UKI-FNI Technical Advisory Board

Dr Mike Short- CBE profile
Dr Mike Short- CBE

Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for International Trade

Dr Mike Short CBE, after 30 years in telecommunications with Telefonica, joined the Department for International Trade (DIT) as the department’s first Chief Scientific Adviser in December 2017.

Mike leads the science and engineering profession in the department and ensures its policy is informed by the best science, engineering and technical advice. He advises on the technical aspects of future trade deals as DIT looks to create new arrangements following Brexit, and works with the UK’s research, development and academic communities to boost scientific and engineering exports.

Mike has over 40 years’ experience in electronics and telecommunications and served as Vice President of Telefonica, the parent company of the O2 mobile phone network, for 17 years to December 2016. In this post, he managed the launch of 2G (GSM) and 3G mobile technologies in the UK, and led research and development for Telefonica Europe.

His career also includes the promotion of international technical standards in mobile technology, and he is also a former Chairman of the Global GSM Association, the UK Mobile Data Association, and president of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

He is currently a visiting Professor at the universities of Surrey, Coventry, Leeds, Lancaster and Salford, where in recent years he has led the development on collaborations in areas such as smart cities, digital healthcare, cybersecurity and driverless vehicles.

He was honoured with a CBE in 2012 for his services to the mobile industry.

DIT Chief Scientific Adviser

The DIT Chief Scientific Adviser is responsible for:

  • ensuring that the department’s policies are supported by the best science, engineering and technical advice
  • advising on the technical aspects of trade deals
  • forging links between science and technology, business and trade
  • acting as head of the science and engineering profession within DIT
  • working with the wider community of chief scientific advisers on cross departmental matters
Dr Adrian Sharples profile
Dr Adrian Sharples

Senior Wireless Research Manager at BT Laboratories

Adrian Sharples is the Senior Wireless Research Manager at BT Laboratories, leading a team of researchers to investigate the opportunities for applying new wireless techniques to mobile and fixed communications. He has over 30 years’ experience working on telecommunications access technologies in both technical and strategy roles. Adrian has a PhD in telecommunications and is a Visiting Professor at the University of Kent. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Member of the IET.

Dr Andrea Kells profile
Dr Andrea Kells

Research Ecosystem at Arm

Dr Andrea Kells is Director, Research Ecosystem at Arm. She has responsibility for overseeing Arm’s global portfolio of academic and industrial research collaborations, and the relationships that underpin them. She also engages with relevant funding agencies and policy-makers in order to promote Arm’s strategic research objectives, and to support academic research in aligned areas. For many years she has been interested in how academic research can be successfully translated into commercial products, and what the barriers and constraints might be. Prior to joining Arm, she worked in the University of Cambridge for 10 years, managing large scale industrial collaborations in the biological and physical sciences. She also spent 5 years with a public sector consultancy, leading international evaluations of Government and agency funding for university-industry partnerships.

Prof Jeremy Watson – CBE FREng FIET profile
Prof Jeremy Watson – CBE FREng FIET

Professor of Engineering Systems, University College London

Professor of Engineering Systems, University College London
Recent Chief Scientist & Engineer, BRE
Past-President (2016–17) of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

Jeremy Watson CBE FREng is Professor of Engineering Systems at UCL. Until recently he was also Chief Scientist and Engineer at the Building Research Establishment (BRE). A past MHCLG Chief Scientific Adviser, he has senior industrial experience as BOC (Edwards) plc Technology Director, and Global Research Director at Arup.

Jeremy is a Fellow and Trustee of the Royal Academy of Engineering (and recent past Chair of the National Engineering Policy Committee). His specialties include emerging technology identification, cybersecurity at the ‘Edge’, sustainable engineering, systems thinking, research strategy and innovation processes.

Jeremy is currently Director and PI of the seven-year £24m PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity funded by EPSRC under the £35m Securing Digital Technologies At the Periphery (SDTaP) initiative, co-developed by Jeremy. PETRAS comprises 22 universities and has 120+ industrial and government user partners.

Luke Ibbetson profile
Luke Ibbetson

Head of Group R&D, Vodafone

Luke Ibbetson has been with Vodafone since 1996 and currently leads the Vodafone Group Research and Development organisation, responsible for all aspects of future research including trials of emerging / disruptive technologies, new industry partnerships and the creation of future revenue engines through advanced technology. Luke is an active participant in Industry Initiatives including 5GAA (Board member), Chairman of the NGMN 5G Board Committee, Advisory Board for UK TechWorks, and Board member for several venture backed new technology companies in which Vodafone has invested. Luke is a proud pioneer of Narrow Band IoT technology and currently shaping Vodafone’s thinking on 6G. Luke is a passionate supporter of innovative thinking, helping to create new opportunities for technology to change lives and society for the better.

Abbey Alidoosti profile
Abbey Alidoosti

Co-founder and CEO of AWTG Ltd

Abbey Alidoosti is the co-founder and CEO of AWTG Ltd. He established the company in 2006 to provide advanced professional services to the telecommunications industry. Today, AWTG provides end-to-end solutions and innovation services to industries that employ digital technologies.

As CEO, Abbey sets the vision and operational strategy for the company, delivering consistent and profitable growth. The company has maintained its leadership position at the forefront of technology and innovation and is well respected by network operators, system vendors, industry and governments alike for its ability to deliver on time and on budget while exceeding expectations.

With over 25 years of industry experience, Abbey is at the forefront of emerging technologies such as 5G, 6G, Open RAN, AI, Digital Twin, IT democratisation, and the future of mobility. The breadth and depth of his experience means he can be called upon to provide advice and mentorship to various start-ups and incubators. He is trusted by national regulators and has acted as an expert witness in technical arbitration matters.

Dr Eleanor Russell profile
Dr Eleanor Russell

Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport

Dr Eleanor Russell joined the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport in 2020 after working in software and academia. Eleanor leads on OpenRAN Research and Development (R&D) in the department, ensuring that government investment accelerates the development of open-interface solutions. She coordinates the exchange of information between supply-side and demand-side companies and works with Ofcom and the UK’s mobile network operators and telecoms developers to drive innovation.

Eleanor previously worked in academia, where she completed a PhD at the University of Cambridge and held fellowships in Florence and at Yale, studying how multi-national corporations respond to technological and geopolitical change, with a focus on how they interact with governments. In 2020, she conducted analysis into how companies responded to past pandemics to draw conclusions about the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, for which she won an award from Harvard University, and which led her into public policy.

The OpenRAN R&D Lead is responsible for:

  • determining the allocation of the £200 million R&D budget to best drive the development of OpenRAN technologies through the creation and management of research and development competitions
  • fostering information exchange between industry, mobile network operators and government
  • ensuring that technological research and development is tailored to the requirements of the UK’s telecommunications network
  • driving and promoting the UK’s position as a world leader in OpenRAN research and development to encourage private investment and international collaborations
Dr Jess Phillips profile
Dr Jess Phillips

EPSRC Portfolio Manager

Dr Jess Phillips is the Portfolio Manager responsible for Communications in the Information and Communications Technology theme at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which includes the UK-India Future Networks Initiative. She also manages the ICT Strategic Advisory Team and is the ICT Equality, Diversity and Inclusion representative.

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