People

The NRN board members are;

Kevin Blacktop, University of Birmingham (Chair)

Kevin began his career in the Automotive sector in engine design & development and quality systems. He moved to Network Rail in 2005 to develop major rail enhancement schemes in the West Midlands, including the Birmingham Cross City Line extension to Bromsgrove. In 2012 he joined the Research and Development Team, leading the Strategic University Partnerships and was technical lead for the EU SUSTRAIL project, he also represented Network Rail in the EPSRC Autonomous Intelligent Systems Partnership programme. Kevin Has recently joined the Birmingham Centre for Rail Research and Education at the University of Birmingham as Head of Delivery. He is the current chair of the National Robotics Network, which is a network of industry end user, supply chain and academic organisations who seek to work collaboratively through an open innovation hub.

Prof Samia Nefti-Meziani, University of Salford

Prof Samia Nefti-Meziani is an internationally leading researcher in embodied intelligence and cognition. She has 25 years’ experience in advanced theoretical research in the areas of embodied intelligence, advanced robotics where the focus of her contribution is in the development of concepts, mechanisms and algorithms. She has pioneered the first application of Soft Robotics in manufacturing.

Prof John Gray, University of Manchester

John Gray spent five years in the aircraft industry before being appointed a lecturer in Electrical Engineering at the University of Manchester where he specialised in aspects of control and instrumentation.  The former focussed on the study of non linear systems and the latter was concerned primarily with electromagnetics systems including the development of a unique differential fluid flow meter which enabled the precision control of ultra-filtration during dialysis therapy.  This instrument was subsequently manufactured by Gambro both in Sweden and the United States and distributed worldwide to hospital renal units.

Geoff Pegman, RU Robots

Geoff Pegman is the Managing Director of R U Robots and robotics expert with over 30 years’ experience in the robotics industry. He has direct experience of directing, managing and participating in research and development programmes as well as the development of prototype equipment in the area of advanced robotics for industries as diverse as nuclear, defence, subsea, food, aerospace, construction and medical.

Dr Darren Potter, National Nuclear Laboratory

Dr Darren Potter: Darren is the Capability leader of the Plant Intervention area within the National Nuclear Laboratory. Darren is directly responsible for the majority of the robot operators within NNL. Darren has many years of project experience in both academia and industry, and has managed NNL’s successful completion of numerous robotics projects. He supports NNL’s large BEP robotics programme, EU Horizon 2020 RoMaNS project, and NNL’s Remote Engineering and Plant Inspection functions. Darren acts as the interface between the project’s roboticists and the nuclear decommissioning domain experts within NNL.

Barry Lennox, University of Manchester

Barry Lennox is Professor of Applied Control in the School of Electrical & Electronic Enginnering. He held the EPSRC Chair in Nuclear Decommissioning between 2012-2014 and is Research Director of the Dalton Cumbrian Facility. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE, Fellow of the IET and InstMC and a Chartered Engineer. He received a BEng in Chemical Engineering and a PhD from Newcastle University. His research interests are in the development and deployment of robotic systems for nuclear decommissioning applications, applied control systems and the use of acoustic pulse reflectometry for monitoring industrial pipelines. In 2002 he co-founded Perceptive Engineering, a process control solutions provider and through Circor, his work in acoustics has led to the development of equipment that has been commercialised and successfully applied in the North Sea, USA and Asia to detect and locate blockages in subsea pipelines and heat exchangers.

  Jon Montgomerie, European Remote Handling Alliance

Jon Montgomerie is currently Principal Engineering Consultant for ERHA (European Remote Handling Alliance) and also provides support to the Amec Foster Wheeler’s Engineering Development department as a Specialist Consultant for Development & Remote Engineering. He has over 30 years’ experience in Remote Handling and engineering development, combined with excellent leadership and communication skills. He received a PGDip in Engineering Management from Loughborough & Bristol Universities.

 John Brotherhood, Wood

John Brotherhood is a Senior Consultant who is recognised as a technical discipline mentor for remote handling and operations. In this role, he provides support and oversight to remote handling projects across the nuclear lifecycle. He has delivered solutions from conceptual design studies, research and development of practical solutions, through to successful implementation on client sites. John has been responsible for delivering many multi- discipline projects working as system integrator. He is currently leading a research and development programme exploring cutting edge nuclear decommissioning solutions.

Stephen Shackleford, National Nuclear Laboratory

Stephen Shackleford is Business Leader for Asset Care in the Fuel Cycle Solutions Directorate. He has more than 10 years’ experience working in the nuclear industry, managing a number of technical capabilities and projects. Stephen’s nuclear career began with a studentship at Springfields site, Preston. Following that he moved into the pre-cursor of NNL, BNFL’s Research and Technology department. More recently he’s spent 7 years as Team and Technical Manager for a number of plant facing capabilities at the Sellafield site and EdF reactor stations.

 Simon Ho, TravelSpirit Foundation

Simon Ho is chairman of Foundation, founder of TSio Protocol and integrated transport consultant at Deloitte. A 1st class Cambridge mathematician with over 20 years of industry experience, Si has worked in big data analytics, innovation and urban planning for a diverse range of organisations including Shell Research, Ministry of Defence, Royal Bank of Scotland, Transport for London, Westfield Shopping Centres and Leicester Regeneration Company. Si spent seven years at Transport for Greater Manchester, where he architected transport use cases for the UK’s flagship £10m Internet of Things (IoT) City Demonstrator, CityVerve, which inspired him to found TSio Protocol, a new integrated, seamless, secure and roaming mobility infrastructure for connected people and cars, built with a fusion between IoT and blockchain.