Find out more about our expert speakers

Key Note Address - Sally Tipping

Sales Director, Photocentric

Photocentric logo

Sally has worked for Photocentric for over 15 years. She has a degree in Modern European Studies and a  DESS CAAE (Certificat d’Aptitude à l’Administration des Entreprise) from the Université de Poitiers. In addition to overseeing all sales for our businesses here and in the US, she still has time to fulfil her role as Export Champion, supporting the Department for International Trade in its efforts to inspire and encourage more businesses to export.

Mayor Dr Nik Johnson

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority logo

Originally from the North East of England, I trained at St.George’s  Hospital Medical School, University of London  and qualified  in 1993 .

I was appointed as a Consultant Paediatrician at Hinchingbrooke hospital  in 2006.

I believe passionately in the idea of public service.  As a children’s doctor, I am privileged to work at the heart of the community, doing a job which allows me to meet, help and support people from all walks of life.

Outside of work , I am proud to be the Patron of Eddies – a local charity supporting people with learning disabilities in Cambridgeshire. I also enjoy watching my children take part in sport and drama activities.

I stood for Labour in two general elections – cutting the sitting MPs’ majority quite considerably.

I was elected as district councillor for St Neots East in 2018 – the first Labour councillor in the town for two decades – and sat on Huntingdonshire District council’s planning committee.

On May 10 2021 I was elected mayor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

I live near St Neots with my wife, a fellow doctor and three children.

Nitin Patel

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority Business Board

The Business Board logo

High energy, operationally strong executive with the capacity to galvanise teams to delivery commercially viable yet complex business programmes. Significant experience in implementing strategy and business structure, delivering world class products and services. Experience of delivering to the Electrical HVAC products sector via B2B / B2C. Experienced in new product development, financial control, stakeholder management, budgeting, cost control, purchasing and realising market opportunities.

Key achievements:

  • From 2012 to 2018, Nitin was Chief Executive Officer Redring Xpelair – a £50m sales revenue business operating within the heating and ventilation division of Glen Dimplex.
  • Turnaround in 18 months by delivering innovative market leadership and increasing its gross margin by 8% age points, focusing the business on energy efficiency, renewables and sustainability.
  • Recruited and developed key executives and supporting teams, enabling them to drive growth organically through a culture of high-end customer service.
    Developed strong organisation in all business areas through a mix of guidance and a hands-on approach.
    Growing the business through a joint venture in Europe, Middle East and India.
Nitin Patel

Jamie Thums MBE

Chairman, NAAME

A Top 100 Manufacturing Figure, Chartered Engineer, IET Fellow, and Chair (since 2015) of the New Anglia Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering [“NAAME”] sector group, Jamie is currently Chief Operating Officer at Lintott Control Systems Limited.

He has broad ranging experience, gained in both large and medium sized businesses.  This includes Business Transformation, Digitalisation, Innovation, Commercial Management, Production Systems and Methods, Business Assurance, HRM, and Business Development.

In 2020, Jamie received an MBE for service to manufacturing.  Prior to joining Lintott, Jamie was General Manager and Head of Excellence at AESSEAL plc.  Jamie is an advocate of lifelong learning and began a part-time PhD research project in 2020 (with the University of East Anglia).

Jamie Thums

Professor Duncan McFarlane

Professor of Industrial Information Engineering, Cambridge University

Duncan McFarlane is Professor of Industrial Information Engineering at the Cambridge University Engineering Department, and head of the Distributed Information & Automation Laboratory within the Institute for Manufacturing. He has been involved in the design and operation of industrial automation and information systems for twenty years.

Prof McFarlane completed a B Eng degree at Melbourne University in 1984, a PhD in the design of robust control systems at Cambridge in 1988, and worked industrially with BHP Australia in engineering and research positions between 1980 and 1994. Prof McFarlane joined the Department of Engineering at Cambridge in 1995 as a lecturer in the area of industrial automation systems. His research work is focused in the areas of distributed industrial automation, reconfigurable systems, RFID integration, track and trace systems and valuing industrial information. Most recently he has been examining the role of automation and information solutions in supporting service environments and in addressing environmental concerns.

Prof McFarlane is the lead on the Digital Manufacturing on a Shoestring project which is investigating how low-cost, readily available digital technologies can be implemented to support growth and productivity in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The project addresses the common concern that many digital manufacturing solutions are designed for large companies. The research team is working with SME partners on a UK-wide and international project to identify common digital challenges in SME manufacturers and create inexpensive digital options. They will create digital options based on commercially available technologies such as Raspberry Pi, and work with small IT developers and student hackathons to produce a range of customisable solutions.

Read more about Professor McFarlane >>

Mark Stone

Director, Industrial Consulting

Mark is an Industrial Improvement Consultant in Manufacturing, with experience across diverse industry sectors including White Goods, Capital Equipment, Food, Automotive, Aerospace & General Engineering. He has skills in Product & Process Engineering, Continuous Improvement, New Product Development, Operational Excellence, Manufacturing Leadership and Industry 4.0 Technologies.

An inclusive, practical and results oriented leader, someone who will coach, challenge and support ambitious manufacturers in identifying & delivering bottom-line benefits.

Formerly a Manufacturing Advisory Service Improvement Practitioner and currently Chair of a regional manufacturing Peer Group, Mark now runs his own consultancy service and provides hands on support to UK manufacturers.

Tom Hennessy

Opportunity Peterborough

Opportunity Peterborough logo

As chief executive of Opportunity Peterborough, Tom leads the team, driving economic growth to the city, working with local businesses to increase job creation, innovation and skills development initiatives. Tom joined Opportunity Peterborough in 2014 from Cambridgeshire County Council’s Growth & Economy Unit where he was Project Lead for Inward Investment.

Tom holds an MSc Development Management and Executive MBA and is a Member of the Institute of Economic Development.