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Speaker Biographies

Joao Cruz

Principal Engineer

Cruz Atcheson

Joao has over 16 years’ experience in the offshore renewable energy industry. Throughout his career, Joao has gathered unique numerical and experimental modelling skills, coupled with a broad range of field experience – including direct participation in the commissioning of full-scale, grid connected wave energy converters.

Joao co-founded Cruz Atcheson Consulting Engineers in late 2015, after 7 years at Garrad Hassan (now DNV GL), where he started and managed the W&T team. Cruz Atcheson has now completed over 50 projects and features 5 specialist engineers solely dedicated to concept design, due diligence and project development activities in the W&T and floating offshore wind space.

With both a MSc and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University of Lisbon, Joao has recently completed an Executive MBA at the University of Bath, with a thesis focusing on how to bridge the ‘valley of death’ in early-stage investments in renewable energy conversion technologies.

Paul Darnbrough

Associate Director


Paul Darnbrough is an Associate Director with over 17 years’ experience as an environmental consultant. He has worked across a range of business sectors as well as the public sector. Paul’s technical experience includes EIA project management for energy infrastructure, renewables, marine (ports & harbours), as well as major residential and commercial developments.

Paul has led and completed EIA projects across the UK, often working closely with design teams to ensure successful outcomes. The projects have included applications where the EIA is being undertaken to help secure multiple consents, such as planning consent and marine licensing.

Paul is a Chartered Environmentalist and full member of the Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). In addition, he works with IEMA as a membership assessor to evaluate candidates for full membership and chartered status.

Simon Forrest


Nova Innovation Ltd

Simon is the CEO of Nova Innovation and has over 25 years industrial experience. Nova Innovation is an industry leading tidal energy company which in 2016 successfully installed the world’s first offshore tidal array. Simon has worked in the energy sector for the past 15 years with leading companies including Scottish Power and Wood Mackenzie. Prior to his work in the marine energy sector, Simon worked in hi-tech manufacturing for IBM in Europe and Asia. He has also worked in investment banking for Salomon Brothers in London and New York.
Simon has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Edinburgh, is a Chartered Engineer and a Member of the IET.
Simon loves football and plays for his local side in Edinburgh ... he is still hopeful of getting the call from Gordon Strachan ...

Jason Hayman

Managing Director

Sustainable Marine Energy Ltd

Jason Hayman is the Managing Director of Sustainable Marine Energy (SME). SME is a dynamic marine engineering company, based in Edinburgh, developing enabling technology solutions for the offshore renewable energy and aquaculture sectors. These include innovative, high-load anchoring solutions, and two moored tidal energy platforms that provide low-risk, low-cost installation and maintenance access, in exposed and inshore locations.
Jason is a Naval Architect with degrees from the Universities of Newcastle and Cambridge. He has been involved in the offshore renewable energy sector for over a decade, and has helped develop technical solutions for several tidal, wave, offshore wind and aquaculture projects, with a specific focus on installation and maintenance access – an area in which he has gained a great deal of practical experience.
He founded Sustainable Marine Energy in 2012 to develop and commercialise technical solutions that can support the delivery of offshore renewable energy projects safely and cost-effectively.

Kirsty Macpherson

Partner - Co-Head Renewables

Brodies LLP

Kirsty is Co-Head of Renewables at Brodies with over 15 years of experience in onshore and offshore wind, hydro, biomass and anaerobic digestion plants and has acted on behalf of both developers and landowners on numerous projects with a particular specialism in crofting and renewables.

Kirsty has been involved in complex renewable schemes including grid sharing amongst three separate hydro schemes with the connection point located at a windfarm, was lead partner in an onshore wind project which involved 17 landowners and over 300 crofters. She has also acted on behalf of investors purchasing operating assets providing input to their due diligence process and taking projects through project finance.

Chris McCabe

Environmental Consultant

BMT Cordah

Chris McCabe is an Environmental Consultant within the Environmental Management and Assessment Team at BMT Cordah. Chris is an experienced marine scientist, and provides GIS capabilities and marine growth assessments to the BMT Cordah team. His previous experience includes marine surveying, laboratory analysis and marine ecology-based projects. Currently, Chris’ work is focused on the analysis and delivery of marine growth assessments, Environmental Report writing and the provision of GIS and mapping services to the Oil, Gas and Renewable Energy Sectors. Chris has gained further experience in hydraulic modelling with BMT WBM, providing modelling and mapping resources on a national scale project.

Sarah-Jane McArthur


Brodies LLP

Sarah-Jane is an energy and projects lawyer with diverse experience across several sectors. In the energy sector, Sarah-Jane’s primary focus is on renewables and she has contributed to the successful delivery of many projects. Her experience includes advising developers, sponsors and banks on a range of renewables projects including; tidal power hydro schemes, windfarms (both on and offshore), anaerobic digestion and renewable heat.
Sarah-Jane’s renewables expertise spans drafting and negotiating vaious contracts crucial for project development, including grid connection documents, construction and supply agreements and power purchase agreements. She also manages due diligence for project finance transactions and advises on the sale and purchase of development and operating assets. Sarah-Jane has supported developers and investors on renewables support mechanisms including FIT, RO and CfD and has advised on a number of innovative project options and structures.