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Exeter Science Park

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Meet the Team

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World class science and technology - outstanding quality of life

Park Enquiries

+44 (0) 1392 247 047

Science Park Centre

+44 (0)1392 249 222

The Board & Executive Team

Professor Sir William Wakeham, Chair


Professor Sir William Wakeham retired as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton in 2009 after eight years. He became Professor at the Chemical Engineering Department at Imperial College London in 1983 and Head of Department in 1988. From 1996 to 2001 he was Pro-Rector (Research), Deputy Rector and Pro-Rector (Resources) at Imperial College. He has published 7 books and about 400 peer-reviewed papers in the field of transport processes and thermodynamics, and holds a number of international awards for his research. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Immediate Past President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers as well as Chair of the Exeter Science Park Company, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and the Institute of Physics. He chaired national reviews in 2008 and 2010 on physics as a discipline in the UK and on economic costing of research respectively.


Robert McIlwraith

Robert McIlwriath 2Robert has owned and operated through Redwood Management Consultants for over 3 years. He was appointed a Director of NYSE listed Ardmore Shipping Corporation in August 2014, until August 2012 was the President of Align Aerospace France and was Executive Vice President of AmSafe Inc and Managing Director of AmSafe Bridport from October 1998 until March 2011. During his time with AmSafe Bridport the business grew significantly both sales and profits, under four different owners, with sites based in the UK, USA, China, Sri Lanka and India.

He joined AmSafe from MBM Technology, a subsidiary of Morgan Advanced plc, where he was Managing Director from 1992 to 1998. He is currently the Chair of the Exeter Initiative for Science and Technology (ExIST) and Chair of the Trustees of the AmSafe Bridport pension scheme. He teaches Accounting and Finance and Management Concepts and Practice at INTO University of Exeter, is a board member at the Exeter Chamber of Commerce and Industry and is a Trustee of Sidmouth Hospiscare. Robert also is a guest lecturer at University of Exeter Business School.

Robert earned his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cardiff University, is a Chartered Engineer and a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Sir Robin Nicholson

robertSir Robin Nicholson has been a Lay member of the University of Exeter Council since 2005 and is lay lead for Research. He graduated in Natural Sciences at Cambridge University and then gained a PhD in Metallurgy. He was a Lecturer in Metallurgy at Cambridge and subsequently a Professor of Metallurgy at Manchester University. 

He entered industry as Director of Research at INCO and subsequently became Managing Director of INCO Europe. He was also Co-Chairman (with Nobel Laureate Professor Walter Gilbert) of the then start-up company Biogen N.V. 

From 1981-1986, Sir Robin served in the UK Cabinet Office as Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and her Cabinet. Subsequently he was a Member of the UK Government's Council for Science and Technology from its inception in 1993 until 2000.

In 1986, he re-entered industry as an Executive Director of Pilkington plc, a post he held until he retired in 1996. He also became a Non-Executive Director of Rolls-Royce plc in 1986 and of BP plc in 1987, holding both posts until he retired in 2005. Sir Robin Nicholson was elected a Fellow of The Royal Society and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, subsequently serving on the councils of both organisations, a Foreign Member of the (US) National Academy of Engineering and a Founder Member of Academia Europaea. He has published four books and numerous scientific papers. Sir Robin was the first Chairman of the National Energy Foundation, from its inception in 1988 until he handed over to Dr Mary Archer in 1990; he remained on its Board of Trustees until 1996. Sir Robin was knighted in 1985.

David Rowe

David Rowe was the founding Director of the University of Warwick Science Park. Under his direction the Park developed to become one of the leading initiatives of its type in Europe. He led the Park to innovate in the fields of enterprise development and technology transfer and increased its geographical influence through the use of “satellite sites” while also improving the financial sustainability of the organisation. In March 2011, after 29 years as CEO of the Science Park David retired and formed his own business, Warwick Enterprise, to further his professional interests.
David Rowe has worked extensively in the UK and overseas delivering science park related consultancy to universities and local, regional and national governments. In the UK David Rowe advised on the development of Science Parks in Exeter, Wales, Lincoln, Tamar Science Park and the formation of Bio City (Nottingham), the Cranfield Innovation Centre and the Medway Innovation Centre. His international work includes assignments with: the European Commission, Maastricht University, Cork County Council, Piedmont regional government, several Russian “closed” cities and universities, UNAM in Mexico, several universities in India, and government departments in Kuwait, Oman and Turkey.
In 2006 he received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion – Lifetime Achievement, which is awarded annually to one individual.

Keri Denton

keriKeri first worked for Devon County Council between 1990-1992 as an Information and Research Assistant. She returned to the Council in 2003 and was appointed as Head of Economy and Enterprise in February 2012. She has successfully led on many programmes supporting economic growth across the county, including securing a £94m investment in Superfast Broadband.

Having grown up and lived in Devon all her life, she is passionate about the county and sees the Science Park as a key Strategic Development that has the real potential to create new and high value employment across the whole of Devon.


Sean Fielding

seanfielding218Sean has been at the University of Exeter for 16 years, having previously worked for national University bodies where he setup and led joint-ventures for commercialising and marketing national and international HE services. He has been Managing Director and Director of several companies.

In his current role Sean’s team handles the University of Exeter's support for research collaborations, contract research, EU research and the transfer of knowledge between the University and business, including spin-outs, licensing, strategic alliances and economic development. He is also responsible for strategic knowledge transfer initiatives such as the University’s Innovation Centre and the new Exeter Science Park.  

Sean is Chair of the SETsquared Management Board, a board member of PraxisUnico and a Vice-President of the Association of European Science and Technology Transfer Professionals, ASTP.


Richard Ball

Richard Ball photo
Richard is responsible for economic development, tourism promotion, arts and cultural activities including museums, markets, commercial property portfolio and leisure facilities. He joined Exeter City Council in 1997 as Head of Economy and Tourism and moved to current position in March 2012. Currently as well as sitting on the Board of Exeter Science Park, Richard is a member of Board Heart of Devon which is the company responsible for tourism promotion for Exeter and the surrounding area.
Previously he worked in Birmingham, Southampton, Barnsley (covering South Yorkshire), Cardiff, Swansea and across West Wales. All previous positions have related to business or skills development related programmes of work across a wide spectrum of sectors including advanced manufacturing, jewellery, tourism, professional services and encouraging and supporting new business formation through a range of enterprise centres and activities.   
Previously involved with various bodies including until recently member of the Board of the UK Science Park Association (UKSPA).

When time permits walking, game fishing, watching rugby and slow food are main interests.

Ian Thomas

ianAfter a first degree in Geology, Ian joined Royal Dutch Shell Group. Broad spectrum senior experience included; Retail Network planning, development & pricing, Operational and Planning Management of road haulage operations in North West England from Stanlow refinery group terminals, and Business and Computing Manager for Indirect Trade, covering Shell activities in the Channel Islands and West of Scotland, ‘Mainland’ Distributor network planning, pricing, remuneration, mergers and acquisitions.

Ian led the Shell Ventures Strategy Team in a pioneering project, jointly with Philips and supported by Logica and Transport Development Group (TDG), to develop a set top box based home shopping proposition.

Founded Pangaea Ltd, a ‘new media’ Communication Company. Pangaea combined creative and technical talent in rapidly developing technologies, to deliver innovative communication programmes and early transactional web based channels for global corporate clients, including Allianz Cornhill, Benetton F1, BOC, Borax, Canon, Hilton Hotel Group, HP, HSBC, Kinnarps, Murata, Sanofi, Sequent, Siemens, Yell & 3M.

Led growth, preparation for sale, and sale to Compel Group Plc. in 2000.

Elected to represent Trinity Ward, East Devon District Council in 2009, appointed to Cabinet with portfolio responsibility for Corporate Services in 2011, took over the Economy portfolio in 2013. Ian chairs the Seaton Regeneration Board and is passionate about the use of new and emerging technologies to shape opportunity for rural growth, empathetic to the natural environment.

Ian and wife Sue, have been married since 1982 and have six children. The family run the Lyme Alpacas farm, near Lyme Regis.

Lynda Jones

lyndaAs the Head of Property Management Lynda is responsible for the development of the strategic direction of the team. This includes environmental impacts, security, estate development and disposal, utilities and H&S.

Lynda has extensive knowledge and experience of mentoring and coaching, currently mentoring four people across a number of disciplines. She has worked in a number of different areas of the Met Office including Forecasting, IT, HR and commercial. 

Lynda is a school governor for a local primary school and enjoys walking and gardening.

Gerry Shattock

Gerry started his career as a development chemist with BAT Industries and moved through a succession of business development roles, largely in manufacturing industry. He has a broad international experience and headed up sales and marketing teams based in Frankfurt and then Paris. He has an MBA from Cass Business School and whilst he is a Bath Rugby supporter by birth, his heart supports the Chiefs.


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