A look at 2024's lineup

Keynote Speakers

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Dr Mhairi Aitken

Ethics Fellow, The Alan Turing Institute
Dr Mhairi Aitken is an Ethics Fellow in the Public Policy Programme at The Alan Turing Institute, a Visiting Senior Lecturer at the Digital Environment Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London and an Honorary Senior Fellow at the University of Wollongong, Australia. At the Alan Turing Institute Mhairi leads research on AI and children’s rights, as well as working across a range of topics including data justice, ethics of Generative AI and emerging AI policy and regulation. Mhairi was included in the 2023 international list of “100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics” and is a frequent contributor to media discussions around AI and data.

Keynote Speaker


Hannah Underwood

Founder, Under the Hood

Hannah Underwood is a self confessed charity data geek. Hannah benefits from oodles of experience in purpose-driven and impactful organisations, having spent 16 years as the CEO of North East charity The Key, as well as serving as a Trustee and Non-Executive Director for various fab organisations including DataKind UK and Newcastle University. She has also begun experimenting with a data startup. Her big hairy audacious goal is to revolutionise the use of data within the social sector, so they can inform decisions, spark innovation, build 'equal' cross-sector partnerships and ultimately turbo charge social impact across the North East. When she hasn't got her head in the clouds you can find Hannah chasing her 3 small (and often grubby) children, round various parts of Northumberland or being utterly terrified on stage as an amature stand-up comedian.

Keynote Speaker

Data-Driven Success Stories

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Nick Lamb

Service Design Lead, Gateshead Council
Nick Lamb is Service Design Lead at Gateshead Council. His focus is on how data can be used to create better services focused on the needs of Gateshead residents. Having had 10 years’ experience with digital, data and technology in local government he has recently completed his master-level apprenticeship in data analytics at Newcastle University.

Data-Driven Success Stories

Simon Priestley

Simon Priestley

Partner, Home Sale Pack

Simon Priestley is a Solicitor and business owner of two major law firms in the North East.  In addition to this, he is also the CEO and Co-founder of Home Sale Pack which is an innovative platform to simplify and streamline the process of buying and selling property.  Home Sale Pack are working closely with NICD to digitise the conveyancing process with in large language models, and  machine learning of key phrases within Land Registry documents.  

Data-Driven Success Stories


Roxana Montazerian

CEO and Founder of Roxid Ltd

Roxana Montazerian is the CEO and founder of a research-driven technology startup located in Newcastle. As a Chartered Architect, she is engaged in research on Artificial Intelligence (AI) for creating digital twins and Heritage Building Information Models (HBIM). She is also developing big data and AI tools to enhance ROXID's application performance.


Data-Driven Success Stories


David Baillie

Founder, Seascape Systems

David Baillie founded Wildcat Films in 1989. The company initially specialised in news reporting from war zones and remote locations. It further developed in environmental documentary production, and in 2005 he pioneered aerial filming in the Antarctic for various David Attenborough series. In 2008 he set up HiDef Aerial Surveying to adapt this technology for marine wildlife surveying for the offshore renewable industry. He exited HiDef in 2016 and returned to filming natural history, for which he has received several Emmy & Bafta awards. In 2023 he set up Seascape Surveillance to return to the offshore renewable sector, and develop a new biodiversity survey technology using AI and advanced remote sensing.

Data-Driven Success Stories


Liz Maxwell

Director of Partnerships, Teacher Success Platform

Liz Maxwell is a Co-Founder and Director of Partnerships for the recently launched Teacher Success Platform (TSP). TSP provides online solutions to recruit and nurture teachers, school mentors and leaders. Liz began her career as a primary teacher and has worked in higher education across the globe including Australia, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and most recently the United Kingdom.



Data-Driven Success Stories


Dr Paul Hands

Chief Technical Officer, Parallel 51
Dr Paul Hands is the Chief Technical Officer of Parallel-51, a cutting edge technology product manufacturer based in Newcastle. Using coding experience gained through his PhD, Paul has been writing software for 12 years in various languages at different companies in the North East of England. In his spare time he's a dad of 2, and loves to tell a dad joke.

Data-driven success stories


Jordan Burnard

Lawyer and Co-Founder of VA-Code
Jordan Burnard is a dynamic corporate and commercial lawyer specialising in data privacy and cybersecurity, with over a decade of experience and dual qualifications in law and international business. As Co-Founder of VA-Code, Jordan has spearheaded the development of innovative AI-driven revolutionary solutions like VOSe and eGUARD.  A frequent speaker on AI and digital solutions, he combines his legal expertise with a passion for emerging technology, Tech for Good and contributing to the broader tech community.

Data-driven success stories

The Art of Innovation Track


Dr Rebecca Casey

Lecturer in Information Systems Management, Newcastle University Business School
Dr Rebecca Casey is an accomplished academic and researcher specialising in digital innovation and the realisation of digital value. Currently a Lecturer in Information Systems Management at Newcastle University Business School, Dr Casey has a background in both teaching and research. She holds degrees from Northumbria University, Newcastle University and Trinity College Dublin. Her research focuses on the sociotechnical aspects of digital transformation, particularly within health and care. Dr Casey has published widely and has been recognised for her innovative approaches to teaching and research.

mastering innovation

Colin Eberhardt

Colin Eberhardt

Chief Technology Officer, Scott Logic

Colin Eberhardt is Chief Technology Officer at Scott Logic, a growing UK software consultancy that serves financial services and public sector clients. He is a prolific technical author, blogger and speaker on a wide range of technologies. He has a keen interest in open-source, specifically how we address the associated sustainability and security challenges, and how to keep innovation at the heart of everything.


Beyond the Hype

Paul Goodman

Dr Paul Goodman

Innovation Lead, National Innovation Centre for Data
Dr Paul Goodman joined us from Newcastle University's School of Engineering, where he was a lecturer in Intelligent Transport Systems. Here, his work consists predominantly of general data analysis, geospatial data analysis, and data visualisation. When he's not at work, Paul spends his time looking after a small clowder of feral cats that adopted him several years ago.

mastering innovation


Matthew Wilson

Statistical Publication Lead
Matthew Wilson is the Statistical Publication Lead at the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA). He has a passion for democratising data and driving open working methods in the public sector so that we can all benefit from innovation.

mastering innovation


James Heward

Principal Architect, Scott Logic
James Heward is a Principal Architect at Scott Logic, a growing UK software consultancy that serves financial services and public sector clients. Prior to Scott Logic, he was founder and CTO of a machine learning start-up providing behaviour analysis solutions to the pharmaceutical industry for pre-clinical drug discovery. He is interested in helping organisations of all sizes leverage AI to drive real value in their business.

beyond the hype


Jack Pattullo

Lending Commercials and Data Manager, Newcastle Building Society
Jack Pattullo is the Lending Commercials & Data Manager within the Product and Commercial function at Newcastle Building Society. He has worked in various roles across the organisation and in his current position uses machine learning models to drive data led decision making to help people own their own home and build long lasting relationships with customers.

mastering innovation

Richie Ramsden

Richie Ramsden

Technical Director, National Innovation Centre for Data

Richie Ramsden is Technical Director here at the National Innovation Centre for Data and is hugely interested in innovation and leadership and, above all, how the two intersect. He loves nothing more than asking how? and why? in order to identify real business need.

Mastering Innovation


Tom Shanks

Director, Blueline Group
Tom Shanks is Director of Blueline Group, a North East business responsible for transporting over 10 million passengers annually - facilitating over £48 million of transactions within the local economy each year. Tom also holds a degree from Durham University and a PhD from Newcastle University. His interdisciplinary experience has equipped him with a unique perspective on the intersection of digital transformation and strategic management in the transport sector. His insights into leveraging data for strategic advantage have positioned him as a leading voice in the industry regarding the application of data for innovation, contributing to sustainable regional connectivity and driving economic growth. 

Mastering innovation


Adnan Shroufi

Senior Data Scientist, NHS Business Services Authority

Adnan Shroufi is a Senior Data Scientist working for the Data Science Team at the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA). The mission of the Data Science Team is to deliver new insights from data through innovation, experimentation and collaboration. The key data assets of the NHSBSA—which include NHS prescriptions, dental and jobs data—provide great potential and scope to work toward this goal.

mastering innovation

Data Mastery Track

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Dr Georgia Atkinson

Data Scientist, National Innovation Centre for Data
Dr Georgia Atkinson started her PhD looking at the application of deep learning to dolphin images, however this progressed to dolphin acoustics. Ever since her undergraduate, she has been interested in applying mathematics to acoustic data and she has always been interested in nature and animals since she was young. Her PhD was a perfect time to explore both of these interests! It opened her eyes (and ears) to the world of bioacoustics and deep learning and also the larger field of how machine learning is applied within conservation.

Data visualisation

Louise Braithwaite

Louise Braithwaite, MSc

Data Scientist, National Innovation Centre for Data

Louise Braithewaite's technical background is in exploratory data analysis and data visualisation, and she is likewise looked to as something of a data visualisation expert within the team. She has also led on conceptualising explainer animations for various parts of the National Innovation Centre for Data’s offer.

Data Mastery

Jacek Cala

Dr Jacek Cala

Senior Data Scientist, National Innovation Centre for Data

Jacek (yat-sek)'s background is in scalable computing, and he has broad knowledge of workflows, application deployment, recomputation, and programming. He combines his role as a Senior Data Scientist here at the National Innovation Centre for Data with academic research at Newcastle University.

Data Mastery


Kira Clark

Test Engineer, Scott Logic
Kira Clark has worked as a Test Engineer at Scott Logic for 4 years. Born, raised and based in Edinburgh. she was part of the Spylogic project team. She now tinkers with trying to break AI in her spare time. Outside of work, she is a gym goer, book reader and knitter extraordinaire. 

Data mastery

Matt Edwards

Dr Matt Edwards

Senior Data Scientist, National Innovation Centre for Data

Matt Edwards is a Senior Data Scientist here at the National Innovation Centre for Data and, given that his background is in statistics and machine learning, it makes sense that he would run a workshop comparing the two disciplines. Matt’s broad expertise means he is able to support organisations of all kinds and all sizes with various data problems.

Data Mastery


Doro Hinrichs

Associate Developer, Scott Logic
Doro Hinrichs is an Associate Developer at Scott Logic. Originally from Germany, she found a home in Glasgow while studying Psychology. She pursued a career in mental health before changing careers into software development where she enjoys bringing a people-focused approach to code.

data mastery

Antonia Kontaratou

Dr Antonia Kontaratou

Data Scientist, National Innovation Centre for Data

Antonia Kontaratou’s technical background combines computer science and statistics, and in her role here at the National Innovation Centre for Data she leverages her experience in these areas to support a wide variety of organisations from small start-ups to large public sector bodies.

Data Mastery

Fergus McClean

Dr Fergus McClean

Data Scientist, National Innovation Centre for Data

Fergus McClean studied at Newcastle University’s School of Engineering and has a background in environmental modelling. Here at the National Innovation Centre for Data, he has helped scores of organisations to improve their efficiency around data through automating reports, building dashboards, and streamlining processes.

Data Mastery

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Dr Peter Michalák

Senior Data Scientist
Peter Michalák is our Edge Solution Specialist here at the National Innovation Centre for Data, and he possesses a wealth of knowledge and experience in edge computing and IoT. His specific expertise has been instrumental in being able to support everything from charities to university spinouts with cutting-edge tools and techniques.

Data mastery

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Dr Myles Mitchell

Data Scientist, Jumping Rivers
Dr Myles Mitchell holds a PhD in Astrophysics and works as a Data Scientist at Jumping Rivers. With over a decade of experience in Python programming, he likes to apply himself to projects ranging from predictive analytics in public health to software development. Keen to share his expertise, he enjoys teaching courses in beginner programming, database management, machine learning and more. When he's not thinking about code, you'll probably find him on a mountain in some far-flung place...

Data mastery


Prof Barry Hodgson

Director of Strategy, National Innovation Centre for Data
Barry Hodgson is Director of Strategy here at the National Innovation Centre for Data. He has deep experience of business and innovation in the technology sector, having previously worked as Financial and Operations Director for Arjuna Technologies, a software company spun out of Newcastle University. In helping to shape the Data Innovation Bootcamps that the National Innovation Centre for Data runs for Newcastle University students, Barry has picked up a thing or two about how to get relevant skills into organisations.

Data mastery