We aim to foster a culture of entrepreneurship, innovation and success among engineers in the UK, creating economic growth and societal impact. At the heart of how we do this are the Hub Members, the promising entrepreneurs who we support through our programmes, and our Hub Mentors, the business leaders who volunteer their expertise and time to help the Hub Members succeed.
From manufacturing to medtech, our Hub Membership is made up of some of the UK’s most innovative entrepreneurs. But don’t just take our word for it: read more about our Hub Members to see how they are, without exaggeration, changing the world.
Optical sensors developed by Oxsensis meet the challenge of taking precise measurements in harsh and hostile conditions. For industries that rely on high-accuracy measurements, its sensors capture data for variables such as temperature, pressure and acceleration and deliver it via optical fibres for use in monitoring systems.
With technology based on the micro-machining of super resistant materials such as single-crystal sapphire, Oxsensis optical sensor systems can optimise performance in a range of applications and industries. In aerospace, they can be used in flight systems to manage safe propulsion of aircraft. In oil and gas, they support efficient gas turbine monitoring to help with clean energy production.
Oxsensis is becoming firmly established as a manufacturer of optical sensors that track variables in real-time. As a non-electrical system, it can achieve this at extremely high temperatures (over 1,000°C), with immunity to interference from electromagnetic fields. This allows systematic observation in critical systems, leading to savings in size and cost, while improving safety.
Ian Macafee, CEO, has been an SME Leader since 2018 and has benefited from mentoring and an extended peer network, which help with managing the challenges of an expanding business. Since receiving the award, his team has grown to 32 employees, an increase of four staff. Oxsensis has also secured equity investment and opened a scale up finance round of investment. This will support the company’s vision for well-managed, long-term, sustainable growth.
Co-founder and Chief Science Officer, Adaptix Ltd
ViBo Health is a startup that will offer some of the benefits of traditional laboratory tests without needing to give blood and wait for the meta-analysis. The company is working on instrumentation that will scan a person’s wrist using hardware based on magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), combined with advanced signal processing and machine learning.
The 10-second scan, using non-invasive molecular spectroscopy, will provide real-time analysis of various metabolic measurements. When used regularly, this data will show an individual’s health trends by outlining changing vitamin levels, cholesterols and diabetes parameters.
ViBo Health intends to place scanners in high-traffic venues such as gyms and pharmacies. As well as giving users an insight into their own health and fitness status, the anonymised data would be of use to clinicians and health workers to analyse more general health trends.
Dr Gil Travish co-founded ViBo Health in 2020. He became an SME Leader in 2017, when he was Chief Science Officer at Adaptix, another company that he co-founded. Gil says that the SME Leaders programme “has been instrumental in my development as a founder and leader of startups. With ViBo Health, it has helped me with networking and defining the company through multiple roundtables.”
The company’s current aim is to focus on formal product definition and gain a fuller understanding of the market. ViBo Health Europe has already received support from the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre in Portugal and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. It is now working on several grant applications and hoping to bring in new investors.
“[The SME leaders programme] has been instrumental in my development as a founder and leader of startups. With ViBo Health, it has helped me with networking and defining the company through multiple roundtables.”
CCm Technologies has developed patented technology that converts captured CO2 from industrial power generators and other waste streams into materials such as fertilisers, soil conditioners and plastics.
In 2019, the company applied this technology to its first full-scale fertiliser plant, which was deployed at a Viridor’s multi-waste site in Somerset the following year. This is capable of annually transforming 6,500 tonnes of anaerobic digestate cake into 13,000 tonnes of high-grade compound fertiliser. The excess heat from the exothermic operation is then used in the pasteurisation process.
CCm Technologies continues to break new ground. It has developed a fibre that absorbs large amounts of CO2, which can then be incorporated into a wide range of plastics, such as polypropolene, polythene and polyamide.
As CCm’s CEO, Pawel Kisielewski is responsible for all non-technical issues. He has helped oversee rapid growth in the company since he was enrolled into the SME Leaders initiative in 2018.
The company’s innovatory work has been recognised by the Carbon Trust and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which recently allocated £1 million for CCm Technologies and Severn Trent to explore new ways to recycle wastewater in the sewerage process and convert it into a commercial product.
CCm is one of the 16 founder members of the Sustainable Markets Council, a platform created in February 2020 by HRH The Prince of Wales with the support of the World Economic Forum to drive the transformation to sustainable markets – Build Back Better. The company is now aiming to expand internationally, especially in Canada and the US.
“The programme has provided access to a central London location and high-quality master classes – such as in media training and public speaking. One of the other positive spin offs from this scheme has been the chance to become part of a cadre of fellow engineering entrepreneurs.”
Anaemia is defined by a low red blood cell count. It is the world’s second leading cause of disability, with 1.6 billion sufferers globally. Although it has multiple causes, once they are identified anaemia is often curable.
Based on proprietary technology developed at Imperial College, Toby’s start-up company Eva Diagnostics is developing two affordable handheld anaemia diagnostic devices.
The first one is AnemiPoint, which can be used to identify the presence of anaemia in patients. The other device AnemiStat will identify different types of anaemia.
This is a market-first development in point-of-care anaemia diagnosis that enables clinicians to provide tailored treatments for patients. Eva Diagnostics plans to focus on the global market and the $1 billion or more spend on anaemia-related costs.
Sustainable construction demands better management of social and environmental impact. To achieve this, reliable, efficient tools are needed to make sense of large volumes of data across the range of related fields.
Qflow is a cloud-based platform that enables construction projects to manage their environmental risk and stay compliant with environmental standards.
Qflow brings together machine learning and the Internet of things to capture and analyse environmental data, making it easier to identify and manage risk. This increases productivity and reduces cost while positively impacting the built environment.
The technology connects to existing, on-site systems to automate real-time data collection and analysis. This leads to better informed decisions, more accurate predictions and the ability to generate standardised reports. It reduces costs associated with delays and mitigation processes caused by unmanaged environmental risk.
Trials have shown that Qualis Flows’ solutions can improve data capture against existing competitors by over 100%. Four pilot programmes are scheduled for spring 2019 to further validate the technology’s use in monitoring aspects such as waste, noise, air quality and vibration.
Brittany Harris brings significant experience in civil engineering as she leads a multi-skilled team of engineers, environmental professionals and software architects as Qualis Flow brings its solutions to market.
Wearable technologies are making a massive impact on society, beginning to blur the boundary between human and machine. It is also an exploding commercial market set to be worth $12.6 billion by 2018.
The next generation of lightweight, high performance machines will rely on technologies that are capable of bringing the user as close to a device as possible.
Peiman has created the first reported nano-display device that uses both optical and electronic property modulation in Phase Change Materials. Peiman’s company, Bodle Technologies, spun out of Oxford University in November 2015, to further advance this technology.
An entirely new class of ultra-thin, ultra-high resolution displays with nanosecond access speed and no power consumption in static mode is now under development by his team.
This revolutionary display will initially target the rapidly growing microdisplay market compact, projection based displays used in emerging near-eye applications like Google Glass. The first prototypes are currently under development, with a small working device set to be ready within the next 12 months.
A large part of improving transport involves using real-time data on commuter behaviour to design transport networks that can predict, adapt, respond and prevent congestion - before it happens.
Yang has developed an intelligent camera system that gives real-time insight into traffic and commuter behaviour. By combining machine learning with the latest advances in high performance computing, the system produces a unique method of classifying and identifying images in real time.
It is the first camera that can accurately identify cyclists among other traffic, enabling transport operators to observe how cyclists use a city. This means cities can effectively target investment in cycling and create cyclist-responsive smart traffic lights and smart signage.
It also has potential applications in everything from real-time traffic counting to crowd management and security. The technology is being used right now to map how commuters move around railway stations, how buses are really used and to generate insights from the humble car park.
His company, Vivacity Labs, is now working with several major transport operators and already has over 100 cameras in use across Britain.
Chief Product Officer, Mirada Medical Ltd
Mirada Medical uses deep learning technology to develop medical imaging software that improves treatment and care for patients with cancer and other diseases. Its software automates tasks and processes in a range of clinical work, including diagnostic imaging, radiation therapy and interventional oncology, thereby helping to optimise workflows, save time and improve consistency.
The company has developed a range of accessible solutions that easily fit within existing platforms and technologies. Mirada Medical’s products have been installed in over 2,000 hospitals, imaging centres and cancer centres worldwide, supporting clinicians to make better decisions and deliver personalised care. One of its products, developed to optimise treatment for patients undergoing radiotherapy, offers significant time savings when compared to similar technologies.
As Chief Product Officer, Sarah Bond aims to strategically increase revenue and market share through the development of innovative products that will help the company to retain its competitive advantage.
Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Sarah Bond will have access to workshops, training, mentoring and networking opportunities to help strengthen the skills needed to lead a talented, growing team. This will help her to deliver a complex and ambitious business plan for growth in the rapidly evolving market of artificial intelligence for healthcare.
Visit Mirada's website here.
CTO, Humanising Autonomy
Humanising Autonomy develops software solutions targeting the human-centred implementation of autonomous technology in the road safety sector. The company combines expertise in artificial intelligence (AI) and behavioural psychology to better understand the range of complex human behaviours. It uses this knowledge to predict the actions of vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians, so that autonomous systems can operate with greater safety.
Estimates suggest a two second warning could help prevent up to 90% of all collisions between vehicles and hazards that may lie ahead of them. Humanising Autonomy is building a large, diverse and global data set of human behaviours that takes into account culture and context. Using novel approaches in AI, this data will be used to deliver real-time predictions for different automated driving systems to make roads safer.
In 2019, the start-up partnered with Arriva London and Transport for London to develop new software for driver-assistance systems to improve safety.
Raunaq Bose, CTO, leads the development of Humanising Autonomy’s core technologies. With support from the SME Leaders Programme, his mission is to manage R&D in a responsive way that integrates the company’s goals with the needs of external customers and investors. Structured learning through the programme will help Raunaq Bose to strengthen his leadership skills as the company looks to integrate its technology into real vehicles in urban environments and laying the foundations for deploying its software more widely.
Visit Humanising Autonomy's website here.
What makes us different is the Academy’s Fellows and our wider Mentor network – an unrivalled community of the UK’s most successful industry leaders, technology experts and entrepreneurs. Find out more about our Mentors and their areas of expertise.
John is a highly experienced executive and senior consultant across the oil and gas, renewable energy and digital technology sectors, as well as a member of many international boards. He has significant interest in the commercial and technology challenges that energy transition presents, especially as these intersect with corporations’ digital transformation.
John is currently Chair of the Gresham House Energy Storage Fund Board, which specialises in the commercialisation of grid-level storage investments. The company is now the largest energy storage fund in the UK and is the market leader. In November 2018, the company listed on LSE at £100 million and at the end of 2020 had a market cap of around £250 million; it is on a strong growth trajectory and should double in size over the next 24 months.
Until April 2019, John was an advisor to the Board of ACWA Power International (Riyadh), the largest independent power producer in Saudi Arabia. Until December 2017, he was on the Board of the ASX-listed Carnegie Clean Energy, based in Perth, WA. He is also an investor and Board member of Global Integrity, a cybersecurity software and cyber consultancy firm based in Washington DC.
John spent more than 25 years working at BP, the last 10 of which were spent at the corporate executive level in various roles including:
In his early career, John worked on the design and construction of nuclear power generation plants in UK.
Since leaving BP, John has been active as a senior advisor to blue chip global consultants specialising in the energy sector, energy transition and corporate digital transformation.
John serves on the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Committee.
Professor Dick Whittington FREng is an entrepreneur, business mentor and investor, focusing on the software industry and digital marketplaces, with over 30 years of experience in business. His experience has included co-founding a successful international software business recognised in UK through three Queen's Awards covering both innovation and international trade.
In 2012 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering where he plays an active role, including as a mentor for early-stage technology startups and spin-outs through its highly successful Enterprise Hub. He is also an active mentor and angel investor within several London and regional technology accelerator programmes, and is Honorary Professor of Business Innovation at the University of York.
Prior to pursuing business interests, Dick lectured in computer science at the University of York. He managed a successful research team and published several research papers and books. His latest book Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Cambridge University Press, 2018) provides an introduction to digital business for STEM students and early-stage entrepreneurs.
"The concept of the Enterprise Hub resonated with me as a solid, practical initiative to benefit UK engineering through engaging the Academy’s extraordinary network of talent. The role of the Hub in launching and scaling such businesses is of enormous value to the UK economy and the engineering profession.”
Paul Taylor FREng has led the delivery of some of the most demanding national security programmes in the UK, operating at the very highest levels of government. He is uniquely qualified to understand the evolving threat environment, as well as having an exceptional track record of driving and delivering change in complex organisations. Paul’s contribution to the world of science technology was recognised by his election as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2013, where he now sits on its Engineering Policy Committee.
Paul is Deputy Managing Director at AWE plc, where he is responsible for providing the AWE Board and UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) with assurance of delivery of the £1 billion per annum nuclear warhead programme. Prior to this, he was Director General of Technology and Chief Information Officer in a central government department, where he was a member of both ExCo and the main board.
He held the position of Director General of Strategic Technologies and then Director General of Equipment in MOD, and Senior Responsible Owner for the UK’s Future Nuclear Deterrent. Paul was the first Chief Executive of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL). The post carried responsibility for all elements of defence research and the 3,000 staff that were retained within government following the split of MOD R&D activities into QinetiQ and DSTL.
A member of several government technical advisory committees, Paul also chairs the Advisory Board of the Imperial College Institute of Security Science and Technology. He is currently advising and exercising several global retail and investment banks at board level, helping to address their cyber and information protection challenges. Paul sits on a number of bank board risk committee advisory panels.
Formerly the UK Innovation Director for Atkins, Elspeth is the CEO and Founder of IAND, a digital platform that helps major enterprises manage multiple suppliers.
Initially graduating as a chemist, Elspeth later turned her hand to transport and urban design, demonstrating business and technical leadership on over 100 transport planning projects both nationally and around the world.
Elspeth chairs the Enterprise Hub’s Innovators Network and is a judge for the Hub’s Launchpad Competition. She is also a member of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
In 2017, Elspeth was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her services to Engineering and Enterprise.
“I believe that collaboration within our industry is the key to driving innovation faster. I am so proud to be involved with the Enterprise Hub, as a Mentor, and as Chair of the Innovators Network and to support young entrepreneurs as a Judge on Launchpad competition.
It is rare to find a place which brings together startups and established companies to exchange ideas and learn from each other. We have a shared goal which is to fast track the growth of engineering enterprises in the UK. The Enterprise Hub has helped me grow my business and it is helping young engineers build the businesses of the future.”
Dr Liane Smith FREng founded Intetech Ltd in 1991, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2012 for its software. She sold the business to Wood Group in 2013 and in 2018 she left to form a new consulting engineering business, Larkton Ltd.
Liane is enthusiastic about the capability of digital technologies to transform businesses, bringing efficiencies, cost reduction, production control and increasing safety. In her last role as Senior Vice President Digital Solutions for Wood, she built the new global service line and defined its strategy roadmap and development plan. Her expertise is in various specialist branches of engineering in the industrial and energy sectors and in software product design and commercialisation, data management, data analysis, and analytics.
“I try to fill in gaps in mentees experience and give them confidence in their decisions. Typically we touch on building strong teams, role and task delegation, agile development, growing sales, exporting and strategy."
Sir Peter Bonfield CBE FREng is a leading international business executive with over 50 years’ experience in the fields of electronics, computers and communications. Change management in international technology companies has been at the centre of his long and illustrious career.
Since 2002 Sir Peter has been involved with a diverse portfolio of companies and is currently operating at main board level or director of several companies in the US, Europe and the Far East. In the past, he has served in as CEO of ICL and more recently of BT Group.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (1993), the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the British Computer Society, the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the Marketing Society and the Royal Society of Arts.
Sir Peter is a Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, Freeman of the City of London, Honorary Citizen of Dallas, Texas and Member of The Pilgrims of Great Britain.
More information about Sir Peter can be found at www.sirpeterbonfield.com
Scientist and entrepreneur Dr Graeme Malcolm is CEO and founder of the multi-award-winning photonics and quantum technology company, M Squared. M Squared is headquartered in the UK with offices globally and is one of the UK's most innovative and disruptive technology businesses, well-known for creating the world's purest light.
Graeme finds technological and entrepreneurial solutions to some of society's greatest problems from improving healthcare to halting climate change. He's a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, The Royal Society Edinburgh, and The Institute of Physics and his achievements include an OBE for his services to Science and Innovation, The Swan Medal from the Institute of Physics, and Entrepreneur of the Year at the Amazon Growing Business Awards.
Dr Mark Selby joined Ceres Power in 2006 as a control systems engineer and spent several years in various leadership roles. In 2013, he became Chief Technology Officer as part of deploying a new corporate strategy to embed Ceres Technology through licensing to world-leading product companies like Bosch, Weichai, Doosan and Honda.
Mark is responsible for all aspects of the Steel Cell technology and brings 20 years of experience in clean technology product development, always working in multidisciplinary teams to solve hard science and engineering problems. As CTO, he sits at the interface of the commercial, technology, shareholders and wider stakeholders’ worlds and uses this insight to build ambitious collaborative programs that create value for everyone involved in the journey.
Prior to joining Ceres Power, he was part of the Control and Electronics Team at Ricardo UK Limited. Mark has degrees in electronics, dynamics and control systems from the University of Leeds and is a charted engineer.
His mission is to get world-changing science out of the lab and into products that actually change the world.
Professor Roger Benson FREng retired from full-time employment 2003. Since retiring he has been a part time consultant in world-class performance, working with the NDA and other organisations. In addition he has been a Chairman/Director of four university spin-out companies: PAROS (failed), Perceptive Engineering Ltd (recently sold), Industrial Tomography Systems (slow growth) and TDL Sensors Ltd (sold). When requested he is also an assessor for Innovate UK, EPSRC and EU projects.
Roger has been a judge for the UK Best Factory Awards for over 20 years. During that period he has visited and benchmarked over 200 of the best UK manufacturing plants across all industries.
Over a 35-year industrial career Roger worked for ICI. Positions included Chief Engineer of ICI Engineering Technology and Head of the Global Control / Electrical Function. He created and managed the ICI internal Manufacturing Technology capability. In 1993 he was seconded to the DTI Innovation Unit for two years where he coordinated and published the Winning Report. For the last four years of his career he was acquired by ABB where he was the Global Technology Programmes for ABB Analytics and Advanced Solutions, and an Executive member of ABB Process Solutions.
In 1999 he was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He has published over 80 papers, and given many presentations on innovation, process control, benchmarking, world-class manufacturing and the future of the Process Industries. In 1999 Roger wrote and published the Institution of Chemical Engineers book, Benchmarking Process Manufacturing. It is still the only book on the subject. He has been a Visiting Professor to three UK universities.