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.
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 and 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.
Dr Anika Cawthorn joined Smith Institute in November 2019 after working as a civil servant for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Prior to becoming a civil servant, she worked as a senior clinical researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London.
Anika holds a PhD in Biology from Cambridge University, which was issued jointly with the European Bioinformatics Institute. Anika also graduated as a MSc in Computer Science from the University of Applied Sciences in Stralsund, Germany. Her research interests have focussed so far on Natural Language Processing, Text mining and knowledge representation for question answering. She’s passionate about handling and analysing large data sets to find insights from data in efficient ways. In addition, she’s keen on learning more about algorithmic bias and data ethics as part of working with large data sets.
In her free-time, Anika enjoys crafts, yoga, climbing and playing board games with friends and family.
Business Development Director
Dr Claudia Centazzo joined the Smith Institute in 2006 as Business Development Manager and became Business Development Director in 2017.
She has overall responsibility of the Institute’s Business Development activities and manages the Business Development and Marketing teams.
Previously she was an Assistant Lecturer at the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) in Belgium.
Claudia holds a PhD in category theory from UCL and an MSc in Mathematics from Dalhousie University in Canada. Claudia is the co-author of a book chapter on categorical foundations, published by Cambridge University Press in 2004, and she is also fluent in Italian, French and Spanish.
Claudia 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.
Outside work, Claudia likes outdoor sports: a run, hiking or skiing are her favourite options, time has passed since some good international games of Ultimate frisbee. She loves cooking and also enjoys traveling and putting her knowledge of languages to use.
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.
Business Development Manager
Dr Minette Dasigi joined the Smith Institute in September 2019 and previously worked as a Research Associate in the Quantitative and Applied Spatial Economics Research Laboratory at University College London.
Minette has a PhD in Arithmetic Geometry from University College London and an MSc in pure mathematics from the University of Mumbai. Before studying mathematics, she studied computer engineering and worked in developing speech recognition technology.
Computer Systems Manager
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.
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.
Dr Thomas Hawes joined the Smith Institute in March 2017. He holds a DPhil in algebraic geometry from the University of Oxford, where he also taught undergraduates. Prior to the Smith Institute, he worked at a technology start-up serving the agricultural sector, applying mathematical modelling and data analysis to support the development of various products.
Outside of work he enjoys cooking, hitting the links to pursue his keen passion for golf and taking any opportunity to go walking in the Highlands.
Business Development Manager
Dr Zoë Kelson joined the Smith Institute in 2012.
Previously she worked at Cardiff University, as a Lecturer in Statistics for the School of Mathematics and as a Research Associate and Statistician for the School of Medicine. Prior to this, Zoë worked as a Senior Decision Science Analyst at HBOS plc., building models for credit risk and marketing.
Zoë holds a PhD in modelling the progression of treatment scenarios in the HIV/AIDS epidemic from Cardiff University. She is a Chartered Statistician of the Royal Statistical Society (RSS), where she is committee member of the Business and Industrial Section (BIS). She is also a Chartered Mathematician, Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA), where she is member of both the Professional Affairs Committee (PAC) and Council. Her research interests include areas of modelling, operational research, and medical and forensic statistics.
Her non-mathematical interests include sport (badminton and running in particular), travelling the world, piano playing on occasion, going to comedy gigs, reading books (mostly thrillers) on holiday, and food (she likes food).
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.
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.
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!
Business Development Manager
Dr Alexi Reynolds joined the Smith Institute in April 2017. Before this, Alexi was a PhD student in mathematics at the University of Bristol, researching random matrix theory.
Alexi holds an MSci in theoretical physics and applied mathematics from the University of Birmingham. She has also undertaken research projects in plasma physics and nanoscale physics.
Company Administrator and Executive Assistant
Judy Reynolds joined the Institute in 2010.
She supports the Institute’s staff and acts as a liaison between the Council, staff and the Scientific Board. Judy ensures the smooth running of the Smith Institute and is the first point of contact for new enquiries.
Greg finished his PhD from the University of Oxford in mathematical physics and analysis of partial differential equations in October 2019 and is also a part time lecturer at Hertford College, teaching first and second year applied mathematics courses. Prior to this, he gained a BA and MMath from the University of Cambridge.
Outside of the Smith Institute, he likes to play basketball and read Oliver Sacks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.