Mike set up Cultivate in 2017 to provide on-going support for organisations and individuals in industry, academia and the public sector who are delivering innovative, low carbon energy solutions.
Prior to this he worked as Partnership Manager for the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), an organisation that brings together engineering projects to accelerate innovation and help the UK meet its long-term energy objectives. He still delivers this role on a part-time basis, ensuring that the ETI creates value for its funders (both public and private) and the wider community of industry, public sector and academic players involved in energy in the UK. This is about informing policy, supporting companies developing the solutions, and building investor and industry confidence in new approaches to energy.
Mike is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer with over 20 years’ experience in the energy sector. Before joining the ETI, he spent 15 years with E.ON, first as a Combustion Engineer and subsequently as a member of E.ON’s R&D Management Team.
BSc in Chemistry and Biochemistry, and a member of the Chartered Institute of Waste Management. Career to date comprises over 25 years in both private and public sector organizations, covering a range of environmental activities from chemical process operation to regulation and policy development. Significant experience in policy development and implementation of new regulatory regimes whilst working as a policy manager in the Environment Agency. This included working with UK Government and supporting countries new to the EU to implement environmental legislation. Over 9 years within the policy department of Environment Agency Wales, covering policy development across the full range of agency responsibilities, including as Head of Strategy Unit Wales, from January 2006 to March 2013. Since April 2013, as Director of Evidence, Policy and Permitting for Natural Resources Wales. Working with a wide range of stakeholders including Welsh Government, local authorities, industry and business. Natural Resources Wales' purpose is to pursue sustainable management of natural resources in all of its work. This means looking after air, land, water, wildlife, plants and soil to improve Wales' well-being, and provide a better future for everyone.
John joined ITM Power in January 2012 from RWE npower where he was CIO for the UK generation business. John has 20 years’ utility experience in various roles including, R&D, supply chain development and management, international business development and engineering consultancy. John has a background in energy storage and was part of Regenesys Technologies, a company formed by National Power plc which developed a utility scale energy storage technology based on redox flow batteries. John leads ITM’s activities in the field of power-to-gas and worked with National Grid Gas Distribution and Northern Gas Networks to secure funding for the HyDeploy project, the UK’s first power-to-gas demonstration. From 2002 to 2008 John was an independent assessor for the UK DTI New & Renewable Energy Programme and is a Freeman of the City of London.
Paul Beasley is Head of the Siemens R&D Department in the UK with the responsibility for managing and developing the local research network. Here Paul coordinates research and innovation activities across Siemens Divisions, CT and partners through the respective Engineering and Innovation Manager networks. These activities include supporting the development of technology roadmaps, strategic university and institute partnerships, customer collaborations and research opportunities. He also promotes awareness across Siemens of UK research network capabilities and is responsible for managing the Siemens AG university initiatives in the UK. Following 9 years with Siemens Healthcare, where he was awarded Senior Principal Innovator status, Paul joined Siemens Technology and Concepts Group in 2008, spending 6 years as Head of Strategic Development, for, with a responsibility for identifying new technologies and concepts for Siemens AG’s future portfolio, developing relationships with key universities and organisations in the UK and USA in support of these developments. Prior to working for Siemens Dr Beasley had worked for The Welding Institute and Oxford Instruments.
Ben Burggraaf received his MSc in Mechanical Engineering from Twente University in 2003 and became a Charter Engineer with the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in 2008. He worked at Corus/Tata Steel for 12 years. Initially working at the research & development department facility in the Netherlands, analysing furnaces and other combustion plant with Computation Fluid Dynamics. After moving to Wales a year earlier, he was appointed as the Energy Optimisation Manager at the Port Talbot Steelworks. His team was tasked to significantly reduce the electricity & natural gas costs of the South Wales steel plants. Alongside this role, he joined the World Steel Energy benchmarking working group in 2011 that published a report (“Energy use in the Steel industry”) and an online benchmarking & monitoring tool. Since 2014 he’s the energy operations manager for Welsh Water, responsible for managing the day-to-day energy costs of the 4,000+ sites across Wales & Herefordshire.
Steve has been involved in the energy sector since 1992 and has nearly 30 years’ experience. Steven led the first “RIIO” business plan submission for Wales & West Utilities resulting in an agreed settlement with Ofgem for the next 8 years. As a previous chair and member of the ENA Gas Futures Group, Steve has helped shape a number of contributions to UK energy policy. In 2011 Steve gave evidence on behalf of Energy Networks Association to the Energy Select Committee on the future role for gas in the UK. Energy is also a key issue for the devolved nations and Steven is a past member of the Welsh Government Energy and Advisory Panel. Steven is a Fellow of the Institute of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM) and was President of IGEM 2018/19. Steve is currently the Commercial Director at Milford Haven Port Authority and is an Executive Member of the UK Parliamentary Group for Energy Studies (PGES).
Energy Adviser to the Welsh Government Ron is a very experienced member of the senior civil service with a strong technology background who has worked extensively over the last 35 years at the industry/government interface on technology, innovation, enterprise and energy related matters. Following tenure as Director Sustainable Energy and Industry in the earlier Welsh Assembly Government, he was appointed 6 years ago as the Energy Adviser to the Welsh Government- with a mix of path-finding, advisory and ambassadorial roles associated with helping to deliver ambitious clean and smart energy objectives for Wales on a joined-up government basis. Currently Ron is exploring with a wide range of stakeholders as to how innovation in: energy and digital technologies, buildings, markets, government activities and planning/regulation-can, if well integrated, help create a secure, low-carbon, low-cost energy system for Wales, the UK and wider afield. This is likely to involve a coherent whole energy-systems approach, with interalia more effective consumer engagement, the smarter local generation of electricity and heat, stronger indigenous supply chains and the much smarter and efficient use and distribution of electricity for power, heat and transport purposes. Prior to this work, and following a much earlier research, regulation and microelectronics industry-sponsorship career , Ron was the chief technology officer responsible for advising the Welsh Assembly Government on energy, steel, telecommunications and more general sustainable business-development policies and the head of the innovation and technology arm (WINtech) in the Welsh Development Agency Ron now has a 5 year appointment as an honorary professor at the College of Engineering, Swansea University. He is a Fellow of the UK’s Institute of Physics who participates in the work of many UK and Wales energy and innovation fora and is privileged to have an international dimension to his work- having visited China, Japan, USA, Australia, Middle-east and Europe to gain a global view of low carbon energy work. He is also a visiting-scientist at the world-class CSIRO solar-energy R&D centre in Newcastle in Australia.
James received MSc (Distinction) in Electrical Power from Newcastle University (2000), and PhD from Northumbria University in 2004. He is an elected IET Fellow and member of ITL(2002).
James joined the UK electricity transmission/distribution industry after he finished his study from Newcastle upon Tyne. He has taken various technical, commercial and management roles in the industry and is currently Future Networks Manager at SP Energy Networks. James is leading the team to ensure the high standards in innovation project delivery at national and European level and to realise tangible benefits for consumers. Future Networks team at Scottishpower is taking the leading role and has been recognised across the UK utilities sector.
James has vast interests in digital technology, multi vector energy system and their applications in facilitating a low carbon electricity network. James has also strong commitment in the engineering higher education in the UK. He is a PhD supervisor and visiting professor at various institutes, including University of Newcastle upon Tyne and the University of Manchester. James published over 30 academic papers covering electricity market, transmission network control, wind turbine control and engineering education.
Roger has worked in the energy industry for over 20 years. Originally joining East Midlands Electricity, industry changes have led to positions in Powergen, E.ON and now Western Power Distribution, part of the NYSE listed PPL group.
He initially trained as an operational engineer delivering networks construction and maintenance activities. Roger subsequently gained experience in Control Room and Telecommunications parts of a DNO business. More recently he spent several years managing the IT functions.
In 2008 Roger was asked to bring together his varied experience and establish a Future Networks strategy and small team of specialist engineers. The department are responsible for the business’s innovation strategy, delivery of demonstration projects and implementation of new solutions into core business activities.
Key elements of the WPD Future Networks Programme are developing smarter local grids, leveraging value from smart meters and helping customers adopt lower carbon technologies such as electric cars, heat pumps and distributed generation.
Bill David is Professor of Chemistry in the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory and Fellow in Physics at St. Catherine’s College at the University of Oxford. He is also an STFC Senior Fellow at ISIS Facility at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshore.
Bill’s research focus is in energy storage, initially with his research on lithium battery cathodes. More recently, he has worked on lightweight hydrogen-storage materials. Following his discovery of a new family of ammonia-decomposition catalysts, his main energy research interests are in the investigation of materials that facilitate the safe and effective utilisation of ammonia as an energy vector and in the development of sodium battery cathode materials.
Bill is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics. He has received a number of awards that one of three Bragg Lecture Awards (2013) marking the centenary of the discovery of X-ray diffraction, and the 2015 RSC John B Goodenough Award recognising exceptional and sustained contributions to materials chemistry.
Robert Harper is Gallium Nitride Programme Manager for the Compound Semiconductor Centre based in Cardiff. His responsibilities include definition and delivery of the GaN technology and product roadmaps for RF, power electronics and sensor devices.
Robert received a BSc in Chemistry from Swansea University and MSc in Advanced Silicon Processing and Manufacturing Technologies from Southampton University. He has >30 years relevant industry experience in process integration, materials research and business development from working at Inmos, ST Microelectronics, IQE and Lam Research before joining CSC.
He managed the tool installation and process qualification of the new 200mm wafer fab at ESM Newport prior to joining IQE in a business development role. He holds two patents for multi-junction solar cell and advanced Ge substrate manufacturing methods and his interests include advanced device process architectures and heterogeneous materials integration.
Paul is a Chartered Electrical Engineer with around 30 years’ experience in the energy industry.
He is currently working at National Grid Electricity Transmission carrying out two roles. The first being as Innovation Manager and the second as Engineering Services Manager.
This combination of roles gives him a great perspective on both managing the network challenges we have today, whilst leading initiatives that will provide the network developments of tomorrow.
David was previously Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Pollution (HMIP) and a Director of the Environment Agency. As an Honorary Professor in the School of Engineering, Cardiff, he is involved in projects such as Marine renewables, Systems Risk and Cyber security and has been responsible for a number of successful sustainable technology start-ups. An early pioneer of Risk Analysis in the nuclear, offshore and oil and gas industries, he has been instrumental in introducing and developing formal risk management in the United Kingdom, United States, Europe and Australia. He has been closely involved in developing policy in Health and Safety, and the Environment as a regulator and as adviser to United Kingdom and European Governments. He takes a special interest in Tidal Lagoon’s governance, culture and performance in Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) matters for the Board.
Mahesh Sooriyabandara is Associate Managing Director at Toshiba Telecommunications Research Laboratory, Toshiba Research Europe Limited based in Bristol, UK and an Honorary Visiting Professor at Cardiff University. At Toshiba Research Europe, he leads a cross-disciplinary research project portfolio on networked systems covering several key application areas including telecommunications, energy and smart cities. He is a recognised expert in a number of specialist technical areas in particular wireless networks, smart energy and Internet-of-Things. In 2012, Mahesh received the Toshiba Research Europe’s “Distinguished Researcher” Award and Toshiba “Corporate R&D prize” for his contribution in smart grid communications area. In 2013, he received Toshiba Corporation’s corporate technology prize (i.e. CTO Award) in recognition of research and business impact which led to realisation of one of the largest smart meter wireless mesh networks in the world. Mahesh received his BSc in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, and PhD in Engineering from University of Aberdeen, UK. He has over seventy peer-reviewed publications, several book chapters and over twenty patent applications (at various stages from filing to granted). He is actively involved in the standardisation activities within IETF, IEEE and ETSI for many years. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the IET.
Dave is the Director for EA Technology's Smart Interventions business - a £6m business of c50 energy professionals. Its aim is to support the strategic choices for energy network customers through its consultancy services and embedded software platforms, with core offerings related to quantifying & reducing investment uncertainty for power assets, improving network resilience and addressing future demands.
Dave has 16 years in the UK electricity industry, joining EA Technology in 2009 from roles in ScottishPower, with an active history in network innovation, smartgrids and asset management. More recently, he has covered activities from electrical energy storage, to techno-economic modelling, to large scale innovation trials and their adoption. He has played pivotal roles on key innovation projects including the UK’s largest grid / electric vehicle trials (My Electric Avenue, Electric Nation and the EV-Network group), and OpenLV in the 2016 Network Innovation Competition.
Dave is a regional councillor for the CBI’s North West Branch, and part of their current Leadership Programme.
Outside work Dave is a surfer, snowboarder and a qualified coach for British Gymnastics - he lives with his wife and two sons in North Wales.
Francis is the founder and CEO of Maiple which provides AI powered solutions for manufacturing, healthcare, energy and autonomous systems.
Francis is a business leader and entrepreneur. He has over 30 years of experience in the Test and Measurement and Industrial Automation Industries. He was Senior Vice President at National Instruments leading the $1.2B Global Sales and Marketing Organisation. Francis holds a BEng (Hons) degree in Electronics from Cardiff University, Wales and was awarded a Fellowship by the IET in 2018. Francis also serves as Chairman of RTL Ltd, Non- Executive Director at Green Running, makers of VERV Home Energy assistant and on the Cardiff University Strategic Oversight Board.
Currently Head of Regulation and Compliance, Chris has worked at npower for over 21 years. Previously, Chris was npower's Head of Regulation, a role which he held for 11 years.
With a track record in finance and energy, Chris' skills comprise of business process, markets, gas, electricity, energy policy and efficiency, and his key interests are in the areas of regulation and economics.
Chris holds a PhD in Metallurgy, Fracture mechanics from the University of Cambridge, a PhD in Regulatory Economics from the University of Bath and is an Executive Fellow in Decision Science at London Business School. Formerly a visiting professor on sustainable power distribution at the University of Bath, Chris has published four books on economics as applied to electricity.
Martyn is Sustainability Director for Tarmac, a CRH company. Tarmac is the UK's leading producer of aggregates, recycled aggregates, asphalt, concrete, cement, lime and building products like mortars, screeds and blocks. Tarmac also operates a major road contracting business.
As Sustainability Director, Martyn is responsible for developing and implementing a transformational sustainability and product innovation strategy. The approach covers the whole life performance of Tarmac's products and solutions, with particular focus on sustainable construction. Martyn represents company and sector interests on sustainability legislation and climate policy in the UK, Europe and globally. He chairs several key industry groups and with over 20 years in the industry, Martyn has held a number of senior positions within the organisation.
Dave is a Project Director with Costain, based in their Energy Sector, he is an experienced project specialist, qualified as a Chartered Project Professional through the APM. He has many years’ experience of collaborative project delivery in the energy, rail, nuclear and oil & gas market from concept & FEED, through detailed design, construction to operation. Dave leads the Costain decarbonisation team focussing on delivering net zero through CCUS, Hydrogen utilisation, Energy Storage and low emission transport bringing leadership, knowledge, and innovative delivery.
Bethan has over 20 years’ experience in the gas industry having joined Transco in 1997. She joined Wales and West Utilities in 2009 when control centre activities moved across from National Grid after network sales, and now heads up the system operation team. Her role includes managing the control centre which operates the WWU gas networks, long-term planning, and some aspects of future of energy including gas quality and DN entry.
Martyn has a background in Civil Engineering and land reclamation. He spent a number of years developing a regional aggregate business with interests in sand dredging, limestone quarrying and ready-mix concrete.
In recent years he has dedicated his time to developing the Cenin Group of companies which main activity is developing integrated renewable energy generation sites such as the Parc Stromy development.
Karen Jones is the Chief Executive of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council
Prior to taking up her role on 1st January 2021 Karen was the Assistant Chief Executive and Chief Digital Officer. It was in this role that Karen was first introduced to the Flexis programme.
Karen has worked across the public service during her career, holding senior roles at Cardiff City Council, South Wales Police and Estyn.
Karen holds two masters degrees in Business Management and Human Resources Management.
Nicola leads on the delivery of all major regeneration and investment projects throughout the county borough, including town centre regeneration and major transport and infrastructure developments.
Her portfolio also includes Planning and Public Protection, Streetcare and Neighbourhood Services, Property and Asset Management and management of the South Wales Trunk Road Agency.
Tony is the Managing Director of CR Plus, offering a wide strategic perspective centred around risk & opportunity. He delivers the best returns for the investments made by his industrial clients, focusing on process improvements, energy efficiency & decarbonisation. His 35+ yrs experience in challenging areas provides a solid foundation to progress state of the art innovative solutions.
Chris is a Fellow of the IMechE and the Energy Managers Association. Chris has 30 years experience in the steel industry that initiated in R&D, then Maintenance Management , Energy Optimisation before being seconded to the FLEXIS project in 2016. During his time in FLEXIS Chris worked with academia and Industry to initiate the development of the South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC). Chris was seconded to Industry Wales in 2020 to continue to lead and formally establish the governance structures for SWIC.
Steve retired as Chief Executive of Neath Port Talbot Council at the end of 2020 after eleven years in post. Previously he held senior posts with Cardiff Council and in the Welsh Government. Earlier in his career he worked for the then Department of Trade and Industry in London and the North East of England as well as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the City Takeover Panel.
Phil is currently Director Technical for Tata Steel UK and as such is the R&D and Technical function head for the UK. He has almost 32 years of UK-based and international experience in the industry, much of it in technology-based roles. Prior to his current posting, he was Managing Director of Cogent Power Group, a fully owned subsidiary business of Tata Steel UK. Phil is a member of the UK Steel R&D Committee, the Worldsteel Technology Committee and is also a board member of the Centre de Recherches Metallurgiques (CRM) in Belgium. He has a PhD in metallurgy and is a fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.
Richie works for Tata Steel and has over 30 years experience in the steel industry under varying ownership. Starting within the R&D function of British Steel in Sheffield, he has spent his career working with control systems and data to optimise steel production processes. He has also held operational positions within the manufacturing function of the business as manager of the Hot Strip Mill in Llanwern, and as Technical Manager of the blast furnaces at Port Talbot. His current position of Process Technology Manager involves managing a team implementing process improvements across Tata Steel’s plants in South Wales, and developing capital investment proposals particularly on the subject of decarbonisation of the business. He has a first degree in engineering from Cambridge University, an MSc from Sheffield University and an MBA from Warwick Business School.
Paul is Business Development Director for Siemens working in both the Smart Infrastructure and Siemens Advanta businesses in the UK. He is driving Digital Transformation by co-creating new business models and Digital Services in partnership with Customers. Enabled by the Siemens ADV capability and utilising Siemens extensive and diverse divisional portfolio Paul is developing new solutions for the Digital Age.
He is a key player in the emerging digital and smart city markets and a disruptive agent of change. With a proven track record of creating and winning truly innovative projects he has a unique breadth of experience across Utility, IT, Communications, Technology and SME sectors creating and delivering successful projects across these verticals.
Before joining Siemens Paul was Managing Director of a start-up developing sustainable smart energy projects. Prior to that he was the Business Development Director for Utilities at Cable & Wireless Worldwide and also spent 10 years at ELEXON where he managed the wholesale electricity market.