UKI-FNI Technical Advisory Board

Dr Mike Short- CBE profile
Dr Mike Short- CBE

Chief Architect at Satellite Applications Catapult

Dr Mike Short CBE, has recently joined the Satellite Applications Catapult in Harwell.  After 30 years in telecommunications with Telefonica, Mike previously joined the Department for International Trade (DIT) as the department’s first Chief Scientific Adviser in December 2017.

There Mike led the science and engineering profession in the department and ensured its policy is informed by the best science, engineering and technical advice. He advised on the technical aspects of future trade deals as DIT looks to create new arrangements following Brexit, and worked 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.

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.

Muhammad Miah profile
Muhammad Miah

Senior Policy Advisor for International R&D Strategy

Muhammad Miah serves as the Senior Policy Advisor for International R&D Strategy and the Asia-Pacific Lead, orchestrating critical initiatives to fortify the UK’s standing as a science and technology superpower.

In this pivotal role, Muhammad spearheads the development and execution of an international R&D strategy, focusing on future telecoms and telecoms diversification.
Collaborating closely with Innovate UK and DSIT colleagues, Muhammad plays a key role in shaping the UK’s approach to global telecoms innovation.
With a keen focus on stakeholder engagement, Muhammad adeptly coordinates with other governments and the FCDO overseas network, leading complex R&D missions to Japan, India, the US, and the EU.

His leadership in DSIT’s engagement across the Asia-Pacific region is instrumental in advancing the UK’s objectives in future telecoms technologies, building strategic partnerships, and fostering policy dialogues with nations like Japan, India, and RoK.

Muhammad’s ability to navigate diverse stakeholder landscapes, anticipate challenges, and drive strategic initiatives is central to the role.
He is responsible for significant projects, including orchestrating R&D missions and international collaborations, which underscore the UK’s commitment to research and innovation on a global stage.

Through Muhammad’s efforts, the UK is setting a benchmark in international cooperation and policy development in telecoms, reinforcing its position as a leader in technological advancement and international research collaboration.

Ben Scott profile
Ben Scott

Portfolio Manager, ICT, Communications, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Ben joined the EPSRC in November 2022, having previously worked as a Routing Manager at an oil distribution company. He is managing the Communications Portfolio in the ICT theme.

Professor Rajesh Sundaresan profile
Professor Rajesh Sundaresan

Indian Institute of Science - Bangalore

Prof Rajesh Sundaresan is a Professor in the Department of Electrical Communication Engineering and an associate faculty in the Robert Bosch Centre for Cyber-Physical Systems, at the Indian Institute of Science. Prior to joining the Indian Institute of Science, he worked at Qualcomm Inc. on the design and development of wireless modems. He has held visiting positions at Qualcomm Inc., the Coordinated Sciences Laboratory of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Toulouse Mathematical Institute, Strand Life Sciences, and the Indian Statistical Institute’s Bengaluru Centre. At the Indian Institute of Science, he is currently the Dean of the Division of Electrical, Electronics, and Computer Sciences. His research interests include decision theory, communication, computation, and control over networks, cyber-social systems, and, more recently, data-driven decision frameworks for public health responses.

Pamela Kumar profile
Pamela Kumar

Chief Strategic Advisor (Telecom & Data), FSID-IISc, India

Ms. Pamela Kumar has just taken up the role of Chief Strategic Advisor, Telecom & Data, FSID, IISc, India, her current focus is on Open-Source solutions for Mobile Communication Networks and Data Privacy as well as facilitation of bilateral research collaborations. For the last 6 years as DG, TSDSI, she was involved in mobilizing the Indian ecosystem to emerge as a strong contributor at ITU, 3GPP and other Global SDOs. This has resulted in India specific requirements and innovations such as NaVIC, Low Mobility Large Cell for Rural Broadband in 5G, Direct to Mobile for broadcast-broadband convergence and cloud computing interoperability being incorporated into Global standards.

An alumnus of PEC Chandigarh, Rutgers University and IIM Bangalore, she has held many honorary leadership roles – Independent Director on several Governing Boards, Chair, Vice Chair in various Consortiums (IEEE, 3GPP, oneM2M, CII, CCICI, FICCI etc.), Bharti Chair Visiting Professor at UIET Panjab University and visiting faculty at IIMB. Starting in 1985, she spent first 10 years of her career at AT&T Bell Labs and CDOT. Then she held Senior Executive roles at HP, IBM, TI, CDOT, Alliance Semiconductors and Network Machines. Her experience spreads across Semiconductors and Systems product development for Telecom and Data Centers – creating new businesses of around 2.5 billion USD and leading R&D labs with up to 1000 engineers. She has filed 8 patents, 3 of which have been granted and delivered key notes and invited talks at 100+ global and national events.

Being passionate about the role of technology in enabling social and economic development, she is committed to working with academia, governments and industry stakeholders to create a supportive environment for the development and deployment of innovative technologies. She is also a strong advocate of the adoption of open-source technologies in the telecom sector.


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