Professional Biography

Leadership Roles

2019 to DateDirector of Community Deliberation Network
2018 to DateDirector of RSA-US network: Deliberation Gateway
2015 to 2016Local Co-ordinator for 38 Degrees, Cambridge UK

Academic Appointments

2017 to DateNorthwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA, Project Scientist. Spidroin simulation, Implementing computation in chemical media, Automated exploration of chemical phases using machine learning, Application of non-equilibrium driving forces to chemical systems.
2016University of California, San Diego, USA, Assistant Project Scientist, Automated exploration of emergent properties due to frustration in self-assembling hierarchical biomaterials.
2016University of Sussex, UK, Sussex Neuroscience, Research Associate, Lab equipment construction.
2012 to 2016Cambridge University, UK, Department of Chemistry, Research Associate, Energy landscapes of amyloid and collagen.
2009 to 2012Cambridge University, UK, Institute for Manufacturing, Research Associate, Modulating protein graphite interactions with FIB.
2005 to 2009Cambridge University, UK, Department of Chemistry, PhD, Towards the control of the morphology of amyloid fibres displaying electron transfer proteins.

Commercial Appointments

2002 to 2004QinetiQ, Centre for Atmospheric Propagation, Software Engineer, Nowcasting electron density in troposphere using GPS tomography.
2002DSPace Pty, Australia, Software Engineer developing the transmit chain for mobile satellite modem.
1999 to 2002QinetiQ, Advanced Communications Technology, Software Engineer. Engineering signal geolocation systems.
1996 to 1999Marconi-Avionics, Radar Systems Division, Summer Internships, Radar algorithm development and documentation.


2005 to 2009Biophysics, PhD, Cambridge University.
2004 to 2005Nanotechnology, MPhil, Cambridge University.
1996 to 1999Mathematical Physics, MPhys, Edinburgh University.

Teaching Experience

2007 to 2020Tutorials, Project Supervision, Lecturing, Examinations.

Academic Appointment History

2017 Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, Prof Nathan Gianneschi, Project Scientist

Continued development of control system for integrating optics and fluidics with a machine learning software harness. The object is to explore the phase space of polymeric or other materials using automated DOE processes. Project support for droplet dispensing, atomic force microscopy and computational simulation. Additional projects include atomistic spidroin simulation of MASP1, the dragline silk for Black Widow spiders, in which we aim to understand the chemo-mechanical non-equilibrium conditions in the silk gland on the effect of the nanostructure of spider silk. Also building opto-fluidic test equipment for exploring droplet chemistry to understand how to mediate chemical transfer between droplets for use in chemical calculation of optimization problems.

2016 University of California, San Diego, Prof. Nathan Gianneschi, Assistant Project Scientist

In this appointed role I began constructions of automated optofludic system to explore the phases of polymer chemical systems. This was an academic position and the project continued after moving to Northwestern.

2016 University of Sussex, Sussex Neuroscience, Dr Tom Baden, Research Associate

A temporary post, in which I set up a lab makespace to generate supporting hardware for use with the lab’s two photon microscope for investigating fish vision. I became adept at 3D printing and constructed a number of objects for use in the lab, chief among which was the OpenSpritzer, a device for controlling bursts of air for use with micro-injections.

2012 to 2016 Cambridge University, Department of Chemistry, Research Associate

rockerUsing Prof. David Wales energy landscape techniques I performed atomistic simulation of collagen to investigate the effects of proline hydroxylation on puckering and flexibility and investigated the mechanical role of proline to alanine mutations in the collagen.
Using similar techniques I also studied amyloid fibre morphology and discovered a frustration design principle that could recreate the observed range of morphologies of decorated amyloid fibres.toc

Additional Roles:

  • Supervised a PhD student studying bacterial micro-colony morphology with
    machine learning.
  • Departmental scanning probe microscopist adept at a range of probe microscopy techniques including: AFM, STM, KFM, EFM.
  • Held a position on steering committee for Synthetic Biology Strategic Research Initiative.
  • Regular panelist for the Advanced Leadership Program in which I presented a short talk to captains of industry concerning the convergence of additive manufacturing and synthetic biology and the role they will play in the transition to a circular economy.

2013 Nanoforum Senior Fellow, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University

I co-organised many workshops seminars and brainstorms to help bring together nanotechnology researchers at Cambridge. I also acted as a liason between nanoscience research at Cambridge and a variety of industrial and medical organisations including Addenbrookes Hospital.

2010 to 2012 Research Associate, Cambridge University, Institute for Manufacturing.


Working with Prof. Bill O’Neill I investigated the effect of gallium doping on the topology and work function of graphite with the intention of controlling the mechnical and electrical interaction between proteins and the carbon surface. The colours in the image refer to the surface potential and the height to the topology of the surface.

I also helped develop the foundations for a strategic framework for mainstream biomimetic manufacturing called Naturally Inspired Manufacturing.


Commercial Appointments

2002 to 2004: QinetiQ Level 4 Scientic Engineer, Center for Atmospheric Propagation.
I contributed to a number of projects in my  time at CPAR including projects to map ionospheric electron density using GPS tomography,  statistical analysis of weather induced fast fading in mobile communications and I led the software team in the field trials of novel communications equipment.

2001: DSpace Pty, Australia. Three month placement.
I helped design and code the transmit chain software for a DSP/FPGA architecture mobile satellite modem.

1999 to 2001: QinetiQ, Advanced Communications Technology, level 3 engineer.
I contributed to a number of projects including writing and designing software for a semi-automatic satellite geolocation system (satID). I also investigated how to improve the accuracy of signal geolocation using a multi-reference signal approach. I learned how to do software engineering in a commercial setting using C.

1996 to 1999: GEC-Marconi Avionics, Radar Systems Division.
In this internship I helped design radar signal processing algorithms and managed documentation for a lightweight radar system for fighter aircraft.


2005 to 2010 PhD, Cambridge University, Department of Chemistry
Working with Dr Paul Barker, my thesis was entitled “Towards Control of the Morphology of Amyloid Fibres“. I explored the possibility of dynamically adjusting morphology in amyloid fibres by modifying the conformation of electron transport proteins that were integrated into the fibre structure.  I also used STM to probe the electrical properties of amyloid fibres to see if we could detect the electro transport centers and I began the coarse grain simulation leading to the discovery of a design principle for amyloid. I acquired skills in  protein engineering and characterisation of soft matter using AFM, TEM, STM and UV-Vis spectroscopy.

2004 to 2005  MPhil in Micro and Nanotechnology with Enterprise, Department of Materials, Cambridge University,
I achieved a distinction in a taught masters program exploring the foundations of nanotechnology as well as attending courses in basic entrepreurial training including finance, marketing and biotechnology modules.  My dissertation was entitled “Commercial Applicability of Nanoparticles in Battery Systems”.

1995 to 1999 MPhys,  Mathematical Physics, Edinburgh University.
A comprehensive grounding in mathematical methods of theoretical physics with specialisations in particle theory in my final year. My final year project was entitled “Coupling Constant Unifcation in Grand Unified Field Theory“.  2:1.

Teaching Experience

2016 to 2020 Introduction to AFM microscopy
2010 to 2015 Training manager of Department scanning probe microscope.
2010 to 2015 Manufacturing Engineering Tripos II, Can iPods Grow on Trees?
2013 Theory Sector Seminar Series: Introduction to Catastrophe Theory.
2013 Bionanotechnology Lecture Series: Quantum Biology and The Science of Bone.
2012 Supervisor for nanoDTC mini project: Sustainable Biomimetic Materials.
2010 Examiner for Nanotechnology with Enterprise MPhil.
2010 Authored and presented 8 lecture series on bionanotechnology.
2007 Supervisor Part III physics – Soft Matter and Biological Physics.