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Meet the speakers at the WISE Conference 2018

Nina Skorupska Headshot

Conference Compere

Dr Nina Skorupska CBE Chief Executive

Renewable Energy Association & Deputy Chair of WISE

Nina Skorupska is the Chief Executive of the Renewable Energy Association where she works with her team and members of the association to “Grow the Renewable Energy economy”. She has worked for over 30 years in the energy industry, as a fuel expert, power station manager, head of energy trading and as member of the Executive Board - Chief Technology Officer for the largest energy company in the Netherlands, Essent (part of the RWE Group). In 2016, Nina was named as one of the Women's Engineering Society Top 50 Influential Women in Engineering.

Helen Wollaston Headshot

10:00 - 10:30 Conference Welcome

Helen Wollaston

Chief Executive, WISE

Since her appointment in June 2012, Helen has transformed WISE into a thriving, independent social enterprise, enabling business and education providers to increase the participation, contribution and success of women in the UK’s scientific, technology and engineering workforce. Helen is an energetic, inspirational advocate for social change, with a track record of transformational leadership across public, business and not-for-profit sectors. She founded her own consultancy company, Equal to the Occasion, after seven years as Director of Campaigns for the Equal Opportunities Commission and previously ran the Yorkshire region for the National Lottery Charities Board. An alumni of the Goldman Sachs 10k small business programme, she now supports enterprise as a member of the Advisory Board for the Management Division of Leeds University Business School. In December 2017, Helen joined the Board of Zero Waste Scotland, an agency supporting businesses in Scotland to increase recycling, reduce waste and create a market for the circular economy. Former Non-Executive roles include Senior Independent Director and Deputy Chair of South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Chair of YWCA England and Wales (now the Young Women's Trust).

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10:30 - 11:15 Unlocking the creative power of diverse teams and female engineering role models - Sponsored by Morson Group in partnership with Salford University

Ben Fitzgerald

Head of Professional Services & IT, Morson International

Since joining Morson International, Ben has been transforming and redefining the global recruiter’s strategy and candidate attraction processes by capitalising on the growing demand for temporary, interim and permanent skillsets in core professional services and IT markets. Ben has leveraged Morson International’s ‘UK’s Number one Technical Recruiter’ status, which combined with his experience, has repositioned the brand into one that services all markets with bespoke candidate and client talent attraction solutions, which work to complement the wider Group’s 49-year heritage and long-term client base. Overseeing the strategy on £multi-million client accounts, Ben is reimagining recruitment by identifying emerging talent gaps, particularly in the technology and digital space, integrating new technology and techniques that resonate with different generations, whilst rebuilding trust between recruiters and the international candidate portfolio.

Ben is also a keen advocate for mental health and is developing a number of transformational change programmes across the wider Morson Group that combat the stigmas attached, improve awareness and education, create a culture of openness and acceptance, and reinforce employee wellbeing as a corporate objective. Creating a positive environment in recruitment brings significant benefits to creating stronger, more productive and valued teams, something that Ben is also working to implement within the Group’s client portfolio and deliver long-term change.

IT obsessive, Ben’s past experience includes launching a technology division for a boutique recruitment agency, which led to him eventually managing its sales and marketing division. His vision is to make recruitment more accessible, efficient and cost-effective.

Maria Stukoff Photo

Dr. Maria Stukoff

Director, Morson Maker Space, Salford University

Dr. Maria Stukoff is in the business of up skilling technology-savvy talent, and is renowned for establishing global partnerships between industry and academia to bring about innovative research and product development through prototyping and incubation enterprises.

She has extensive experience in managing digital transformation programmes working with companies such as Sony PlayStation, BBC, The British Council, BAFTA, and as a certified LEGO Serious Play™ facilitator - a tool used to enhance business performance –worked with clients such as Rolls Royce, Trinity Mirror and Barclays. Maria was also instrumental in establishing the Next Gen Skills Academy for videogames, animation and VFX sectors working with UK’s media elite such as Framestore, Double Negative and Pinewood Studios.

Maria has a wealth of knowledge in commercial game development, curriculum development for digital media practices and technology research.In her previous role at Sony PlayStation, she built a global fleet of PlayStation incubators enabling university graduates to start-up businesses to publish their first game on PlayStation. As Head of Digital at the BBC Academy, she was responsible for the transformation of BBC’s online learning platform, launching the new BBC Academy website. Maria was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Game Education, for transforming the UK’s game development curriculum with key institution such as Abertay University, Norwich University of the Arts and Sheffield Hallam University, and holds a PhD in Art and Design for developing mobile games. Her projects have won numerous prestigious awards and commissions, with nominations for ‘Mentor of the Year’ for Women in Games and named one of the Top 30 Women in Games in the UK by the sector trade magazine MCV.

Maria joined University of Salford in 2017, as Director of the Morson Maker Space - a flagship for industry collaboration in additive manufacturing, 3D fabrication and digital design to attract the next generation of engineers and creative innovators. She works very closely with Morson Group as a key industry partner to champion diverse, equal and inclusive employment routes into engineering, and to encourage more girls into STEM-based subjects through Salford University’s well-established engineering school programmes and supporting the Athena Swan charter.

Mhairi Crawford Headshot

10:30 - 11:15 WISE Coding Bootcamp Taster Session

Dr Mhairi Crawford

Development Director, WISE

Mhairi joined WISE in June 2016 to develop the services, training and consultancy offerings which help enable members to increase the participation and success of women into the UK STEM network.

Following a doctorate in Physics, Mhairi moved into industry and has been working commercially within science and technology industries for the past 12 years. With experience from applications through to marketing, sales and service across Europe, South Africa and the USA, she has first hand knowledge of some of the challenges experienced by women in STEM.

Louise Modis

11:15 - 12:00 Not all great minds need to think alike: A case study from the GSK Immunology Network, Sponsored by GSK

Louise Modis

Scientific Director, GSK

Louise is the Scientific Director of the Immunology Network and joined GSK in 2014 with the remit of developing and setting up this group at GSK. Prior to joining GSK, Louise led multiple small molecule and antibody drug discovery projects in the Inflammation and Immunology departments at Millennium Pharmaceuticals (Boston, US) and then at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals (Connecticut, US). As the Scientific Director of the Network, Louise has led the development and execution of the strategy for the group and remains heavily involved in top-level organisational elements of the Network including recruiting members and critically assessing business development opportunities.

Emma Koppe

Emma Koppe

Laboratory and Operations Manager, GSK

Emma is the Laboratory and Operations Manager for the Immunology Catalyst, the academic secondment programme that forms the primary component of the Immunology Network. Emma has developed broad experience in GSK R&D over her 17 years at the company, having contributed and led multiple programme, matrix and leadership teams as well as having been involved in lab re-organisations and setting up research facilities. Emma’s experience, scientific expertise and people development skills means she has been well placed to support the onboarding and laboratory work of the academic immunologists on secondment at the GSK Stevenage site in the context of this new collaborative model. She continues to ensure that they are able to carry out their 3 year research projects effectively whilst interacting and collaborating across the wider GSK community.

Fiona Reed

Fiona Reed

Administration and Event Logistics, GSK

Fiona is the Senior Administrative Assistant for the Immunology Network and leads planning and logistics for the many internal scientific events hosted by the Immunology Network at GSK. This includes seminars delivered by invited speakers and, most importantly, the biannual Immunology Network Summits which bring together GSK and academic immunologists to discuss breakthrough immunology research at GSK. Fiona has extensive experience in GSK R&D, having worked in various roles across several groups for the past 16 years, and has been closely involved in building and embedding the Immunology Network within GSK since its inception.

Ben Verpaalen headshot

Ben Verpaalen

Communications Manager, GSK

Ben is the Communications Manager for the Immunology Network and has recently joined the group following completion of a graduate development programme in the GSK Vaccines R&D organisation. He has a scientific background and has been exposed to a variety of R&D and Commercial roles during his time at GSK. In the Immunology Network, Ben coordinates internal and external communications aimed at raising awareness of the Immunology Network and key activities including publication highlights, scientific events and organisational milestones.

Suzanne Oliver - Headshot

12:00 - 12:45 Patently biased, Sponsored by Arm

Chaired by Suzanne Oliver

Senior Director, Patents & Trademarks, Arm

Suzanne heads up the Patents and Trademarks departments for Arm and is responsible for managing their team of in-house attorneys globally, as well as Arm’s outside counsel law firms. Suzanne is a UK and European Patent Attorney, as well as a Chartered Engineer and supports a wide range of IP strategy, patent and trademark management issues for Arm. Suzanne is also involved in IP policy matters and is a member of the UK-based IP Federation and was involved in Arm becoming a founder member of Oropo, the world’s first open patent data register. In 2016, Suzanne joined the launch panel for the inaugural “Women in IP” networking event, as a part of the UK’s “IP inclusive” initiative. She has also recently been working on improving the internal Innovation program at Arm. Before joining Arm in 2012, Suzanne worked in private practice in Cambridge, UK. Prior to this she spent a number of years working as an engineer for Nortel Networks and has a Master’s degree in Electronics from the University of York.

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Carol Arnold

Policy Advisor, IP Federation

Carol is a UK Chartered Patent Attorney and European Patent Attorney. Carol retired from Shell in 2016 as Associate Counsel for Intellectual Property after a career that spanned almost 40 years working both in private practice and industry, mainly in the UK but also for a few years in the Netherlands. A long time ago, Carol read Environmental Chemical Engineering at Exeter University!

Carol represented Shell on the Council of the IP Federation from 2008 to 2016; served as chair of the IP Federation patent committee from 2011 to 2014, and then as President from 2014 to 2016. After completing a year as Immediate Past President, Carol is now a Policy Advisor to the IP Federation and in that capacity currently represents UK industry interests on behalf of the IP Federation and the CBI, in global Substantive Patent Law Harmonisation talks as part of the BusinessEurope delegation.

IP Federation is one of the founder members of IP Inclusive, and Carol is one of the IP Federation representatives participating in the annual RoundTable; Carol also is the current secretary for the IP Inclusive Management Committee.

Carol is married, is a mother of three, and very recently became a proud Oma. Carol is also a Trustee of the charity Through the Roof, with respon­sibility for Wheels for the World (which restores and distri­butes wheel­chairs and mobility aids overseas).

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Dimitra Christakou

Membership Director, WISE

Dimitra joined WISE in April 2017 as a Membership Director to support WISE’s efforts to increase women’s participation contribution in STEM. She brings along a strong background in leading revenue and relationship management teams combined with lengthy experience in designing though leading services.

Dimitra is also the co-founder and director of Sustainable Blueprints, an intellectual property and strategic analysis consulting firm. In the past, she was the Head of Water Insight Services at Bloomberg New Energy Finance responsible for the product’s overall strategy and direction, and a global team of water analysts. Also, she has held positions at Accenture and the Corporate Finance Practice of the Corporate Executive Board.

She received her Bachelors degree in Physics from the University of Crete in Greece. Dimitra holds an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College of London and an MBA from London Business School.

Dr Bobby Mukherjee Headshot

Dr Bobby Mukherjee

Chief Counsel in Group Intellectual Property BAE Systems

Dr Bobby Mukherjee is a qualified UK and European patent attorney with over 20 years' experience of IP gained in private practice and at BAE Systems plc. He is currently the Head of IP (2009 -) at BAE Systems (a FTSE 100 company), which has one of the largest in-house IP teams in the UK. Bobby was elected President of the IP Federation in July 2012 (two year term).During his Presidential term, Bobby played a prominent role, on behalf of Industry, in actively engaging with the Parliamentary stages of the UK IP Bill 2013-2014. He sits on the UK Government Unified Patent Court (UPC) Steering Board.He is also currently an elected member on the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) Council. He currently chairs the CIPA Internal Governance Committee. Bobby's career has mostly been spent in the physics field, obtaining and defending patent protection for new products, processes and services globally. He gained a first degree in Natural Sciences (specialising in Physics) from Cambridge University in 1990, and then a Doctorate Degree (D.Phil.) on High Temperature Superconductors from Oxford University in 1995. He has published various research papers in leading Scientific Journals during that time, and during his work experience at the National Physical Laboratory.

Bobby has been named a Corporate IP Star on the global stage by Managing Intellectual Property in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

In his spare time, Bobby enjoys spending time with friends and family, travelling, and closely following cricket.

Dr Cath O’Neill

Dr Cath O’Neill

CEO, SkinBioTherapeutics PLC

Cath is a senior lecturer at the University of Manchesterin the Dermatological Sciences Research group. As an academic, her research work is very translational and focuses on new therapies for skin in health and disease. This translational approach has led to the creation of two spin out companies: Curapel in 2011 and more recently, SkinBiotix in March 2016, which subsequently became SkinBioTherapeutics plc.In april of this year, Cath gained a secondment from the university in order tolead SkinBioTherapeutics plc through a successful IPO and the company listed on the AIM market in april. Having raised £4.5M Cath now divides her time between the company and her academic research at the university.

Shagufta Sharif Headshot

12:00 - 12:45 WISE People Like Me Taster Session

Dr Mhairi Crawford & Shagufta Sharif

Development Manager, WISE

Shagufta joined WISE in July 2014. Shagufta previously worked at Girlguiding and has a wealth of experience in creating opportunities for young people. She supports the Development Director in creating new and innovative projects to further the WISE Campaign aims and objectives. Alongside Mhairi Crawford, Shagufta is working on developing the People Like Me campaign. Shagufta also supports the Career Development and the returners programmes as well as all other training initiatives.

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11:15 - 12:00 Leading and Managing Diverse Teams Taster Session

Jayne Little

Managing Director, Skills 4

Jayne is the founder and Managing Director of Skills 4,a specialist training provider in the advanced manufacturing, engineering and infrastructure sectors, supporting companies and individuals to improve their performance.

An accomplished business woman and executive trainer, she founded the company in 2006 and works with senior teams of companies on topics such as D&I succession planning, unconscious bias and organisational change, which enableslients to attract, retain and progress diverse talent to compete and grow in today’s global market.

Jayne has a proven track record in providing a range of interventions to support employers achieve their inclusion and diversity objectives at an individual and organisational level. Clients include: Atkins, Arcadis, Balfour Beatty, BAM Nutall, BuroHappold, Barclays, Babcock, HS2, Kier, Mace, Mott MacDanald, Rolls Royce, Siemens and Thales.

As a professional teacher, NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) practitioner and coach, Jayne is the author of all Skills 4 programmes. Since establishing the business over ten years ago she has helped over 5000 people advance their careers to date. She now works with a team of experts, via a Strategic Advisory Board and a hand-picked team of trainers, to ensure continued delivery of her programmes to the highest possible standards.

Lauren Kisser headshot

12:45 -13:00 Launch of the WISE Inspiring Women in Innovation Research Programme, In partnership with Amazon

Lauren Kisser

Director of Web Services, Amazon

Lauren Kisser is director of operations at Amazon Prime Air in Cambridge. She worked in programme management and information security at Disney before joining Amazon a decade ago.
Based at Amazon’s Development Centre in Cambridge, Lauren leads a global team of world‐renowned roboticists, scientists, and aeronautical engineers. Beyond her day-to-day role, Lauren recognises the need to address the gender gap in retail and technology. She had led outreach efforts to inspire girls to continue studying STEM subjects at school by inviting them to Amazon’s drone lab in Cambridge and regularly visits schools as a Prime Air STEM Ambassador. She is also the executive sponsor of the Diversity Working Group at Amazon’s Development Centre in Cambridge, which aims to create and foster a diverse workplace, both rewarding for women and men and setting a benchmark for other Amazon sites. Amazon is a corporate member of WISE and is sponsoring new research on gender and innovation for WISE in 2018.

Susie Jutsum headshot

13:30 - 14:15 Creative Career Paths: A Panel Discussion with WYWB

Chaired by Susie Jutsum

Senior Engineer (Geotechnical), Tony Gee and Partners LLP & WISE Young Women's Board Member

I currently work with Tony Gee and Partners as a Senior Engineer in the geotechnical team, having achieved Chartered Civil Engineer status in December 2015. I am committed to the promotion of engineering and other STEM-related careers, working as an ambassador in schools undertaking engineering focussed workshops and attending career events.

My belief is that the promotion of STEM subjects as a career path should start as early as possible in our lives. The industry has many female role models who have developed within the industry along very different paths. With my background in mind and a strong positive attitude I hope to work with WISE to bring these role models forwards to inspire the next and future generations into STEM.

Rachel Beattie

Rachel Beattie

Co-Founder, Careaux

Rachel, twenty-two graduated from the University of Manchester with a Masters degree in Mathematics in 2017.

When she was fourteen and studying for her GCSEs she had an idea for a dress which combined her love of fashion and Maths to create a world first dress using Combinatorics to solve a real world problem for women. This led to her launching her own womenswear brand, Careaux with her sister, Laura. The dress has a zip around the waist, enabling the dress to split into a top and a skirt. This allows the dress to have a different or same size top to bottom and you can interchange the tops and the skirts to create different styles, since the number of dresses= number of tops x number of skirts.

With this and her role as a STEM ambassador, she aims to showcase the limitless applications of Maths and how the skills learned from studying Maths have been vital to her launching her business. "I really want to demonstrate that just like solving a Maths problem, that with belief and determination you can achieve whatever you want to."

Sabrina Castiglione Headshot

Sabrina Castiglione

Chief of Staff, Tessian & WISE Young Women's Board Member

As Chief of Staff at Tessian, if it isn’t building or selling the software itself, chances are it falls to my division to tackle the challenge. That includes managing the finances, taking care of HR, assessing company risk, and finding bright new talent. Wearing that lattermost hat and running recruitment for a high-growth tech start-up has been eye-opening. Every day I see first-hand the degree of gender imbalance in the industry - an imbalance that is severe even when compared to other STEM areas, and not only at the employment level, but at the educational level also.

Having spent time on both sides of the classroom – from further maths at school and Chemistry at Imperial, to actuarial study groups and teaching with Imperial’s STEM Outreach – I’ve always questioned why there were noticeably fewer women, especially when those present performed well. It saddens me greatly to think that all these years after so many hard-won rights for women were secured, that gender equity, both in women’s presence and women’s pay, has so far yet to go.

Penny Endersby

Professor Penny Endersby

Division Head, DSTL

Penny grew up in London, and gained her first research experience as a WISE scholar in her sixth form at GEC. She read Natural Sciences at Newnham College Cambridge. She joined the Royal Armaments Research and Development Establishment – a Dstl predecessor-in 1993 after a short stint researching fuel cells with British Gas. She spent ten years as a researcher into novel armour systems, ending as the UK expert on electric and intelligent armours. She led several groups in Dstl’s Physical Sciences Department before taking over as the department manager in 2009. During this time she was appointed a fellow of the Institute of Physics and served as a member of their governing council. In 2012 she transferred to lead the Information Management department, beginning the focus on cyber and C4ISR which led to her appointment as division head of Cyber and Information Systems Division in 2015. Penny holds a visiting professorship at Southampton University in Electronics and Computer Science. She is also honorary treasurer of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, and a NED of Ploughshare Innovations Ltd.

Frida Nzaba Headshot

Frida Nzaba

Manufacturing Engineer, Rolls Royce PLC & WISE Young Women's Board Member

I am currently in the final year of my Mechanical Engineering degree and I have just completed my apprenticeship and now have a full time job as a Manufacturing Engineer Trent 700 Component Owner and a Computer Aided Process Planner (CAPP) in Hucknall, where we manufacture Outlet Guide Vanes (OGV’s). I am heavily involved in transitioning our plant from an old system called TIMES, which is used to edit manufacturing instructions to Siemens Teamcenter.

As a Rolls-Royce and Nottinghamshire County STEM Ambassador, I regularly participate in STEM enrichment activities that involve career discussions as I am very keen in sharing my experiences, including the barriers I overcame to get into engineering and being able to go into schools and motivate young girls and women into studying and exploring engineering, making them believe that they already have what it takes and guiding them through the opportunities available and how they can access them.

Becky Travis Headshot

Becky Travis

Software Engineer, BBC Sport

I left college with Maths, Psychology and Photography A–levels and continued with my part time job in retail. Over the years as I progressed within that job role, I realised that I wanted to try something different and explored apprenticeship routes where I discovered the BBC scheme. I started on the BBC apprenticeship scheme back in 2014 with no real prior knowledge of the industry I was walking into. I have always been interested in finding out how things work and I have always had a knack for breaking the unbreakable and the scheme matched a lot of my interests.

The apprenticeship scheme gave me a brilliant opportunity to learn something new and exciting whilst expanding my career options. I had the opportunity to try my hand at Quality Assurance, Business Analysis and Software Engineering over the first year and I decided to pursue Software Engineering over the remaining time on the scheme. My experiences on the scheme then led to a Junior Software Engineer role which has now led to a Software Engineer role. Software Engineering is exciting and ever changing and I enjoy being able to learn something new everyday, not only as an apprentice but also in the roles that I have entered beyond the scheme.

Rebecca Winstanley Headshot

Rebecca Winstanley

ICT Technician, RAF & WISE Young Women's Board Member

I studied Psychology at university, and though it was a fantastic experience I wasn’t sure it was the future I wanted when I graduated. After taking a break to travel to Australia, I came back and found myself looking at my own path. I knew I wanted to work in engineering, so I enrolled in a part-time college course to build up my technical confidence while I worked in retail. It was only through a chance conversation in a café when a friend of a friend casually asked me why I hadn’t considered joining the Armed Forces that I started to see it as an option. She was able to dispel the myths and misconceptions I had about Forces life, and later that same year - in 2015 - I was proud to graduate from the Royal Air Force as a Communications Specialist. I now work hands-on with communications equipment that supports operations across the globe, I’m about to commence an IT and Communications degree, and the opportunities to travel the world with work, sport, or adventure training have been incredible.

Because of my background I feel strongly about empowering women and girls with the confidence and awareness to go for the STEM fields that have historically been less encouraged, and dispelling the myths that these jobs are ‘not for them’. In the current technology age we need a powerful STEM workforce now more than ever.

Kimberley Abbott Headshot

14:15 - 15:00 Innovation & Smart Working, Sponsored by Thales UK

Kimberley Abbott

Engineering Innovation Lead, Thales UK

Kimberley has worked at Thales for over 4 years in engineering and customer innovation, starting her career in Thales Australia before jumping the pond to come join Thales in the UK, being named in the Telegraph’s 2017 Top 50 Women in Engineering.

Additional to working at Thales, Kim was the co-founder and CEO of Roka, an award-winning social enterprise developed to break the cycle of poverty in rural India through economic empowerment of women and education.

In 2015 she was named as one of the Financial Review's Top 100 Women of Influence, and has also been a member of the official Australian Government Delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

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Sarah Clarke

Software Innovation Specialist, Thales UK

Sarah’s career has mainly been in software development, specialising in distributed enterprise software and has applied her skills to a wide range of areas, including transportation, security, avionics, and counter-terrorism. She is currently driving Digital Transformation in Thales UK by setting up a PoC factory to help the Thales UK businesses de-risk and adopt the 4 pillars of Thales digital transformation; Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Security and IoT.

Sarah has the role as SCIS KTD UK representative where she monitors the software and security research activities across Thales UK. She is also a school governor with UTC Reading which encourages student and especially girls to study STEM subjects.

Ben Hutchinson Headshot

Ben Hutchinson

Head of Business Change, Thales UK

Ben is the Head of Business Change at Thales UK, a large engineering company which operates primarily in the Aerospace, Defence, Security and Transportation sectors. Ben is leading the Smart Working cultural change programme to empower our teams to work whenever, wherever and however is most beneficial for our customers. The Business Change team are supporting our 6,000 UK colleagues in embracing supportive ways of working and technologies, ensuring that stakeholders feel informed, involved and listened to throughout these changes.

Ben started his career at Accenture, managing complex HR, learning and change programmes for FTSE 100 businesses in the consumer goods, pharmaceutical and defence industries. He has led the Business Change team at Thales for the past three years, with a particular focus on technology change including cloud computing, connectivity, mobility solutions and social media.

Lydia Fairman Headshot

15:00 - 15:45 Innovation - Power of the Word, Sponsored by Network Rail

Lydia Fairman

Lead Capability and Development Manager, Network Rail

Lydia leads a team who is focused on seeking out and developing the future, emerging and existing talent within her areas across the business. Lydia’s passionate and committed to working to increase the number of women working within the organization and within the sector generally. With a varied background in technical recruitment, generalist and strategic HR, Lydia’s committed to using creative and innovative approaches to everything she does, challenging behaviour and what’s gone before, to make positive strides to a better and more equal future for all.

Apurva Sinha Headshot

Apurva Sinha

Head of Innovation & Information Management, Network Rail

Apurva is the Head of Innovation and Information Management at Network Rail. He owns and direct the development and delivery of Network Rail’s innovation and information strategy to meet company and rail industry strategic goals. He was the Chief of Transformation for Supply Chain in Rolls-Royce plc and has also worked as Management Consultant with PA Consulting. He has led transformation programs across Transport, Manufacturing, Aerospace and Utilities sector. Apurva is a Master Black Belt in Lean and Design for Six Sigma. He is an expert in Predictive Analysis, Systems Engineering and Robust Design and has delivered lectures at top UK universities. He has a PhD in Predictive Models and Computational Methods. He is also a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of Royal Aeronautical Society.

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16:15 - 17:00 The North South Innovation Divide: Panel Debate, Sponsored by Siemens UK

Chaired by Caroline le Fevre

Lefevre Media

Carolineis an award winning Radio and TV Producer. She was the Northern Producer for Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4 based in Manchester for six years, and also produced the programme from Belfast where she was a Senior Producer with BBC Radio Ulster. She's worked on Radio 4’s ‘You & Yours’, produced live shows for BBC Radio Two, and presented her own shows on Radio Leeds, Radio Tees and Radio WM. She has also worked in TV producing news, current affairs and features.

Bhavagaya Bakshi

Dr Bhavagaya Bakshi

General Practitioner & Entrepreneur, C The Signs

Bhavagaya is a General Practitioner and Entrepreneur with a strong foundation in healthcare innovation and technology. With over 10 years of experience within the NHS, Bhavagaya was awarded the Excellence in Leadership Award for her contribution to quality improvement and patient care by the London Deanery in 2012 and 2013.

She co-founded C the Signs, a digital health company, using artificial intelligence to transform early diagnosis of cancer. She was offered a place on to the King’s College London Entrepreneurs Accelerator Program to develop her entrepreneurial skills and was awarded Highly Commended Social Entrepreneur of 2017 by SEE Changemakers & UnLtd, and most recently won the Tech4Good People’s Award 2017, celebrating people using tech to make the world a better place.

Bhavagaya has a strong interest in health policy, working towards empowering the future generation of women leaderships. She has spent the last six-year working representing Doctors for the British Medical Association, working towards improving female representation within the workforce, retention, improving training to be more flexible for women and working to reduce the gender pay gap. Bhavagaya is passionate about giving back and using her skills and expertise to motivate and inspire students; she has taken on a new role at King’s College London Medical School teaching entrepreneurship and leadership.

Bhavagaya was the winner of the 2017 WISE Technology & Engineering in Health and Finalist for the Tech Innovation Award.

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Siobhán Duffy

Executive Director of Innovation, Element Six

Siobhán was appointed to Executive Director, Innovation in July 2014. Prior to her appointment Siobhán held a series of senior management positions within Element Six - Heading the Oil & Gas business unit, and prior to that being responsible as Business Manager for the Element Six Precision Grinding and Micron unit. Siobhán has over 25 years’ experience with Element Six,(formerly DeBeers Industrial Diamonds), working across the organisation from production, quality control through to business management and innovation. Siobhán possesses a wealth of synthetic diamond experience, supporting customers to develop engineered synthetic diamond material solutions for their given industrial technology applications.

Juergen Maier Headshot

Juergen Maier

CEO, Siemens UK

Juergen Maier was appointed Chief Executive on 1 July 2014. He has been a member of the Siemens UK Executive Board since 2008, and held senior roles within Siemens in the UK and Germany including Managing Director of Industrial activities for the UK and Manufacturing Director of the award-winning Drives factory in Congleton. Juergen joined Siemens in 1986 with a BSc in production engineering from Nottingham Trent University, on a Siemens-sponsored graduate programme. He was made an honorary professor of Engineering at the University of Manchester in March 2014 and became a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in September 2017. Juergen has also received honorary doctorates for his services to UK Science and Engineering for the Universities of Lincoln, Nottingham Trent and Salford Manchester.

Juergen is a passionate advocate of the UK rebalancing its economy and has supported many UK-wide initiatives championing manufacturing, improved infrastructure and engineering skills. He has recently been asked by the Government department BEIS to lead a new review on Industrial Digitalisation for UK Manufacturing. Juergen also supports the modern re-industrialisation of the Northern Powerhouse and in that capacity is Chairman of the North West Business Leadership team and a board member of Greater Manchester LEP as well as the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.
Born 1964 in Germany with Austrian nationality, he came to the UK in 1974

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Professor Karen Kirkby

Richard Rose Chair for Proton Therapy Physics, University of Manchester and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

Professor Karen Kirkby holds the Richard Rose Chair for Proton Therapy Physics which is a joint appointment between the University of Manchester and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust.She is the research lead for proton therapy bringing together the research effort on protons in Manchester between the University, The Christie and the CRUK Major Centre. She also represents the UK internationally.

Karen has a grant portfolio of over £20M with funding and over 190 papers in peer reviewed journals, including Nature and has also written for popular science magazines and the broadsheets.

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17:30 - 19:30 Evening Networking Event with BBC Design and Engineering

Maggie Philbin

Broadcaster & CEO, TeenTech

Maggie Philbin has worked in radio and television for 30 years on a wide range of science, medical and technology programmes from Tomorrow’s World to Bang Goes The Theory. In 2008 she co-founded TeenTech, an award winning organisation which works across the UK helping young people, their parents and teachers understand the real opportunities in contemporary industry. She works tirelessly to increase diversity in STEM companies helping organisations understand that social and ethnic diversity are as important as gender.

Maggie was asked to lead the UK Digital Skills Task Force publishing a report ‘Digital Skills for Tomorrow’s World’ in July 2014, which was cited over 40 times by the House of Lords later report on Digital Skills.In 2015/6 Maggie joined the Haringey STEM Commission producing a report in July 2016.

In June 2016 she was voted most influential woman in UK IT by Computer Weekly and also named 2016 Digital Leader of the Year. She was awarded an OBE in the Jan 2017 New Year’s Honours List for her work to promote careers in STEM and the Creative Industries. In July 2017 she received the Tech4Good Special Award.

She is a ‘data warrior” and patron of the Council for Professors and Heads of Computing. She has been awarded six honorary degrees for her work helping young people understandthat opportunities in science and technology are open to all, regardless of gender, disabilityor social background. (University of Leicester, Queen Mary College London, De Montfort University , University of Bath, University of Huddersfield andSouthampton Solent University)

She has one daughter, Rose who works for a leading technology company in San Francisco.

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