John Yates has 30 years’ experience in the commercial satellite communications sector. After having completed a BSc(Hons) in Electrical Engineering and Electronics at the University of Nottingham and a post-graduate Diploma in Business Administration at Manchester Business School, in 1986 he joined Europe’s first commercial satellite operator, the recently incorporated SES Astra, in Luxembourg and has been working in the commercial satellite communications sector ever since.
Since 1998 he has worked full-time as a freelance consultant and, more recently, as a Board Director and angel investor providing expert advice for companies, organisations and governments worldwide in the commercial satellite telecommunications sector.
Dr Oliver Paul Leisten
Oliver Leisten has over 30 years’ experience in the radio communications industry and holds a PhD for his work on aspects of solid-state microwave electronics. He began his work on dielectric-loaded, multi-filar helix antennas whilst at Symmetricom Ltd and founded his first company as an MBO in September 2000 in order to commercialise this work. Dr Leisten developed a manufacturing process that is based on bespoke laser lithography and developed a market for these antenna products, with 40 patent families of proprietary technology.
Dr Leisten is unquestionably the world’s foremost expert in the field of dielectric-loaded multi-filar antennas, and invented the concept, with the patents in the field as the named inventor.
Matthew Dreaper is a Chartered Management Accountant with 16 years’ experience as Finance Director of various growing businesses. Matthew was selected for the Finance Graduate Training programme at Cable & Wireless in 1993, and went on to become European Acquisitions Manager at Hertz Corporation. He was FD of the UK’s largest pharmacy software provider between 2001 and 2006, and then became CFO for Nucare plc, where he supported a major restructuring of the groups’ businesses and the subsequent sale to Phoenix Pharmahandel GmbH.
Matthew formed Chilcomb, his own management and advisory business, in 2011 and has subsequently played a leading role in the founding of a small number of technology businesses; the majority of these businesses are based at the Harwell Campus. Matthew acts as a part-time FD for these companies and calls on a select team of staff and advisers to provide the levels of capability usually only seen in the finance departments of larger organisations.
Steve Bearns has a long history in electronics and semiconductor manufacturing and has worked for consumer electronics companies such as Nokia Mobile Phones and Frontier Silicon and more recently Plasma Antennas and Phasor Solutions.
From an engineering background, he moved into supply-chain and operations management and has experience in the implementation and management of quality management systems. He has experience working with global vendors, including almost 10 years working in China managing electronics manufacturing supply-chains.
Doug has over 30 years’ experience in the GNSS, Terrestrial and Satellite Communications industries. He is an accomplished commercial leader and consultant and has extensive experience of executive level leadership within the technology sector. He was part of the Componedex management team (acquired by Ericsson) which he grew from a £300k turnover to its eventual sale for £20m. Doug has founded and run several international businesses in non technology sectors including Plain Sailing Ocean Racing (Stockholm), Environmental Research (Ras Al Khaimah, UAE) and Carpe Diem (Germany).
Doug has considerable experience in all aspects of business planning, sales and marketing and is currently Global Director of Ericsson’s Maritime Business Unit. Doug is also Chairman of the Board of UK tax specialist company Allen Everest and Associates and sits on the Board of several other companies and academic institutions, including Oxford University’s Green Economics Institute.