Meet our speakers

Ian Abbotts

Ian Abbotts

Food Technical Consultant

Ian spent a number of years working in food manufacturing – including long life ambient foods and short shelf-life chilled high-risk foods – before joining Marks and Spencer where he spent 25 years working with its existing and new suppliers, helping them to achieve the required food safety and hygiene standards.

Ian’s expertise lies in real, hands-on, practical food safety/hygiene assessment and management. He has established his own Food Technical Consultancy and Training businesses and works with a range of major food manufacturing clients both in the UK and internationally. He has extensive experience in the hygienic design of new food factories, having been involved in many new-build projects.

Christina Bond

Christina Bond

Employer Engagement Manager, Industrial Cadets

Christina is currently working in Nottinghamshire as employer engagement manager for Industrial Cadets, an industry led accreditation creating a quality standard for workplace experiences for young people age 11-19.

Christina has a wealth of experience in new business development and key account management and has worked with many sectors, including construction, engineering, manufacturing and aerospace.

David Cobbledick

David Cobbledick

Electrical and Instrumentation Team Manager, British Sugar

David studied Electrical Engineering at Downing College, University of Cambridge. He joined British Sugar at their Newark factory in 2012 on a graduate scheme and has been in his current role since 2015. He manages a team of 8 technicians at a site contributing to the group production of 1.4 million tones of sugar each year.

David will be presenting an application that can get a bit sticky! The dissolver can be a bottleneck in any sugar plant, this is where a number of product streams in many forms are returned to be homogenised before further processing. Controlling the process at this point is a fine balance and needs accuracy, but conditions are very challenging. After trying other control technologies, they turned to the latest 80 GHz radar technology from VEGA in its pre-production trials to put it through its paces.

Chris Dobson

Chris Dobson

Student, Sheffield Hallam

In 2010 Chris decided to retrain, from being an architect, enrolling at Sheffield Hallam University on the Engineering and Mathematics prep year, passing with 78% overall and progressing onto the MEng Food Engineering degree. He considered the food industry would offer him a more stable career path.

Chris is in his 4th year and has completed 42 weeks of placements at Premier Foods gaining experience in management techniques as well as maintenance planning and lean manufacture. This experience has been reinforced by knowledge gained at Sheffield Hallam in areas such as mechanical engineering, thermodynamics and thermo fluids, mechanical systems, food processing and process control, automation and robotics, lean manufacturing, food composition and safety, process improvement, business, finance and management.

John Griffiths

John Griffiths

Engineering Director at Princes Foods

Within a 30-year career, spanning white/brown goods, automotive and FMCG sectors, across engineering, manufacturing operations, quality and R&D,  John has progressed from being a tool making apprentice at Marconi, to an engineering director at Princes Foods. He is proof that vocational training, hard work and application can be a recipe for success.

John is also chair of the steering group which developed the new food and drink industry engineering apprenticeship, as part of the Government’s Trailblazer programme.

Dr Craig Leadley

Dr Craig Leadley

Department of Food Manufacturing Technologies, Campden BRI

Craig has a PhD from the University of Birmingham on the subject of high-pressure sterilisation and a degree in food technology from the University of Reading. Craig has worked at Campden BRI since 1996. Currently, he leads a team offering research, training and consultancy in three main areas: emerging food preservation technologies, food packaging and factory hygiene issues such as hygienic design, materials of construction, layout and zoning and general troubleshooting.

Throughout his time at Campden BRI his main technical interestshave been in the field of emerging processing technologies for the food industry with a particular emphasis on preservation technologies. He has practical experience of a range of technologies including power ultrasound, UV, pulsed light processing and cold plasma processing but has a particular interest in high-pressure food processing for both pasteurisation and sterilisation applications.

Craig is constantly scouting for new technologies that might have applications in the food sector for both food preservation and factory hygiene. Craig is an experienced applied research partner having participated in many collaborative research projects funded through both UK government and EU framework projects

Ryan McNeill

Ryan McNeill

Nestlé Category Sustainability Manager

Ryan has experience in delivering holistic sustainability strategies across complex geographical and technological environments. He has an engineering background, complemented with an understanding of the broad environmental challenges facing modern manufacturing.

Over the last decade, he has delivered world-leading improvements in factory resource efficiency through innovative investments, pioneering collaborative activities and employee engagement. His recent activities have been focused on improving sustainability by design, working collaboratively with equipment providers to provide technical solutions that support Nestlé’s long-term sustainability goals.

Dave Scott – Co founder and technical director, IGS

Dave Scott – Co founder and technical director, IGS

Co Founder and Technical Director, IGS

Dave is an electrical and controls engineer with 12 years’ experience of industrial automation, Specialising in systems integration with big data.

Robert Stewart

Robert Stewart

Engineering Manager of Caledonian Produce, part of the Bakkavor Group

Caledonian Produce is based in Boness, Scotland and exclusively manufactures fresh cut vegetables, salads and ready meals for M&S.

Nicholas Watson

Nicholas Watson

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham

Nik has a MEng in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Chemical Engineering. He was a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant in the School of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Leeds. In 2013 he became a chartered engineer and is a member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and an Associated Member of the Institute of Chemical Engineers. In 2013 he was also one of the founding directors of the start-up company Albion Crystallisation Ltd, who specialise in developing energy efficient food processing technology. In 2014 he was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Nottingham. In 2015 he became a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
His research is focused on the optimisation of industrial processes using non-invasive sensor technology, primarily in the food manufacturing sector.

Mike Wilson

Mike Wilson

Chairman of the British Automation and Robot Association (BARA), Director of the Processing and Packaging Machinery Association (PPMA), and board member of the Engineering and Machinery Alliance

Mike has over 30 years experience in the application of automation to manufacturing across a broad range of industry sectors. Previously he has worked for both users and suppliers of automation and also as an independent consultant providing automation expertise to industry and training via Warwick Manufacturing Group. He is widely recognised as one of the leading authorities on the application of industrial robot systems in the UK.

Mike is Business Development Manager for ABB Robotics, leading the drive to increase the use of robots across UK manufacturing. In addition, he is Chairman of BARA, Director of the PPMA, and board member of the Engineering and Machinery Alliance. He also serves on the Technical Advisory Board for the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Intelligent Automation and the Advisory Board of the Midlands Robotics Network. He has previously been Chairman of the International Federation of Robotics from 2000 to 2003.

Gary Wyles

Gary Wyles

MD and founder, E3 Leadership Development

Gary trained as an engineer, studying OND in Technology and Aeronautical Engineering at Imperial College, London. He worked for Festo for 34 years, holding positions in areas of product management, customer service, technical support, sales, marketing, process development, quality systems, human resources and general management, and as managing director for 15 years.

He has over 30 years experience in developing and delivering training and founded E3Leadership Development in 2017 to focus on supporting the development of leaders and leadership teams in SMEs. He still operates as ‘Global Master Trainer’ for Festo.

Prof. Ken Young

Prof. Ken Young

Technology Director, MTC

In his current role is as technology director for the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) Ken  oversees research in fields as diverse as additive manufacturing, electronics, informatics, simulation, friction welding, advanced fixturing and intelligent automation.

He gained both his BSc in Mechanical Engineering and his PhD in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Nottingham, before spending six years in industry writing CAD based programming systems for industrial system including robots, machine tools and CMMs. He then spent 20 years at Warwick Manufacturing Group during which time he led their IMRC and the Manufacturing Technologies research group. He is a past president of BARA.

More great speakers will be announced soon – check back for details

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Contact Us

01732 359990 iain.mclean@imlgroup.co.uk

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