Meet the Expert Biographies

Dr Jacqueline Balfour, Business Development Manager, Scottish Institute for Remanufacture

Dr Jacqueline Balfour is the Business Development Manager for the Scottish Institute for Remanufacture.  She graduated from Strathclyde University in Computer Science and holds a PhD from Lancaster University in Computer Networking.

Jacqueline has 25 years’ experience working at Hewlett Packard (HP) in the Applied Research Laboratories, the Enterprise Server Business and the networking business focused on Small/Medium Business.

As an R&D Director, Jacqueline led many cross functional programmes through development, manufacturing and marketing.  She has extensive experience managing relationships with partners and vendors and successfully led multiple strategic business initiatives involving collaboration and innovation across HP and with external partners.  She has been responsible for many partnership models including OEM, Outsourcing, Technology Selection and Customer Solutions and represented HP in both standards bodies and industry forums.

The majority of her HP positions have been in the USA with extensive geographic and team building experience in India, China, Singapore, Costa Rica and Canada.

Jim Berryman, Knowledge Transfer Advisor, KTN 

Jim is the Knowledge Transfer Adviser for the East of Scotland, responsible for developing and managing a portfolio of successful Knowledge Transfer Partnerships between businesses and academia.  Jim has extensive economic development and policy experience at the public sector/ academia/ industry interface gained principally within the Scottish Government.

The KTP programme promotes business led, open innovation by connecting companies with academic expertise to enable them to grow their business. Jim looks after businesses supporting their projects with knowledge bases in many parts of the country. Jim also maintains relationships with a number of designated universities in relation to their participation in the programme.

John Cannon, Account Director, Quality Scotland  

Working for Quality Scotland, John brings expertise to organisations across all sectors in their pursuit of excellence through the use of EFQM’s Business Excellence model to enhance business performance and achieve international recognition.

Howell Davies, Sector Engagement Project Manager, Interface

Howell joins the sector team from Interface Food & Drink. He graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Business Management with Food Marketing from Wye College, University of London and has spent most of his career working for Scottish food and drink companies as well as Highlands & Islands Enterprises.

He is looking forward to continuing working on innovation in the food and drink sector as well as working with the team on Tourism and Creative Industries to develop opportunities for groups to work with academia.

Alan Dick, Grant Appraisal Team, Scottish Enterprise 

Alan works directly with Scottish businesses making significant capital investments, appraising applications for Regional Selective Assistance grant support. In addition, Alan works closely with the Local Authority and Business Gateway networks throughout Scotland raising awareness of the grant funding available to help Scottish businesses become more productive and achieve their growth ambitions. Prior to joining SE Alan had a 25 year career in banking holding Senior Management positions throughout the RBS Retail/Business network in Scotland.

Craig Fleming, Senior Business Development Manager, CENSIS

Craig has over ten years’ experience across a variety of engineering sectors and holds European M.Eng (Hons) in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Glasgow.

Before joining CENSIS, he worked three years as Business Development Manager for BAE Systems regional aircraft and developed new revenue streams, selling modifications on new aircraft types to airlines throughout Europe and North America. Prior to this he worked as Sales and Project Engineer for Duerkopp Fordertechnik, working with the UK’s biggest retailers to help design and install fully automated material handling systems for the clothing industry.

As part of a two year graduate programme with FKI, Craig gained experience in lean manufacturing, CAD design and project management within logistics, railway and automotive industries while living in France, Germany and USA.

Mike Gordon, Economic Development Officer, Fife Council

Mike joined Fife Council’s Economic Development team three years ago having previously worked with the Council in employability and project management roles for a number of years. It was while working on projects such as the creation of the East of Scotland Investment Fund and the construction of Fife Renewables Innovation Centre that Mike’s interest in local economic development was sparked.

More recently Mike has played a key role in the formation of Business Loans Scotland.

Dr Matthew Higgs, Data Scientist, The Data Lab

Matthew has worked in academia and industry, and as a data science consultant for 10 years. He specialises in data science: strategy development, culture transformation, problem formulation, solution architecting, recruitment, mentoring, and management.

Matthew’s technical background is in machine learning, human-computer interaction, computational statistics, and the analysis of human- and sensor-generated data.

Prior to joining The Data Lab, Matthew held Post-Doctorate Research positions at the University of Glasgow and University College London (UCL), worked as Chief Data Officer at an IoT startup, obtained a PhD in Computational Statistics and Machine Learning from UCL, and more recently founded the Glasgow AI meetup to nurture the AI & ML community in Glasgow and wider Scotland.

Dr Abi Hird, Executive Team Member, Strathclyde Institute for Operations Management 

Dr Abi Hird is a Lecturer in the Department of Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management at the University of Strathclyde. Passionate about ‘useful learning’ Strathclyde is a natural fit for Abi who completed her Masters in Product Design Engineering here in 2008 and an Industry-based Doctorate in Systems Engineering in 2013.

Her research in Operations Management and planning has game-changing impact in practice across a range of sectors: ­from defence and automotive to medical devices, textiles and logistics. Abi also heads up the Strathclyde Institute for Operations Management and teaches a variety of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering classes.

Andrew Ingram, Grants Appraisal Specialist, Scottish Enterprise

Andrew has worked as a grant appraisal specialist within the SMART/R&D grants team at Scottish Enterprise for the last four years, and prior to that spent five years working for an SME as R&D manager in a product and process development role.

The SMART/R&D grants team at  Scottish Enterprise work with companies across Scotland to advise on a range of potential funding mechanisms, identifying opportunities to help companies develop new or improved products, processes and services.

Craig Kennedy, Financial Readiness Expert, Scottish Investment Bank 

Craig’s background has been within the financial services sector working primarily across banking and asset-based lending entities. He has extensive and successful SME growth funding origination, advisory and execution experience across many sectors including manufacturing, food & drink, financial services, & international trade.

Stuart Laidlaw (B.Eng), Knowledge Exchange Fellow, Advanced Forming Research Centre, University of Strathclyde 

Stuart works in Business Development for the Materials Characterisation and Residual Stress Team and has been with the AFRC for three years where he has spent a significant portion of that time developing and growing the centre’s SME network and industrial engagement.

Prior to joining the AFRC, Stuart spent over 20 years in the metallurgical manufacturing industry. Over that period of time, he has developed considerable expertise in the continuous casting of non-Ferrous alloys, melting furnace technologies, rolling of non-ferrous alloys, cold roll bonding, continuous sintering of bimetallic strip materials, fluidised bed heat treatment, galvanic plating, coating using sputter and HVOF techniques and metallic powder blowing (gas and water atomisation).

In addition to these specific metallurgical processes, he has accumulated in-depth knowledge and experience of high-volume manufacturing techniques utilised in the automotive supply chain manufacturing sector. He also spent eight years running the laboratory services (both production and R&D) for the European operation of a major Tier 1 automotive component supplier, and the component performance and failure analysis activities for that organisation.

Through this activity, Stuart developed extensive technical customer-facing experience in the automotive sector, working directly with all of the major European and US engine manufacturers. His final five years in industry saw him taking the position of Quality and Process Engineering manager for a 500- employee manufacturing site, running four cross-departmental technical teams, with full responsibility for the quality and technical aspects of a £40million per annum manufacturing business.

AnneMarie McCabe, Workplace Innovation Specialist, Scottish Enterprise 

AnneMarie has over 15 years’ experience working with employers to address their workforce development needs and to provide sustainable business growth solutions for recruitment, training and development of their workforce. She supports companies to improve business performance through their people by introducing new ways of working.  This helps businesses become agile, resilient and efficient while creating a culture where employees’ ideas are valued and they feel supported to reach their potential.

David McHoul, Innovation Specialist, Scottish Enterprise 

David is an Innovation Specialist at Scottish Enterprise working directly in support of the Scottish Enterprise Account Managers and Business Gateway Growth Advisers. He advises and works with their companies on innovation, including new product and process development, as well as new business models and the securing of innovation grants. Critically this requires discussions regarding the marketing and commercial exploitation of the results of that innovation activity.

David works with companies to identify in more detail what the constraints on innovation are that they are trying to address as well as provide appropriate advice and suggestions regarding how they might be tackled. This could include helping companies to develop specific innovation related projects and initiatives within their business and on occasion to assist in securing SE financial support for those projects.

Sheena MacKenzie, Future Business Manager, Advanced Forming Research Centre, University of Strathclyde 

Sheena MacKenzie is the Future Business Manager for the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), part of the University of Strathclyde and one of seven centres in the UK’s High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult.

The AFRC has a range of production scale manufacturing equipment, laboratory facilities and the breadth and depth of knowledge to take manufacturing research through to production scale implementations. The centre has a recently established Digital Manufacturing team which is growing rapidly. The team has expertise in virtual reality, Industry 4.0, robotics and automation in addition to working with Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service to support Scottish companies interested in adopting these technologies.

Sheena has spent 30 years working at the interface between engineering research and its application and is passionate about bringing research and new technologies into real, practical use. She worked in academia for 10 years with companies including ICI, BP and Rolls-Royce before moving into industry in 1997, where she worked for the UK’s defence evaluation research agency as the organisation privatised into QinetiQ and diversified into new industries. She has led multidisciplinary teams, shaping, bidding, winning and delivering highly successful programmes for a range of industries including manufacturing, energy, aerospace, defence and process control.

She joined the AFRC in February 2012 and heads up the development of collaborative Research and Development programmes and projects with industry.

Louise McGregor, Head of Circular Economy, Zero Waste Scotland 

Over the last 3 years, Louise has led the Zero Waste Scotland Circular Economy programme, helping to deliver the evidence base for the circular economy in Scotland as part of ‘Team Scotland’, and supporting the issue of the Scottish Government’s Circular Economy strategy in February 2016.

Louise is now focussed on increasing the levels of reuse, repair & remanufacturing in Scotland; and developing circular economy solutions with business.

Kirsty Platt, Sustainability Specialist, Scottish Enterprise 

Kirsty joined Scottish Enterprise as a chartered environmental practitioner in 2007. She has over 13 years’experience of driving innovation products, services and practices within enterprises helping them to scale, prosper, create jobs and improve their impact on the environment .

Renewables , Sustainability, Resource Efficiency, Business Model Canvas , Circular Economy…….If you need advice or support please make an appointment.

Dorothy Smith, Economic Advisor, Fife Council

Dot Smith has worked within Fife Council for over 16 years, allowing her to gain an array of knowledge and experience of the services and support available to those in Fife, helping make Fife a vibrant economy to ensure Fife is the best place to do business.

In her current role she leads the operation and co-ordination of a range of support to businesses and specifically to deliver a Market and Trade Development Programme. In addition, Dot engages in a wide range of other business development initiatives on a Fife-wide basis as required to contribute to the overall objectives of Fife’s Economic Strategy.

Pamela Stevenson, Lead Officer, Enterprise and Business Development, ‎Fife Council

Pamela has been involved in local economic development for over 25 years through a number of roles and currently leads on enterprise and business development operations within the Economic Development Team at Fife Council.

Operational areas covered include responsibility for Contract and Performance Management of Business Gateway Fife; Market Development and International Trade; Supplier and Procurement Development as well as Business Investment and Grant Initiatives.

Dr David Stewart, Manager for Digital Manufacturing and Circular Economy, HSSMI, 

Dr David Stewart is the Manager for Digital Manufacturing and Circular Economy, and the overall lead for building the business unit in Scotland.

David has experience both in building, managing and delivering collaborative research projects, as well as delivering technical services in a consultancy/engineering support capacity.

Dr Rachael Wakefield, Business Development Manager, CENSIS

Rachael’s technical background is in materials biodeterioration and laser and LED based environmental sensing. Her broad area of interest is sensing technologies for the oil and gas, marine and subsea sectors.

A specialist in IP and technology transfer, Rachael has over 10 years’ experience in the set up and management of collaborative R&D projects, contracts, technology licensing and university spin out company development. She understands the technical and commercial challenges from both sides of the fence as an academic researcher and as a co-founder in a technology start up.

Prior to joining CENSIS, Rachael left a postdoctoral research post at RGU to explore the riskier side of technology commercialisation and co-founded a technology start-up with an offshore and subsea sensing focus. She left after a few years to return to academia as a member of the research commercialisation team at the University of Aberdeen, managing five of the ten academic teams that successfully spun out of Aberdeen during her time there.

Rachael’s expertise is underpinned by applied academic research in environmental science, laser spectroscopy and optics-based sensing of materials. She holds a PhD in soil pollution microbiology from the University of Aberdeen.