AI and Big Data



Robert Kathro

Programme Director, Environmental Futures and Big Data Impact Lab

Robert’s focus at the Environmental Futures and Big Data Impact Lab is on helping to develop the region as a global leader in data analytics by matching businesses that have data problems to solve with deep technical and academic capability from across the seven partners.
Robert is an experienced CEO with proven entrepreneurial capability in software & digital tech, aerospace, automotive, electronics and manufacturing plus strategy & operations consulting experience. He has worked across Continental Europe and the United States.

Dr Mandie Quartly

AI and Data Science Platform Specialist, IBM

Helping Data Scientists and Business users gain timely and accurate insights from their data using the IBM Power platform. Mandie’s background is Linux, Power Systems and High Performance Computing focused, specialising in the design and implementation of high performance Linux-based systems. Mandie has an MBA and a Ph.D. in Astrophysics.

Mike Downing

Chief Technology Officer, WPA

Mike has worked in technology development and innovation at WPA for 20 years. WPA is a leading UK Health Insurer.

His academic background includes a BSc in Business Computer Science, an MSc in International Financial Management and an MBA. Mike has interests in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, having completed related studies at Swansea University and MIT.

Prior to WPA, Mike’s work experience has included retail, banking, software houses, ESA and the UN.

Mike strives to keep WPA at the leading edge of technology disruption and transformation, implementing solutions that drive the business forward and deliver competitive advantage.

Richard Everson

Professor of Machine Learning, University of Exeter

Richard graduated with a degree in Physics from Cambridge University in 1983 and a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Leeds University in 1988. He worked at Brown and Yale Universities on fluid mechanics and data analysis problems until moving to Rockefeller University, New York to work on optical imaging and modelling of the visual cortex. After working at Imperial College, London, he was appointed lecturer at Exeter University in 1999, where he is now a Professor of Machine Learning.

Research interests are in machine learning, statistical pattern recognition, multi-objective optimisation and the links between them. Particular current interests are in optimisation in wireless and mobile networks to maintain quality of service, in automatic analysis of video and accelerometer data for inferring behaviour of animals (funded by NERC and the Open Innovation Platform) and people (with the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital), and in modelling big data storage systems (with the Met Office).

Tom Torkar

Partner and Head of Technology & Innovation, Michelmores

Tom advises clients in the IT, media, e-commerce and financial services sectors, ranging from large corporations to SMEs, in the UK and internationally. His work extends to providing legal and strategic advice on the commercial arrangements for managing, using and protecting data and intellectual property – often in the context of innovative or disruptive business models.
Tom has expertise in creating and negotiating agreements with a technology component, including outsourcing, crowd-sourcing, software and systems licensing and development agreements. He also advises on regulatory and consumer compliance issues including data protection, ecommerce and distance selling issues, consumer terms and conditions and financial services regulation.