Senior Mathematical Consultant
Dr Jamie Beacom joined the Smith Institute in July 2019. He holds a DPhil in algebraic number theory and arithmetic geometry from the University of Oxford, where he also completed an MMath. His research involved developing and implementing explicit algorithms towards understanding rational points on curves. During the course of his DPhil he also taught undergraduate students across a range of subjects in pure mathematics.
Outside of work he enjoys salsa dancing, gardening, cooking (and eating), travelling (to sample local food), reading (mostly sci-fi, fantasy and history) and running. In April 2019 he ran the London Marathon, raising money for Versus Arthritis. He’s also interested in conversations around mental wellbeing, having previously volunteered for confidential support lines.
Jamie is a Mental Health First Aider for the Smith Institute after completing training with MHFA UK in January 2020
Director of Mathematics
Dr Jakob Blaavand joined the Smith Institute in September 2015, having completed his DPhil in differential and algebraic geometry at the University of Oxford, and taught undergraduates there and at Aarhus University, Denmark, for a total of 7 years.
Dr Blaavand works in the field of spectrum auction design and verification, offering independent advice, verification and testing of auction rules, algorithms and software in auctions worldwide. He has recently concluded a major verification project for the US 600MHz Broadcast Incentive Auction, being responsible for the design of a comprehensive test plan and the verification of all optimisations aspects for the reverse auction, the repackaging and the forward auction.
He has given over 30 public lectures popularising mathematics, on topics including knot theory and the maths of Google.
Jakob and colleagues have published a paper on the use of mathematical optimisation tools in spectrum management to quantitatively evaluate the consequences of spectrum policies through scenario analysis: Unlocking the value of spectrum using optimization tools.
Project Manager & Executive Mathematical Consultant
Dr Tim Boxer joined the Smith Institute in 2002.
Previously, he worked for ArjoWiggins as a Diagnostic Engineer, where he worked on time series and signal analysis, flow through compressible porous media and linear elastic beams.
More recently Tim’s interests have developed into the areas of probabilistic modelling and decision making under uncertainty. Tim holds a PhD in modelling industrial processes from UMIST, and an MSc in Industrial Applied Mathematics from the University of Southampton.
Matt joined the Smith Institute as a Mathematical Intern in July 2021. He is in the final year of his PhD at Lancaster University, where he studies the application of robust combinatorial optimisation to various types of scheduling problems. This work is in collaboration with Sellafield Ltd. Before this, he studied mathematics at the University of Birmingham.
When he’s not working, Matt can be found playing tennis at his local club, mountain biking down a hill, or drawing silly cartoons.
Business Development Analyst
Tom Bradbury joined the Smith Institute in September 2020 as a Business Development Analyst.
Tom holds a BSc in Mathematics from the University of Bath and studied a mixture of theoretical and applied modules throughout his degree, including in other fields such as biology and economics.
He also completed an industrial placement during his time at university, working in financial analytics and digital marketing roles for an automotive company.
In his spare time Tom is a sports fan and particularly enjoys watching football and rugby. He also likes to travel and experience new foods and cultures.
Charles Choyce joined the Smith Institute in September 2019.
He holds an MMath in Applied Mathematics from the University of Warwick with a speciality in Fluid Mechanics and Dynamical Systems.
During his masters he worked on traffic flow modelling, specifically investigating the effects predictable from the introduction of autonomous vehicles to our roads.
Outside the office Charles enjoys cooking, travelling and is an avid amateur artist
Jono joined the Smith Institute in September 2019. His DPhil will be from the University of Oxford where he also completed an MMath. During his DPhil, Jono focused on Probability and Stochastic Processes mainly motivated by population models and taught undergraduate Analysis for Magdalen College.
Outside of work he enjoys cycling, board games and cooking.
Jack joined the Smith Institute in August 2021 as an IT Apprentice following the competition of his A-Levels, and will work towards a degree in Digital and Technology Solutions.
Outside of work, Jack enjoys playing a variety of online and board games with friends and taking his dog for long walks. He is also an avid follower of Formula 1.
Chief Financial Officer
Rachel Dalton joined Smith Institute in January 2021 as CFO. Rachel qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte & Touche in 2000. She has spent her career working in both the not-for-profit and commercial sectors. Rachel holds a BSc in Mathematics & Psychology from Royal Holloway, University of London and an MSc in Development Finance from the University of Reading. In her spare time Rachel enjoys running and travelling.
Dr Tom Dobra joined the Smith Institute in July 2021. He holds a PhD in fluid dynamics specialising in internal waves within the oceans, with experimental and theoretical work undertaken jointly between the Universities of Bristol and Cambridge. Prior to this, he completed his MMath at the University of Cambridge. During his PhD, he has taught fluids, programming and mathematical methods to engineering students and more recently privately tutored for GCSE and A-level maths.
Most weekends, Tom competes in orienteering and has represented Great Britain in TrailO since 2015. He also runs several times per week and enjoys trips to the mountains for hillwalking and skiing.
Computer Systems Manager & Senior Mathematical Consultant
Dr Caroline Edwards joined the Smith Institute in 2008.
Caroline holds a PhD in structural topology optimisation and an MSc in Modern Applications of Mathematics both from the University of Bath.
Caroline’s areas of interest include numerical analysis, linear solver techniques, linear elasticity and finite element modelling.
Outside of work Caroline enjoys baking cakes, ice-skating, travelling to new places and hopes to make it to the Southern Hemisphere one day.
Senior Mathematical Consultant
Alex Evans joined the Smith Institute in August 2017 following the completion of his PhD at the University of Cambridge focused on modelling uncertainty in porous media flows. Prior to this, he earned his MMath degree from the University of Oxford.
In his spare time he enjoys playing real tennis and, when the weather allows, cricket.
Marketing and Events Manager
Holly Gurr joined the Smith Institute in March 2017.
Holly manages the Institute’s marketing activities and coordinates company events including the annual TakeAIM competition, providing an opportunity for university students to demonstrate the impact of their research to a wide academic and commercial audience.
She ended her career as a synchronised swimmer before attending The University of Winchester to read English Literature. Upon graduating Holly worked as a journalist, writing articles on travel and lifestyle, all the while continuing her passion teaching swimming to children.
Edward Jones-Healey joined the Smith Institute as a Mathematical Intern in July 2021. He is currently midway through a PhD at the University of Manchester, where his research is in representation theory and quantum algebra. He holds Masters degrees in Theoretical physics and Mathematics from the University of Cambridge and University of Manchester respectively.
Outside of work he enjoys going for runs, indoor climbing, and camping when he can.
Kieran joined the Smith Institute in April 2021. Before this, he completed his PhD at the University of Warwick, focusing on mathematical modelling and data-science problems in intelligent transportation systems. During his PhD, he worked with Thales, Jaguar Land Rover and Transport for the West Midlands on various transportation problems. Prior to this he completed a BSc in mathematics at Coventry University, and an MSc in mathematics for real world systems at the University of Warwick.
Outside of work he enjoys board games and football.
Business Development Manager
Nina Kearsey joined the Smith Institute as Business Development Manager in June 2020. Prior to this she spent seven years at a boutique investment firm dedicated to shipping assets, where she occupied the roles of Financial Analyst and Head of Research.
Nina holds a MSci in Physics from Imperial College London, and an MSc in Theory and Simulation of Materials, also from Imperial. She is a CFA charterholder, having completed her exams in June 2017.
In her spare time Nina enjoys reading (particularly epics), walks in the countryside, and watching Seinfeld and Star Trek reruns.
Senior Mathematical Consultant
Dr Georgina Lang joined the Smith Institute in February 2016. Previously she worked as a mathematician at a research and development consultancy, applying mathematical modelling techniques to a broad range of engineering and scientific applications.
Georgina holds an MMath and DPhil in mathematics from the University of Oxford, where her research focussed on modelling the mechanical behaviour of biological tissues.
Operations Manager & Senior Mathematical Consultant
Michelle Ledbetter joined the Smith Institute in 2014 as a member of technical staff.
Previously, Michelle worked for HR Wallingford as a flood risk scientist, developing flood risk software and decision support tools. Prior to this she undertook a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project with the University of Exeter and HR Wallingford developing tools for long term decision making in flood risk management.
She holds a BSc in Mathematics from the University of Exeter and a PhD in Engineering which focused on the use of Real Options, Multi-objective optimisation and decision making under severe uncertainty.
Outside of work, Michelle enjoys outdoor activities such as hill-walking, cycling and camping with the ambition to one day do the Tour du Mont Blanc! She is also learning to play the piano.
Chief Technical Officer
Dr Robert Leese was appointed as Chief Technical Officer in May 2017, and was previously Chief Executive of the Smith Institute and a member of its Board of Directors since 1999.
He previously held Research Fellowships at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and a visiting position at Brown University.
Robert holds a PhD in mathematical physics from the University of Durham and has been a Fellow of St Catherine’s College, Oxford, since 1993. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications and a member of the Peer Review College of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
Robert and and colleagues have published a paper on the use of mathematical optimisation tools in spectrum management to quantitatively evaluate the consequences of spectrum policies through scenario analysis: Unlocking the value of spectrum using optimization tools.
Pablo Levi joined the Smith Institute in March 2021. Prior to this, he spent several years in various business development and engineering roles throughout the energy sector, including working in upstream and midstream oil and gas, as well as with utilities.
Pablo holds an MEng in Civil and Structural Engineering from the University of Aberdeen as well as an MBA from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.
Outside of work, Pablo enjoys spending time with his family doing outdoors activities such as hill-climbing and cycling and is currently learning to speak Lithuanian.
Hannah joined the Smith Institute in August 2021 as an IT Apprentice, supporting Nigel and Caroline in an IT capacity, and will work towards a degree in Digital and Technology Solutions.
Outside of work she enjoys online gaming with friends and spending time with her two dogs. She loves watching films and frequently going to the cinema, especially to see superhero films since she has recently taken a liking to reading comics.
Business Systems Manager
Nigel joined the Smith Institute in March 2017 in the role of IT Officer, supporting hardware and software management and all things IT.
Nigel has a BA in English and Philsophy from the University of Wales and a PGCE from the University of Bristol, specialising in English and English as a Foreign Language. He has worked in many diverse jobs, including teaching English in Germany, designing school computer systems and running an IT support company.
Outside work, Nigel enjoys listening to birdsong as he runs through the Oxfordshire countryside, playing the tuba with a local brass band, reading lots and going to the theatre.
Claire joined the Smith Institute in December 2019. She is working alongside Judy Reynolds, providing administrative support to the team.
Claire previously worked for the global FMCG company Reckitt Benckiser, but since starting a family, has gained an art degree and employment with her local Pre-school.
Claire enjoys walking her extremely energetic springer spaniel, spending time with her family, reading, taking photographs and creating a little bit of art when she finds the time!
Nicola Rennie joined the Smith Institute in August 2021 as a Mathematical Consultant. She previously completed her PhD at Lancaster University, where she researched the use of functional outlier detection to support demand forecasting in transport systems. Her work was done in collaboration with Deutsche Bahn, Swiss Airlines, and Lufthansa.
Prior to this, Nicola completed an MRes in Statistics and Operational Research at Lancaster University, and a BSc in Mathematics at the University of St Andrews.
Outside of work, Nicola enjoys long-distance running, painting, and photography.
Company Administrator & Executive Assistant
Judy Reynolds joined the Institute in 2010.
She supports the Institute’s staff and acts as a liaison between the Board of Directors, staff and the Scientific Board. Judy ensures the smooth running of the Smith Institute and is the first point of contact for new enquiries.
Chief Executive Officer
Dr Heather Tewkesbury joined the Smith Institute in 2001, was appointed as Chief Executive Officer in May 2017 and has been a member of The Board since 2010. Prior to her current role, Heather was Business Development Director from 2006-2017.
Before joining the Smith Institute, Heather worked as a Modelling Development Manager for Cadbury Trebor Bassett, applying mathematics across all areas of the business.
Heather holds a PhD in modelling heat transfer from the University of Birmingham. She is a Chartered Mathematician, Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, member of the Advisory Board for Warwick University’s MathSys CDT and was an impact assessor for the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.
Her interests outside of work include playing violin and viola (but not at the same time), making cakes for friends and family, and kayaking.
Stephanie Thurston joined the Institute in August 2021 to provide HR support to the Institute’s staff and is CIPD qualified and a Mental Health First Aider.
Steph started her HR career in GSK plc but more recently has been supporting not-for-profit start-up organisations and a leading independent school.
Steph enjoys walking her two dogs in the beautiful Berkshire countryside and spending time with her family and friends. She enjoys theatre, musicals and live music.
Senior Mathematical Consultant & Staff Development Lead
Dr Rachael Warrington joined the Smith Institute in October 2016. Before this, she was carrying out PhD research on modelling the effects on building temperatures of phase change materials (things that melt and solidify). She did this work at the University of Cambridge, where she also completed an MMath degree.
Outside of work, she enjoys knitting, dressmaking (her favourite project so far has been making her wedding dress), and being part of her local church.
Craig joined the Smith Institute in October 2020 as an IT Apprentice, supporting Nigel and Caroline in an IT capacity, and will work towards a degree in Digital and Technology Solutions.
Outside of work, Craig enjoys everything in the world of technology. He is a keen sailor of both Dinghies and Yachts, regularly taking part in races, and is hoping to get qualified as a Dinghy Instructor. He also enjoys all things Sci-Fi.
Director of Data Science
Dr Francis Woodhouse joined the Smith Institute in August 2019. Francis previously spent six years working in applied mathematics and biophysics research at the universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Western Australia, including three years as a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He holds MMath and PhD degrees from the University of Cambridge.
In his downtime Francis is fond of consuming cryptic crosswords and classical music, ideally with a cup of coffee.
Senior Mathematical Consultant
Dr David Wyncoll joined the Smith Institute in January 2017.
He previously worked as a Senior Statistician in the flood management group of HR Wallingford providing statistical support across the company, particularly focusing on estimating the likelihood of large-scale coastal flooding.
David holds an MMath in Mathematics from the University of Bath and a PhD in Statistics from Lancaster University on extreme value modelling and sequential Monte Carlo algorithms.
His interests outside of work include travelling the world and playing rock music on electric bass and guitar.
Senior Mathematical Consultant
Dr David Allwright joined the Smith Institute in 2000.
He holds a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge and worked as a Research Fellow on control theory at the Universities of Cambridge and Toronto.
David’s technical interests then expanded at Topexpress Ltd to include signal processing, acoustics, vibration and other areas of fluid and solid mechanics, and then further, to other wave phenomena and probabilistic and Markov models at the University of Oxford and the Smith Institute. David joined the Smith Institute’s Scientific Board when it was established in 2014.