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Project Team
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Our project team of marine experts all have years of extensive hands-on experience within marine engineering and technology innovation. As well as being leaders in marine consultancy, you will find them approachable and easy to engage with.

They will take time to understand your business aspirations and needs and will arrange for you to access the project resources, support and technology network that can be a catalyst for your business growth through research, development and innovation.

Team member

Professor Lars Johanning

Marine-i Programme Director - University of Exeter

Lars is the Director of Marine-i working closely with businesses to stimulate and support business-led and market-driven R&D and innovation. He is one of the most prominent academics in the UK for marine renewables and is a leading researcher with international recognition in the field of ocean energy and marine technology with a focus towards hydrodynamics, station keeping systems and O&M processes. His research includes activities such as loading and dynamic response of offshore structures, hydrodynamic and reliability studies on station keeping systems for offshore renewable energy devices, mooring component development and hydrodynamic analysis using leading commercial software.
Team member

Lisa Beverley-Jones

Project Manager - University of Exeter

Lisa comes from a Global Project Management background having spent the last 10 years with Royal Dutch Shell managing a global programme of Offshoring throughout Europe and Asia. Prior to this she worked for Crimson & Co, a specialist Global Supply Chain consultancy, providing robust cost effective supply chain solutions to a range of FMCG industries.

In 2007/08 she completed the ‘Clipper Round the World Yacht Race’ and her love of sailing and all things Marine, saw her family relocate to Cornwall full time in 2016.

The role of Marine i Project Manager allows her to combine her passion for Marine activities and her professional skills in Project Management /Business Consultancy, with the aim of providing a lasting legacy to Marine businesses in Cornwall.
Team member

Simon Cheeseman

Sector Lead, Wave and Tidal Energy, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (OREC)

Simon Cheeseman is highly experienced in Marine Engineering, with a good record of achievement in both the commercial and public sectors.

Simon joined the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (OREC), the UK’s flagship technology innovation and research centre for offshore wind, wave and tidal energy, in February 2014. Working within the Strategy & Commercialisation division Simon is responsible for managing the Catapult’s Marine strategy and identifying the wave & tidal technology innovation priorities for the Catapult and managing the OREC’s regional engagement programme.

Simon was previously with the Energy Technologies Institute where he was the marine programme manager responsible for a range of high profile wave & tidal development projects.

Prior to this Simon was responsible for the implementation of maritime maintenance and marine engineering contracts. His earlier life was spent in various programme manager roles responsible for a range of high value aerospace and communications technology contracts.
Team member

Steve Rice

Project Manager – University of Plymouth

Steve has been working with the University of Plymouth to deliver collaborative research, development and innovation (R,D&I) programmes between the marine industries and academia for nine years, with consistent aim to drive commercial innovation, regional economic growth and research impact. Currently, Steve is focused on driving marine tech growth in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly via Marine-i, as well as the development and application of autonomous marine systems across a broad range of disciplines in Devon via Smart Sound Plymouth, the Future Autonomous at Sea Technologies (FAST) innovation cluster and in delivery of the Marine Business Technology Centre project.
Team member

Deborah Burhouse

Project Officer – University of Plymouth

Deborah leads on the compliance and financial performance of Marine-i on behalf of the University of Plymouth. The university benefits from Deborah’s extensive experience working in support of structural funded programmes. Currently, Deborah jointly supports marine tech growth in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly via Marine-i, as well as the development and application of autonomous marine systems across a broad range of disciplines in Devon via the Marine Business Technology Centre project.
Team member

Erica Scammell

Marine-i Project Administrator – University of Plymouth

Erica supports the UoP Marine-i project team in providing an administrative service. The team benefits from Erica’s experience of working in a variety of administrative roles including legal, FE and the public sector.
Team member

Matt Hodson

Marine Operations Director - Cornwall Development Company

Matt Hodson is an experienced commercial and operational manager who has spent over 25 years in the Marine Industry. His early career was as a Merchant Navy Deck Officer in a variety of ships and trades, culminating in the achievement of a Master Mariners certificate in 1999. This was followed by ten years as the Deputy Harbour Master in Fowey Harbour, where he led the organisation’s Marine Leisure Business whilst also retaining day to day operational responsibilities for the Port, Shipyard and Marine Assets.

From 2011 to 2015, Matt Hodson was responsible for leading Mojo Maritime Ltd’s commercial team as well as providing technical input into on-going projects. This included a variety of tidal, wind and wave energy projects including offshore operations, engineering studies and design projects.

Immediately prior to taking up the role of Marine Operations Director in 2017, Matt ran the University of Plymouth’s subsidiary trading company UCSP Ltd providing a range of commercial services to clients across Devon and Cornwall.

Matt’s wide-ranging experiences across the Shipping, Ports, Marine Leisure, Marine Renewable and Service sectors, has resulted in him becoming incredibly supportive of innovative, pragmatic and collaborative methods of achieving sustainable growth in high quality industries.
Team member

Jen Ayres

Business Development Manager, Unlocking Potential

Jen Ayres spent 20 years working as a Management Accountant for multi-million pound retail and not-for-profit companies in London and Cornwall, before taking a sabbatical in Asia to teach business subjects to college students.

On returning to the UK, Jen joined Unlocking Potential in 2015 where she uses her finance background to support local SME businesses get to grips with their finances and take the next steps in their growth journeys. She works in a coaching capacity to support a wide range of Cornish businesses helping owners and/or managers to tackle their next challenge - from ambitious growth plans and business pivots to recruitment.

In 2020, Jen joined the Marine-I programme, on behalf of Unlocking Potential, to provide support to businesses in the marine tech sector looking to recruit new employees who are graduate level or above and access associated funding.
Team member

Samuel Richards

Project Innovation Officer – The Cornwall College Group

Samuel is a recent postgraduate from the University of Plymouth and a passionate marine scientist bringing 10 years of academic, workplace and volunteering based experience within marine science to the role. His eye for detail has assisted in the collecting of oceanographic metadata from deployable equipment, contributing to biodiversity surveys within and outside of academia, and the critical analysis and evaluation of data and current literature.

As Project Innovation Officer, he supports businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to fulfil their Research, Development & Innovation potential, securing placement for graduates within the Cornish marine sector. A frequent snorkeller and free diver, he continues to maintain his close connection with the marine environment and the wildlife that inhabits it.
Team member

Ben Grigg

Knowledge Exchange Manager, University of Exeter

Ben grew up in the sailing community in Falmouth and went to Falmouth Comprehensive School and later to Solent University to study Boat Construction, Design and Management.
Employed for 12 years at the world leading marine equipment manufacturer Lewmar Ltd he carried out Product Management and Sales and Marketing Director roles for the company. He went on to become the Sales and Marketing Director at Camper & Nicholsons Marinas.

More recently, for over ten years he has provided business consultancy to both leisure and commercial marine businesses and organisations in a wide range of sectors for a number of leading brands including AkzoNobel, Time Inc., ASV Global Ltd, Green Marine and Spinlock.
Team member

Alex Whatley

Knowledge Exchange Officer - University of Plymouth

Alex is the Marine-i Knowledge Exchange Officer for the University of Plymouth and has a passion for working with businesses. He has a strong understanding of the marine sector developed from a wide range of experience in the industry, including marine renewable energy, small craft naval architecture, project and production management and the implementation of technology in composite manufacturing. This marine sector focus is underpinned by a lifetime of seagoing, including many years working as the commercial skipper of sailing vessels, power craft and small passenger ferries.

Alex comes to the Marine-i project from FaBTest, the Falmouth Bay Test Site where he was the Operations Manager, and in addition to his industry experience he has a background of teaching, departmental management, knowledge transfer activity and business engagement within Further and Higher Education.
Team member

Bradley McKay

Research Engineer - Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (OREC)

Bradley is a Research Engineer (Electrical, in physical oceanography). He specializes in offshore renewable energy, including floating wind, wave, and tidal energy resource. His extensive electrical knowledge from the mining sector, UK electrical industry, and masters in marine renewable energy has enabled in-depth understanding of grid integration and optimization to arrays. This includes wave-tide interaction, and quantifying environmental impacts through marine biology and oceanography.

Bradley works at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult as part of the Marine-i team and Cornwall FLOW Accelerator project (CFA). He collaborates closely with the teams at University of Plymouth and University of Exeter and is keen to support SMEs in Cornwall to accelerate their innovation in offshore renewable energy.

Bradley has recently completed a research paper to investigate the joint occurrence of offshore floating wind turbines and wave energy resource around the NW European shelf seas.
Team member

Neil Farrington

Innovation Manager, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (OREC)

Neil has been working in the renewable energy sector in Cornwall since 2002 and has built up a significant network of relationships and experience across the public, private and community sectors in order to facilitate the successful emergence of a renewable energy industry.

Neil previously worked for Community Energy Plus in Truro and has direct experience through all stages of renewable project development from conception to completion including dealing with local engagement, securing planning permissions, raising project development and capital finance whilst managing project construction, management and ongoing operations.

Neil will work with the Marine-i team to help SMEs develop innovative technology and access ORE Catapult expertise and national testing facilities.
Team member

Amanda Pound-Timmins

Business Innovation Executive, Cornwall Marine Network

Amanda is the Marine-i Business Innovation Executive at Marine-i partner, Cornwall Marine Network.

Amanda first came to Cornwall in 2007 to study a BSc in Renewable Energy at the University of Exeter. Since graduating with Honours, Amanda has developed both her academic and working career in Cornwall.

Having worked in the marine renewable sector in Cornwall since 2010, Amanda has gained a wide range of experience from both public and private sector work.

She has been involved with local initiatives such as the realisation of the FaBtest site and the creation of the MOR group, a South West marine renewable energy supply chain cluster.

In 2014, Amanda graduated with an MPhil in Renewable Energy at the University of Exeter. Her thesis was on the opportunities for South West businesses to diversify into the marine renewable energy supply chain. She is now relishing the opportunity to help local businesses grow through innovation.
Team member

Ross Whinnett

Project Development and Investment Manager - Cornwall Development Company

Ross has worked across several organisations delivering European funded support and investment to businesses. Originally working with the agricultural and rural business sectors, Ross has since been involved in the delivery of publicly funded business support programmes across all industry sectors, including providing grant funding support to third sector organisations, managing a multi partnership project, providing business start-up support and working as a Business Engagement Manager. Ross is now supporting businesses engaged with Marine-i, helping them to shape their projects and develop funding applications.
Team member

Alison Jackson

Project Investment Support Officer, Cornwall Development Company

Alison brings the Marine-i team a wealth of industry experience, across sectors that include mining, construction and energy. During her career, Alison has been involved in setting up global supply chains and worked with global logistics providers. She has worked on complex business relocation projects and strategic industry partnerships as well as lean manufacturing practices and the setting up of new production lines. She now uses her expertise to support businesses with the Marine-i funding application process.
Team member

Dr George Crossley

Business Research Fellow & FabTest Manager - University of Exeter

George focuses his research on marine renewable energy, and marine technology. He has works with marine data and with numerical modelling of the marine environment. George worked with DNV GL to numerically model and validate the interaction between waves and tidal currents for optimisation of loads and performance analysis on tidal turbines. He is now involved in the management and operation of Falmouth Bay Test site (FaBTest).
Team member

Dr Ajit Pillai

University of Exeter

Ajit researches the development and deployment of optimization, machine learning, and artificial intelligence-based algorithms to aid in the design of offshore renewable energy devices and arrays. He previously developed a methodology and tool for an offshore wind farm developer to optimize offshore wind farm layouts considering the sites, constraints, technology, and regulation relevant to gigawatt scale wind farms in European waters. More recently, he has integrated multi-objective optimization approaches in the design of offshore renewable energy devices and subsystems allowing design trade-offs to be characterized and quantified. He has also applied machine learning and artificial intelligence methods to structural health/condition monitoring and for approximating environmental models and measurements.
Team member

Professor Philipp Thies

University of Exeter

Philipp’s research interest lies in the reliability engineering of renewable energy technologies with a focus on offshore energy. He has developed novel component reliability testing approaches, Bayesian statistical analysis approaches for situations of data uncertainty. His work has aligned computational modelling with application driven design improvements and extensive planning, execution and evaluation of component reliability and testing campaigns. Through his work, he has modelled and physically tested a number of novel mooring systems.
Team member

Dr Ian Ashton

Lecturer in Offshore Technology – University of Exeter

Ian is a physical oceanographer, and wave analyst with expertise in wave measurement technology, satellite earth observation and marine renewable energy. Ian’s research is aimed at improving the information available about the physical oceanographic conditions to create better operational and design procedures. He has also developed research into the spatial variability of waves for marine energy, the accuracy of wave and current monitoring and detailed procedures for wave assessment, including research to develop innovative wave and current monitoring in response to requirements from developers of operational marine energy projects.
Team member

Professor Mohammad Abusara

University of Exeter

Mohammad is an Electrical Engineer with expertise in power electronics and over ten years industrial experience in the field of research and development of digital control of power electronics for distributed energy resources, hybrid vehicles, and machines and drives. During his years in the industry, he significantly contributed to the design and prototyping of a number of commercial products that include grid and parallel connected inverters, MicroGrid, DC/DC converters for hybrid vehicles, and sensorless drives for high speed permanent magnet machines.
Team member

Dr Tessa Gordelier

University of Exeter

Tessa Gordelier is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer with several years’ experience of research in the marine energy sector. Her specific expertise relates to reliability assessment including developing and executing detailed physical testing programs utilising facilities such as the Dynamic Marine Component Test Facility and the South West Mooring Test Facility. She has worked on the development of novel solutions for both mooring systems and subsea condition monitoring systems and has experience utilising a range of numerical modelling packages. Prior to this role, Tessa has experience of working in large European consortia supporting a physical test campaign in the Bay of Biscay through the Horizon 2020 OPERA project and has experience of successfully managing multiple projects through her role as Energy Manager for a large, multi-campus University.
Team member

Professor Richard Cochrane

Associate Professor in Renewable Energy, University of Exeter

Richard is an engineer who has worked across a range of renewable energy technologies including wind, hydro power, solar and low carbon heating. Richard has designed innovative wind turbines, high efficiency hydro power systems and novel designs for integrating solar panels. Current projects include work on floating offshore wind turbines, turbines for tidal energy and seawater source heat pump systems. As well as individual technologies Richard works on the system engineering and integration of different technologies. Richard has supported a number of projects looking at energy systems, supporting local businesses with technology development and regional energy strategies.
Team member

Max Bradbury

Marine-i Industrial Researcher: Remote Sensing & HF Radar – University of Plymouth

Max’s core role is to maintain the high-frequency radar and its data which records tidal and wave measurements off the north coast of Cornwall; making this data available to serve the needs of Marine-i industry beneficiaries. Max determines whether a business’s desired use of the radar is plausible and determines the method for solving their problem or utilising the data. Max undertook a BSc in Marine Environmental Science at The University of Portsmouth where he developed a strong interest in the renewable sector, leading him to undertake an MSc in Marine Renewable Energy at The University of Plymouth. The combination of his two degrees allows Max to understand the physical and biological impacts of renewable energy whilst his MSc dissertation using the HF radar and neural networks gave him the technical expertise for handling the radars data.
Team member

Professor Daniel Conley

Professor of Nearshore Processes – University of Plymouth

Daniel is Professor of Nearshore Processes and is Programme Manager for the Offshore Renewable Energy MSc at the University of Plymouth. Prior to that he was a Research Scientist at the NATO Undersea Research Centre in La Spezia Italy. Daniel brings over 35 years’ experience in collecting field measurements in coastal and estuarine environments across the globe. He has particular expertise in the measurement and modelling of coastal sediment transport as well as experience in assessing resources and impacts for marine renewable energy developments.
Team member

Dr Siming Zheng

Marine-i Industrial Researcher: Physical and Numerical Modelling – University of Plymouth

Siming is a Research Fellow within the university’s COAST Engineering Research Group.
Siming’s work focuses on marine renewable energy; assisting industry clients with undertaking physical and numerical modelling, including utilising the COAST Laboratory. Before joining Marine-i, Siming was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Plymouth. He used to work as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Hydraulic Engineering at Tsinghua University after completing his PhD, and before that, he used to work at University College Cork, Ireland for 12 months as a visiting PhD student.
Team member

Dr Martyn Hann

Lecturer in Coastal Engineering – University of Plymouth

Martyn is generally interested in all branches of physical modelling of wave, current and wind interaction with fixed and floating structures. Martyn’s research focuses on Offshore Renewable Energy, having worked on studies into various wave energy devices, including the Anaconda and SQ devices - both deformable devices. Martyn also led studies into floating tidal energy devices and currently leads Plymouth's contribution to various floating offshore wind research projects. Martyn is also interested in the modelling of extreme wave interaction with floating devices and the design of moorings and electrical cables within arrays of offshore renewable energy devices. Away from Offshore Renewable Energy Martyn carries out research into the interaction of two ships in close proximity and scour around monopiles.
Team member

Ruadan Geraghty

Marine-i Industrial Researcher: Materials, Manufacturing and Design – University of Plymouth

Ruadan is a design engineer, thriving on creatively solving problems to produce viable solutions to design challenges. With proven experience in taking new product development projects from inception to market, applying technical and design knowledge to ensure optimum performance, Ruadan works with Marine-i companies to explore advanced and alternative material in design and evaluation. Prior to joining Marine-i, Ruadan completed a BSc in Marine and Composite Technology, followed by a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) as a Product Design Engineer with Red Paddle Company.
Team member

Dr Richard Pemberton

Lecturer in Mechanical and Marine Engineering Design – University of Plymouth

Richard’s research focusses on computational fluid dynamics (CFD), Marine Design, Sustainability in Shipping and Composite Manufacture for marine applications. After completing a Ph.D. on System Identification in CFD in 2003, Richard joined GBR Challenge America’s Cup yacht racing team as a design analyst. Since then he was worked as a designer or technical consultant to sailors and yacht racing teams in many of the major competitions within the sport, such as: The America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, Vendee Globe race, Olympics and the World Speed Sailing Record. Prior to joining the University of Plymouth, Richard worked as a consultant Naval Architect both in a self-employed capacity and at the University of Southampton’s Wolfson Unit for Marine Technology and Industrial Aerodynamics. In these roles Richard achieved Chartered Engineer status through the Royal Institution of Naval Architects
Team member

Sulakshan Rajendran

Industrial Research Fellow: AI, Autonomy, Control Systems, Robotics – University of Plymouth

Sulakshan is an aerospace systems engineer with experience in aerospace and automotive industries. Joining Marine-i, Sulakshan is interested in transferring his experience to develop intelligent control and navigation systems for marine applications. His research interests are in intelligent control systems, UAVs/USVs/VTOL, autonomous platforms and systems, hybrid vehicles and robotics. Prior to joining Marine-i, Sulakshan completed a BEng (Hons) in Aerospace Systems Engineering, a UH-RAF academy funded project as a simulation engineer developing a real-time simulator for pilot studies, an MPhil in engineering focusing on intelligent control systems for UAVs, and then continued to work as research associate with BAE systems on space robots/UAVs. Sulakshan’s PhD was with UCL, focussed on intelligent adaptive control systems for electric vehicles with novel powertrain configurations.
Team member

Dr Sanjay Sharma

Associate Professor (Reader) in Intelligent Autonomous Control Systems – University of Plymouth

Sanjay is Head of the University of Plymouth’s Autonomous Marine Systems Research Group as well as Board Member of the IMechE (Institution of Mechanical Engineers) Mechatronics, Informatics & Control Group, nominated IMechE representative to UKACC (United Kingdom Automatic Control Council) and a nominated Member of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) technical committee on Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles. Sanjay’s experience is in the design, development and application of artificial intelligence techniques and evolutionary algorithms in navigation, guidance and control of marine robotics and unmanned marine craft and is the author of over 100 books, journal and refereed conference publications. Current research activities include use of AI techniques such as genetic algorithms, fuzzy logic and neural networks for the modelling and design of novel control systems for industrial and marine plant - particularly for wave energy devices, robotics, automobiles and uninhabited marine vehicles for both surface and underwater operations.