R&D and manufacture and has been networking in the UK and EU polymer sector for over 20 years. Her specialist technical knowledge is of elastomers and the medical industry, but can be contacted regarding any polymer-related enquiry. Her personal contacts in the polymer and related sectors are in excess of 2,000, and she has experience of running events and building collaborations to access public funding for both companies and academia.

Craig Brownlie

Senior Associate Patent Attorney, Potter Clarkson

Craig has a BSc (first class) in chemical physics from the University of Glasgow and a PhD in solid state physics also from the University of Glasgow. European Patent Attorney, Chartered (UK) Patent Attorney.

 Craig advises clients on patent matters in the fields of physics, electronics, computing, mechanical engineering and materials science. He has considerable experience of drafting patent specifications for inventions in the nanotechnology sector, including electrical storage cells, graphene applications, environmental sensors, user interfaces and deformable electronics. During his PhD, Craig was awarded the JK Hunter Memorial Prize and the Thomson Experimental Prize for his research.

Byron Tucker

R&D Manager, Swansea Technology Centre, Tata Steel Europe

Now leading the new Tata Steel Technology Centre at Swansea University, Byron Tucker has 25 years’ experience in the steel industry.  Coatings have been an important topic throughout this time.  Metallic coatings for differentiated product development in the automotive sector and organic coating systems for a market leading building envelope product portfolio for instance.

Coatings and coating processes will remain an important focus for the steel industry and the many supply chains that this important foundation industry serves.  From the rolls which influence the surface texture of the products we produce to legislation driving improvements in the sustainability of the coating systems we use, the industry needs to work with academia to drive product development, process improvement and develop the future generations of steel technologists.

Su Varma

Incubation Portfolio Manager, NSG Global R&D

Su holds a BSc in Chemistry/ Physics; MSc (Organic Chem) and a PhD in Heterocyclic Chemistry. He is a Chartered Chemist  and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He is currently the Incubation Portfolio Manager at NSG Global R&D.  In this role, Su is charged with identifying & evaluating relevant new/ novel technologies and value adding opportunities for NSG glass products/ processes. Developing collaborative projects with external sources of technology including Open Innovation relationships with a wide variety of global companies/ universities. Managing a portfolio of internal technology and product incubation projects.

Katerina Busuttil

Standards Publishing Manager, Manufacturing Sector, BSI DPhil Inorganic Chemistry

Katerina has been working at The British Standards Institution (BSI) since 2015, supporting key aspects of the manufacturing sector.

One of her main areas of interest is standardization of materials, including not only the key established areas of steel and polymers, but also innovative advanced materials, such as composites and graphene.

Katerina chaired the first joint UK-China working group meeting on graphene held at BSI in June 2017 and has since been working closely with her team in setting up the UK side of the graphene joint working group and identifying the barriers to graphene commercialisation.

Lien Ngo

Innovation Lead for Advanced Materials, Innovate UK

Lien is responsible for helping businesses exploit completely novel substances, such as two-dimensional materials and nanomaterials, as well existing materials, such as high-performing composites and light metal alloys. She also work closely with the Emerging and Enabling Technologies team and with Research Councils UK.

Professor Simon Donell

Honorary Professor, Norwich Medical School

Professor Simon Donell is an honorary Professor in the Norwich Medical School. He has retired from clinical practice as an orthopaedic surgeon, with a specialist interest in knees. He has been President of the British Association for Surgery of the Knee (BASK) and a Trustee of the British Orthopaedic Association. He currently is involved in clinical trials committees, both Trial Steering and Data Monitoring and Ethics, including chairing some.

Jonathan Mitchener

Innovation Lead, Emerging Technologies

Jonathan joined Innovate UK (then Technology Strategy Board) in August 2011 as Lead Technologist for Information and Communications Technology (ICT), where he drove investment and innovation amongst UK companies.  A first class honours graduate in Computer Science from the University of Hertfordshire in 1988, he undertook a wide range of roles in more than twenty years with BT including research, systems deployment, and technology and management consultancy, before becoming their futurologist.  Subsequently he ran his own independent futures consultancy business helping clients across all sectors understand the impacts of future disruptive change on their organisations.   He has travelled extensively to speak to, inspire and provoke a range of audiences on technology topics, and has also written for many journals and magazines and appeared on radio and television.   He uses his wide experience to help advise organisations with successful innovation, and currently formulates UK strategy for Emerging Technologies at Innovate UK. Over the last 18 months he has pioneered the new and exciting Analysis for Innovators (A4I) programme.

Paul Gallen

Automotive Sector Manager, National Composites Centre

Paul Gallen is the NCC’s lead for the Automotive market within our Strategy and Business Development Team.  He has over 20 years management level leadership of industrialising new technologies, facilitating technology transfer and supporting advanced manufacturing in the UK.

He is currently working with industry leadership groups developing sector roadmaps and future programmes for UK automotive lightweighting, as deputy chair of the Automotive Composite Group. This involves working with OEMS and Tier 1s to define requirements and future capabilities.

He has supported many successful collaborative bids into UK and EU grant funded programmes, securing over £35M of funding to industry, as well as leading joint development projects with UK, European and American Universities.
Paul brings extensive experience of facilitating new product development as well as leading industrial scale rollouts of new and improved manufacturing technologies, including thermoplastic composites.

Paul’s recent projects include setting up of pilot plants for high volume manufacture of composite components and development of new IPR through collaborative R&D.

Sinead Balgobin

Portfolio Manager, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Sinead Balgobin is the Portfolio Manager for the Materials Engineering portfolios at the Engineering and Physical Sciences research council. This consists of various responsibilities, including developing strategy for the areas, building relationships with industries and universities, and managing and facilitating the decision making process to ensure EPSRC is funding research of the highest quality. She completed both her MChem and PhD in Chemistry at the University of Manchester, finishing the latter in 2015, and began working for the Research Councils in 2016.

Tonino Amorelli

Campaign Manager, QinetiQ

Tonino is responsible for establishing and managing commercial relationships linked to QinetiQ’s R&D portfolio. He has spent most of the last 25 years leading on research, development and exploitation initiatives across a number of sectors. He has spent time at both the European Commission and Innovate UK defining future R&D investment strategies. His current role is directed at growing QinetiQ’s product and services portfolio delivering to a range of industry sectors.

Adrian Davis-Johnston

Head of Research, Development and Innovation - Nuvia Consulting

Adrian has over 13 years’ experience in the nuclear industry and has recently been appointed Head of Research, Development and Innovation at Nuvia. Prior to this, Adrian led the Innovus technology commercialisation programme which identified and delivered £7.5M of private sector led innovation projects in Cumbria-based SMEs, creating over 80 jobs and leveraging £4.5M of private sector investment.

Adrian has worked in the research and development arena in a variety of roles including Business Process Improvement, Commercial and Sales, Project Management and External Engagement predominately for nuclear industry clients. A member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and the Nuclear Institute, Adrian has a degree in Mathematics from The University of Durham and a postgraduate certificate in Nuclear Technology Management at The University of Manchester.

Andrew Bell

Professor of Electronic Materials, University of Leeds

Andrew Bell is Professor of Electronic Materials at the University of Leeds in the School of Chemical and Process Engineering (since March 2000). Previously he spent 15 years in industrial research positions, with the Plessey Company, Cookson Group and Oxley Developments. He was also a Senior Scientist in the Ceramics Laboratory of EPFL, Switzerland (1991 to 95). He has worked and published on a wide range of topics in ferroelectric and dielectric materials. His approach has encompassed basic science, materials processing, structural and electrical characterization and device physics, spanning the fields of pyroelectric materials and devices, microwave dielectrics and piezoelectrics. Whilst primarily an experimentalist, he has applied thermodynamic models to aid understanding of key systems, including BaTi3, PZT and relaxors.

In 2011 he founded Ionix Advanced Technologies Ltd to exploit new high temperature piezoelectric compounds emerging from his research group. The company now employees a staff of 16 in the development and manufacture of high temperature ultrasound transducers based on these materials.

Andrew is Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and a Senior Member of IEEE. He received the IEEE’s Ferroelectrics Recognition Award in 2012 and in 2014 was awarded the Verulam Medal of the Institute of Materials, of which he is also a Fellow. He currently holds a 5 year Established Career Fellowship from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, which allows him to focus on research topics related to ferroelectrics, including additive manufacturing processes coupled to new piezoelectric materials, including lead-free ceramics, single crystals and composites with an underpinning interest in how cation disorder influences functional properties.

Mark Gaddes

UK/European R&D, Network Rail

Mark has been with Network Rail for 3 years where he facilitates connections to external funding sources to support the development of solutions to meets the businesses challenges.  Previously Mark had worked with various consultancies performing a similar role.

Richard Trask

Professor of Advanced Materials, University of Bath

Professor Richard Trask has a Chair in Advanced Materials at the University of Bath and is an EPSRC Early Career Fellow. His research is directed towards the development of the next generation of multifunctional composite materials for 4D Printing, where the material is programmed to grow and transform during additive manufacturing with the goal of creating a manufacturing approach which resembles biological growth. He is currently the Head of the Advanced Design and Manufacturing Group in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Bath, on the American Institute of Aueronautics & Astronautics' (AIAA) Adaptive Structures and Technical Committee and the Steering Committee for the International Conference of Self-Healing Materials. He is the founding Editor of the journal of Multifunctional Materials (Institute of Physics) and also serves as a Board Member on the journal of Smart Materials and Structures (Institute of Physics).

Billy Beggs

Engineering Innovation Manager, University of Central Lancashire

Billy joined UCLan in October 2011 from BAE Systems.  His role at UCLan is as the Engineering Innovation Manager, developing UK technology research into practical applications through working with SMEs and primes. The technology Billy is presently working on is the application of graphene research into the aerospace and automobile industries. His team successfully flew the world’s first graphene winged aircraft at Farnborough International Air Show in 2016.

During his 38 year career with BAE Systems Billy worked on development of Tornado, progressing onto Jaguar, EAP (Experimental Aircraft Programme), Eurofighter and Typhoon development programmes from initial concept to flight and was Concept Demonstrations Manager for 16 years. He was involved in the development of carbon fibre manufacturing assembly technology and flight development and In 2002 established the UAV business at BAE Systems, successfully flying a number of fully autonomous vehicles. He then transferred this knowledge to the Talisman UUV and underwater systems. 

Billy takes projects from initial concept to flight or demonstration; this can involve innovation or common sense. 

He is a panel member of the North of England NATEP board and a member of the Lancashire Growth Funding Panel. He also has various advisory roles within the aerospace and defence industry.

Dr Rob Deffley

Research & Development Manager, LPW Technology Ltd

Dr Rob Deffley has a Master’s degree in Materials Science & Engineering, and a PhD in Additive Manufacturing (AM) of nickel alloys, both gained at The University of Sheffield. 

Rob joined LPW in 2010 as Knowledge Transfer Partnership Associate, linking the AM research he was undertaking at Sheffield with practical implementation in manufacturing and engineering environments.  Rob’s initial work in powder manufacturing has involved extensive powder testing, alloy optimisation and powder specification development. Rob has a wealth of experience with both Laser/electron-beam Powder Bed Fusion and Directed Energy Deposition AM processes. 

Now LPW’s Research & Development Manager, Rob has worked closely with LPW’s expanding, international commercial team to offer technical support and manages a broad portfolio of AM metal powder projects across the UK and Europe.

Rachel Williams

Professor of Ophthalmic Bioengineering, University of Liverpool

Rachel Williams is a professor of ophthalmic bioengineering with over 20 years of experience in the design and development of advanced materials for medical applications. Her expertise lies particularly in the design and characterisation of the bulk and surface properties of materials and how to modify them to optimise the properties for a specific application. She is leading research on strategies to develop innovative ways to modify materials and their surfaces to treat sight threatening conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), retinal detachment and surface ocular disorders. She currently hold a Fellowship from the EPSRC on Building Advanced Materials to Treat Vision Loss under the Engineering Fellowships for Growth scheme and received a Recognising Inspirational Scientists and Engineers (RISE) award in 2014. 

Professor Kaspar Althoefer

Director, Advanced Robotics, Queen Mary (ARQ)

Professor Althoefer is an experienced roboticist leading competitively-funded research on soft robotics, intelligent micro-sensing systems and interaction dynamics modelling with applications in minimally invasive surgery, assistive technologies and human-robot interaction at Queen Mary University of London, acquired more than £5.5M as PI from national/international funding bodies and successfully completed 21 PhD projects.

Professor Althoefer’s research team currently comprising of 10 postdoctoral research associates and PhD students is involved in funded collaborative research with leading London hospitals and European research organisations creating novel robot-assisted solutions for ergonomically-optimised human-robot interaction, intelligent manipulation based on embedded force and tactile sensing and novel stiffness-controllable robot structures. Over the last decade, the team has built a large portfolio of projects in application-oriented research for the healthcare and manufacturing sectors with funding from organisations such as EPSRC, European Commission (including coordination of two EU-projects), Wellcome Trust and UK-based charities, exceeding £30M and producing more than 250 peer-reviewed papers.

Mark Bowering

Chief Technologist, National Composites Centre

Mark is Chief Technologist of the National Composites Centre in Bristol. He has extensive experience in defining and leading composites and technology development and after spending a few years as Head of Engineering at the NCC he now has responsibility as Engineering Architect for major Aerospace and multi-sector programmes. He is experienced in realising multi-disciplined engineering concepts and developing composite manufacturing methods, including HPRTM, automated deposition, preforming, large scale resin infusion, RTM, prepregging and thermoplastic composites processing. He has been involved in composite technology and capability development for nearly twenty years and has held a number of senior engineering positions including Head of Engineering, Manufacturing Capability Manager and Transnational Manufacturing Leader in large commercial and research organisations. Mark is a Board member of the AGP Manufacturing Working Group and the Aerospace Strategic Sector Team. In recent years, he has led several multi-million pound research programmes involving the engineering development and manufacturing of full scale aerospace composite demonstrators; adopting and developing engineering techniques, advanced materials and manufacturing methods.

Professor Tim Ashley

Director of Graduate Studies, School of Engineering, University of Warwick

Prof. Tim Ashley is in the School of Engineering at Warwick, where he currently holds an EPSRC “Engineering Fellowship for Growth”. He is a winner of the IoP Paterson Medal and has ~150 publications, with WoS h-index of 24, and 20 patents. He is a former QinetiQ Senior Fellow, where he led a large team researching a range of compound semiconductor devices, including collaborations on InSb-based transistors for future computing and on InSb and MCT IR sources and detectors for sensing and thermal imaging. 

Monica Craciun

Professor in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, University of Exeter

Monica Craciun is Professor in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the University of Exeter, which she joined in 2010 as Research Fellow. She was appointed to Senior Lecturer in 2012, to Associate Professor in 2014 and to her current role in 2017. Prof Craciun currently holds one of the 5-year EPSRC Engineering Fellowships for Growth (£1.45m) awarded to leading UK academics in the area of Advanced Materials and was investigator on more than 30 funded research projects. Prior to joining Exeter she held a very prestigious fellowship of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (2007-2009, at the University of Tokyo), she was postdoctoral researcher (2006-2007, at the University of Twente, The Netherlands), and gained a PhD in Applied Physics (2006, from Technical University Delft, The Netherlands). 

Her academic work spans from applied research in nanotechnology, electronic and optoelectronic devices to fundamental research in nanoscience (quantum phenomena, molecular electronics, nano electronics, spintronics) and materials science. She currently leads a group hosting over 35 researchers including one Royal Academy of Engineering Research fellowship, one Royal Academy of Engineering Entrepreneurial fellowship and two EU Marie Curie fellowships. Her current research focuses on two dimensional materials (i.e. graphene, functionalised graphene, dichalcogenides), as well as their use in emerging technologies such as highly efficient solar cells, light emitting devices, electronic textiles and multifunctional smart coatings. 

The research outputs of her group are of the highest calibre, with over 200 publications in leading international journals (e.g. Nature & Science family journals, Advanced Materials, Nano Letters, ACS Nano) and several papers ranked in the top 1% in Materials Science & Engineering and Physics. Her most notable contributions include the discovery that trilayer graphene is the only gate-tuneable semimetal [Nature Nanotech. 2009]; the discovery of GraphExeter (i.e. few-layer graphene intercalated with FeCl3), the best carbon-based transparent conductor [Adv. Mater. 2012]; a novel growth method for graphene [Adv. Mater. 2015]; the design of fast, highly efficient two dimensional opto-electronics [Adv. Mater. (2017)]; GraphExeter devices for high-definition sensing and video technologies [Science Advances (2017)]. 

James Currer

Lead Specialist – Insights, Innovate UK

James is the Lead Specialist for Insights at Innovate UK. He is responsible for generating evidence to support, among other things, the development of new funding opportunities. The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is the largest of these and the call for challenges under Wave 3 is a key priority for UK Research and Innovation.

Dr Sara Robertson

Tutor (Research) for Smart Textiles, Royal College of Art

Dr Sara Robertson is Tutor (Research) for Smart Textiles at the Royal College of Art and is starting a new business venture with collaborator  Sarah Taylor, Senior Research Fellow at Edinburgh Napier University.  They work together as Sara + Sarah - Smart Textile Design, design practitioners working in the area of smart textiles - they are a collaborative partnership which bring an interdisciplinary skills base and responsive textile expertise together. Sara and Sarah worked on an international award winning research project, ‘Digital Lace’, (ICWC 2014) a re-interpretation of heritage lace as a digitally controlled responsive textile and, in collaboration with MYB Textiles, developing the capacity for commercial manufacture of light-emitting textiles within a heritage mill.