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Speaker Biographies

Kersti Berge

Director of Energy and Climate Change

Scottish Government

Kersti was appointed to the role of Director of Energy and Climate Change at the Scottish Government in May 2018.

Previously, she worked for Ofgem as the partner for Networks, with responsibility for regulated networks and the RIIO price controls. She is also Head of Ofgem in Scotland with responsibility for liaising with key Scottish stakeholders and managing Ofgem’s office in Glasgow. Prior to these roles she headed the Research and Analysis team in the Markets division where she was responsible for competition analysis, market surveillance and security of supply.

Before joining Ofgem, Kersti was a senior economic advisor at the Treasury where she was responsible for the medium term growth forecast. Prior to that she was a lecturer in economics at Oxford University.

Phil Buchan

Commercial Director

Cyberhawk

Phil joined Cyberhawk in early 2010 as part of the founding management team and leads the technology solutions team. A Chartered Mechanical Engineer with a Master’s degree in structural engineering, he has researched and published papers on failure mechanisms of composite, concrete and steel structures. Phil has been at the forefront of introducing innovative drone industrial inspection and asset management solutions in multiple sectors including upstream & downstream oil & gas, electricity transmission & distribution and renewable power generation.

Claire Canning

Project Development Manager

Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult

Claire is the Project Development Manager in the Operational Performance directorate. Her role involves identifying technologies which have the potential to reduce the costs of operating offshore wind farms and contribute to economic growth. Claire is leading the Fit 4 Offshore Renewables (F4OR) Scottish Pilot Programme; a Business Excellence initiative that aims to support Scottish supply chain companies get ready to bid for work in the offshore wind sector. For the last 12 months, Claire has also been directly supporting Martin Whitmarsh and his Supply Chain Review, on behalf of the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC). Claire has further engagement with the supply chain through programmes such as the Offshore Wind Innovation Hub and the Offshore Wind Innovation Exchange, seeking companies who can address the challenges of industry through technology innovation.

Steve Chisholm

Operations Manager

Green Energy Group

Global Energy Group provides manufacturing and construction services to the international energy industry. It is in the unique position of being a major supplier and service provider across 4 key industry sectors; renewables, nuclear, oil & gas and utilities. Global Energy also owns and operates the UK's leading renewables port, Nigg Energy Park, on the Cromarty Firth currently the staging port for construction of the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm.

Steve brings over 30 years international experience to his role as Operations Director at Global Energy where he has responsibility for the service activities at Nigg Energy Park and its ongoing strategic development. He has held executive and non-executive Board positions in publicly quoted, private and not-for-profit organisations, roles which included new business building in the emerging markets of the Middle East and former Soviet Union. He has a long record of delivering leadership and growth in the UK and Europe and is passionate about achieving continuous improvement across all business activities. His entrepreneurial activities include management consulting in the USA and jointly founding one of the UK's first cloud computing businesses.

Neil Douglas

Director

BVG Associates

Neil joined the management team of BVG Associates as a Director in the spring of 2017 and heads up our business in Scotland.

He has 25 years of experience in the renewable energy industry, with specific expertise in the design, development and operational management of projects, including asset management strategy, performance engineering, technical due diligence and risk analysis for onshore and offshore wind farms. He also has extensive knowledge of asset management systems, technology innovation and wind resource analysis.

Neil joined BVG Associates after more than two decades with Natural Power and holds a Masters in Energy Systems and the Environment from the University of Strathclyde.

Alan Duncan

Business Development Consultant

Windhoist

A procurement director by trade, Alan has been involved in the Scottish Offshore Wind sector for over six years and has first-hand experience of mapping opportunities across the supply chain spectrum and developing propositions for top-tier customers. At Windhoist, Alan is responsible for contracting and business development within overseas markets where the company has an international track record in 20 countries globally.

Alastair Dutton

Managing Director

Advent.re Ltd

Alastair has worked in low carbon and renewable energy all his career.

At BP for 15 years he developed solar and wind projects.

Then 7 years at The Crown Estate as Programme Manager for all the UK’s offshore wind projects.

Most recently as advisor at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

He is a recognised offshore wind expert by the International Energy Agency, International Renewable Energy Agency and the UK Government.

In 2017 Alastair set up his own company called Advent.re, focused on taking offshore wind global. Clients include governments, public bodies, developers, supply chain and investors.

In 2018 Alastair was appointed Special Advisor on Offshore Wind by GWEC and Chair of the Global Offshore Wind Task Force. The task force takes an umbrella approach to co-ordinate activities involved in taking offshore wind global and so accelerate its deployment to the benefit of all involved in the sector.

Jason Fudge

Chief Operating Officer

DF Barnes

Jason was born and raised in St. John’s, NL. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. He currently resides in St. John’s with his wife Christa and two children, Gavin and Maria.

Jason has been actively engaged in the Canadian offshore oil and gas industry since 2003. Formally as Chief Financial Officer, and now Chief Operating Officer of JV Driver’s Marine Enterprise, Jason has been a key contributor to its rise as one of Eastern Canada’s largest multi-disciplinary maintenance, fabrication, and construction contractors. Through his 15-year career with JV Driver, Jason has developed significant knowledge of construction industry issues and a strong commitment toward developing opportunities for companies in Eastern Canada. Jason is an active volunteer for several non-for-profit organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industry Association (NOIA).

Jason is a highly motivated and results-driven person. His commitment to success is apparent in everything he does. With the recent acquisition of the BiFab Group, Jason is committed to growing JV Driver’s Marine Enterprise in North America, the UK and beyond.

Helena Gray

Deputy Director

Marine Scotland

Helena Gray is head of the Marine Planning and Policy Division in Marine Scotland, Scottish Government. The Division leads within Scottish Government on issues relating to marine planning, marine conservation, offshore renewables and marine licensing and consenting. Helena is an economist by background and joined Marine Scotland in November 2017. Prior to this role Helena worked for the Scotland Office on constitutional policy and has also held senior policy positions in the Department for International Development and HM Treasury.

Patricia Hawthorn

Partner

Shepherd + Wedderburn LLP

Patricia is a Partner at the legal firm, Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, and has over 30 years' experience in legal practice in Scotland and England and Wales. She is a leading expert in advising public and private sector clients on consenting, regulatory and compliance matters in relation to renewable technologies from EfW to wave and tidal.

Her practice covers the early stages of the development consenting process, strategic environmental assessment and environmental impact assessment, planning due diligence and the cross over with environmental permitting, which blends well with the contentious focus of the planning team.

Patricia is on the Board of Directors at Scottish Renewables and she is a member of RenewableUK's consents and licensing group.

Jenny Hogan

Deputy Chief Executive

Scottish Renewables

In addition to deputising for the Chief Executive, Jenny has strategic oversight of the policy function and key projects within Scotland’s leading renewables trade body, working on behalf of 250+ organisations to grow Scotland’s renewable energy sector and sustain its position at the forefront of the global clean energy industry.

Since 2010 and before taking on her current role, Jenny was Director of Policy and then Director of Policy & Membership. During this time she has been instrumental in implementing a major transformation of the organisation and its impact on the media debate and political decision-making in Scotland.

Jenny first joined Scottish Renewables in 2004, working initially in business development before leading on policy development for renewable heat, bioenergy and marine energy, and later the wind energy sector. She also led the policy, research and communications work of sustainable development charity, Forward Scotland, between 2007-8.

Thomas Humphries

Co-Founder

Cognitive.Business

Tom is a co-founder of Cognitive.Business, a value driven business focused on empowering their customers through machine learning, software, and consultancy.
He has an MPhys from Loughborough University and is a specialist in the application of software and machine learning solutions to power generation problems. He has worked directly in offshore wind, inventing new methods for automated turbine performance analysis and leading projects in the optimisation of offshore maintenance planning. The machine learning solutions he designed and developed for condition monitoring and predictive maintenance are currently being used to monitor billions of pounds worth of assets, worldwide.
Combining his experience in system design, user experience, and turbine performance analysis he is currently working on Wind A.I., an automatic system that uses turbine comparison networks to detect performance losses that would be otherwise undetectable through conventional analysis.

Bjørn Johansen

Project Manager

Equinor

Bjørn Johansen works as Project Manager for early phase offshore wind projects in Equinor, currently focusing on new opportunities in Scotland. Previous work experience includes both project and technology development in Equinor, both within offshore wind and oil and gas. Mr. Johansen holds a master’s degree in marine technology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.

Dr Mark Leybourne

Associate Director

ITPEnergised

Dr. Mark Leybourne is an Associate Director in ITPEnergised’s offshore renewable energy group, based in Bristol, UK. After joining the consultancy 11 years ago, he is now the company’s offshore renewable energy sector lead, coordinating ITPE’s activities in offshore renewables across the engineering, environmental and grid teams. Mark works across a range of offshore wind, wave and tidal energy projects, providing technical, policy and strategic advice to both public and private clients.
A strong focus for Mark’s work is in the developing Asian markets for offshore renewables such as those in China, India, Taiwan, Singapore, Philippines and Korea.

Claire Mack

Chief Executive

Scottish Renewables

Claire has been Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, the representative voice of Scotland’s renewable energy industry, since October 2017. She is responsible for leading the organisation’s work to grow Scotland’s renewables sector and sustain its position at the forefront of the global clean energy industry.

Claire is a member of the First Minister’s Energy Advisory Board and the Renewables Industry Advisory Group, co-chaired by Scotland’s Energy Minister.

Before joining Scottish Renewables, Claire was Director of Policy and Place at the Scottish Council for Development. She has previously worked in various roles at Ofcom in Scotland, focusing on economic regulation of telecoms, radio spectrum and the mail market while also looking at developing digital participation of individuals and businesses.

Prior to this Claire worked in retail and the construction industry as well as on regulation of regional broadcasting in the Borders and North East of England.

Saul Matthews

Head of Business Development

Synaptec

Saul manages sales and marketing at Synaptec having led disruptive technology start-ups worldwide in the telecommunications, IT and semiconductor industries for over 25 years.

Séamus McCabe

Vice President

Green Investment Group

Séamus joined Macquarie Capital in 2016 and is responsible for the commercial and technical aspects of the Green Investment Groups (GIG) offshore wind equity and advisory transactions. Séamus has over 15 years’ experience on numerous onshore and offshore construction projects in both the Renewables and Oil & Gas industries. Prior to joining the GIG Séamus spent an 8 Year period with a major utility on a number of European offshore wind projects in the development and construction phases.

Andrew McCallum

Managing Director

Aspect Reputation Management

Andrew is an experienced corporate affairs professional who founded Aspect
Reputation Management in 2015 following a 15-year career in the private sector.

Aspect provides strategic advice to help organisations and individuals build trust and
protect their reputation, influence their policy and regulatory environment, and deliver
their ambition and goals through strategic communication, stakeholder relations and
change management.

A trusted advisor to chief executives, Andrew has been a C-suite executive in the
energy, oil and gas, utilities, transport and infrastructure sectors, working with listed
companies, private equity shareholders, governments and sovereign shareholders.
He has delivered significant transactions and transformations, successfully
establishing and repositioning major organisations to deliver growth and value.

Andrew is a Trustee of United Way UK, part of the world’s largest privately supported
not-for-profit organisation, which helps individuals and families achieve their potential
through education, income stability and healthy lives.

Nancy McLean

Offshore Development Manager

EDF Renewables

Nancy has recently joined EDF-RE to lead their Round 4 aspirations in both The Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland leasing rounds. She has been working in the renewable energy sector for over fifteen years, and offshore wind specifically for over ten, and has been involved in projects across all phases of an offshore wind farm’s life cycle. She is a successful project and consent manager who has worked with a variety of offshore wind engineering teams to develop robust, defendable and consentable design envelopes, an experience relevant to the delivery of project descriptions to inform and shape Round 4 tender bids to both leasing rounds. Nancy enjoys liaison with landowners, stakeholders, consultees and determining authorities, and works pro-actively with industry bodies to further the aspirations of the offshore wind industry to deliver additional capacity to market.

Robin Presswood

Executive Director - City Development

Dundee City Council

Robin Presswood is Executive Director of City Development at Dundee City Council, with responsibility for Planning and Building Standards, Economic Development, Roads & Transportation, Property, Engineering and Sustainability.

Robin started his local government career with Tayside Regional Council, had various elected, voluntary and non-executive posts with Dundee District Council, NHS Tayside and Scottish Arts Council, as well as jobs with Angus Council before joining Fife in 2004, where he was Head of a service combining planning, economic development, tourism, employability, building standards, environmental health, and trading standards.

Robin is a keen but ropey skier, and has been on a number of cultural sector boards including Dundee Contemporary Arts, where he was Chairman for 13 years.

Gunnar Prytz

Chief Technology Officer

Miros Group

Gunnar Prytz holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway.

He had several roles ranging from scientist to R&D management within instrumentation, communication technologies and automation system design in ABB from 2001 to 2017, most recently with ABB Marine and Ports focusing on the Internet-of-Things, asset management, predictive maintenance, big data and digitalization.

In 2017 he joined Miros as the Chief Technology Officer. Miros is a leading provider of ocean insights and offers a range of sensors and systems that measure and analyze ocean waves and currents, water levels and a wide range of other environmental properties.

John Robertson

Senior Manager

Crown Estate Scotland

John Robertson has been with Crown Estate Scotland and its predecessor body since 2010 and is Senior Manager in the Energy and Infrastructure team, leading on Offshore Wind and responsible for management of a portfolio of seabed agreements and of investments made to support project development. Prior to that his energy industry experience was gained in trading, commercial management and strategy roles with utility companies and independent power generators.

Jim Smith

Managing Director (Designate)

SSE Renewables

After graduating as Mechanical Engineer in 1983, Jim spent five years in power plant and automotive turbomachinery design. Jim joined SSE and its predecessors 27 years ago. During this time Jim has been involved in large scale power generation project development and construction including hydro, wind, gas, coal, gas storage and power transmission projects. He also spent time as Engineering Manager for the Company’s hydro generation fleet and was Station Manager at Peterhead Power Station.

In recent years Jim was Managing Director, Renewable Development, responsible for the development and construction of wind power projects on and offshore. In April 2014 Jim moved to Energy Portfolio Management, covering Energy Trading and Contracts, Risk Management and Planning and the upstream E&P business and latterly the role included responsibility for Business Energy in the retail supply market. From April 2016 Jim took up his current role with operational responsibility for SSE generation, gas storage and E&P assets. In November 2018 Jim was appointed Managing Director (Designate) of SSE Renewables, a new division which will be responsible for the Development Constitution and Operation of all of SSE’s renewable activity.

David Stevenson

Head of Energy Supply Chain

Scottish Government

David Stevenson is the Head of Energy Supply Chain, within the Scottish Government’s Directorate for Energy and Climate Change. Main activities include responsible for managing the relationship with energy developers and supply chain, and other private and public sector project stakeholders with a view to maximising the economic content of energy projects in Scotland. David is Secretary of the Offshore Wind Industry Group (OWIG) and is a member of both the UK Government’s Offshore Wind Industry Council and Offshore Wind Programme Board.

David Sweenie

Development Manager

EDF Renewables

David Sweenie is the Development Manager for EDF Renewables on the Neart na Goaithe project. David has worked on the Neart na Gaoithe project for almost 9 years, previously working as the Project Manager through the development period.

During this time, Neart na Gaoithe has received all its key consents, carried out comprehensive offshore surveys, successfully attained a CfD and was successfully acquired by EDF Renewables. The Neart na Gaoithe project is currently finalising the tendering process ahead of awarding the main contracts. Following this, Neart na Gaoithe will reach Financial Close prior to construction later this year.

David’s other responsibilities are for the Aviation, OFTO, Stakeholder and Supply Chain Engagement work streams.

Prior to Neart na Goaithe, David worked with Fugro and Imes, designing and installing structural monitoring systems in the global offshore, subsea, renewables, defence and civil industries.

David is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer.

Matthew Taylor

Deputy Director – Carbon Capture Renewables Sector

UK Government

Matt is a Deputy Director in the Clean Electricity Directorate at BEIS, covering renewable electricity section & Carbon Capture Storage. Matt has spent a year at the Low Carbon Contracts Company which is the counterparty to CFDs. Prior to this Matt led the team on the design and implementation of the renewables CFD. Matt has worked in a number of other fields in energy policy including nuclear and electricity retail markets.

Mark Timmons

Offshore Bid Manager

SSE

Mark is the Offshore Bid Manager for SSE’s Seagreen offshore windfarm. Mark has been in the offshore wind industry for over 8 years and is experienced in Offshore Wind Auctions, Supply Chain Strategy and Transaction Services.
He is a Chartered Accountant and previously worked in a global accountancy practice providing corporate finance and audit services to major public and private companies.

David Walker

Offshore Development Director

ScottishPower Renewables

David joined South of Scotland Electricity Board in 1987 prior to privatisation as ScottishPower and has worked in a variety of roles in the Energy Networks engineering and construction business including Network Development Director prior to joining the Renewables business in 2007 as Project Director with responsibility for development of new onshore windfarm sites.

David is the Offshore Development Director for ScottishPower Renewables, a division of Iberdrola which operates the largest renewables business in the world. His responsibility encompasses all of the company’s offshore wind development activities including the East Anglia programme in the UK and various major offshore developments across Europe and USA including Wikinger in Germany, St. Brieuc in France and Kitty Hawk in North Carolina. This includes the design, scoping, environmental assessment, planning, consenting, stakeholder engagement and environmental lifecycle asset management.

A chartered electrical engineer and MBA, David is married with 2 children.

Paul Wheelhouse MSP

Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands

Scottish Government

Born in Belfast, Paul was raised in Edinburgh, attending Stewart's Melville College. He has an honours degree in Economics from the University of Aberdeen and an MBA from University of Edinburgh. He has lived in Berwickshire since 2000.

‪Paul is a professional economist and, since 1992, had specialised in higher and further education markets, policy evaluation and economic appraisal and impact assessment of capital projects.‬

Between May 2011 and September 2012 Paul served on the Scottish Parliament's Finance Committee, and the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee. And was the Parliamentary Liaison Officer to the Cabinet Secretary for Parliamentary Business and Government Strategy of the Scottish Government. Previously, between May 2011 and Feb 2012, Paul served as Parliamentary Liaison Officer for the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment and the Minister for Climate Change.

Prior to taking his Ministerial position Paul was a member of cross-party groups on Epilepsy, Rural Policy, Armed forces Veterans, Funerals and Bereavement, Boating and Marine Tourism and deputy convener of Sport.

Sian Wilson

Senior Development Manager

Crown Estate Scotland

Sian Wilson, is now a Senior Development Manager for Crown Estate Scotland. Sian studied Offshore Technology at Cranfield University before beginning work in the wave and tidal sector in 2006. During that time she worked on and managed the due diligence and initial device assessments for all the leading technology developers. At Crown Estate Scotland some key pieces of work Sian has been involved in includes, championing the development of the new, non ‘round’ based, wave and tidal application process that is still open today, worked on the first arrays investment competition and today she now manages all marine energy and infrastructure activities for Crown Estate Scotland.

Steve Wilson

Project Director

SSE

Steven Wilson is the Project Director for the Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm. He has worked in a variety of Project Management and delivery roles in both the Oil and Gas and Renewables industries. He has been employed by SSE for eight years, initially working on the construction and operational handover of the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm before becoming Project Manager for the Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm in 2013, taking the project through development and into construction following Financial Close in May 2016.

Carlos Cerezo

Project Director - Moray West OWF

EDP Renewables

MSc. Engineer (ETS Energy and Mines – Polytechnic University of Madrid), PDD – IESE Business School and PAD – The Valley Digital Business School, with more than 20 years of experience in the Industry, Renewable Energy (Onshore and Offshore Wind) and Mining sectors in the areas of operations (purchasing, procurement, logistics and planning), project management and O&M.

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