Meet the team
Independent consultants who facilitate mutually beneficial partnerships to conduct technical research in innovative technologies, aligning both to government and industry strategy.
Kate J. Barnard
Director and Founder
Kate brings 22 years of engineering, leadership, creativity and connectivity to the table. Having worked for over two decades at Rolls-Royce Plc, she is a highly influential leader, with a strong track record of creating strategic partnerships across government agencies, industry and academia at multiple levels. Kate is a published author in Strategic Industry-University Partnerships, sits on various advisory boards, and is a recognised person of influence.Kate is Founder and Director of WhatBox Ltd, a successful, growing company. Kate’s in-depth knowledge of fundamental engineering, her sensitivity to different cultures having worked in America and Germany, and her diverse network of contacts delivers immense value to the business.Kate maintains a constant curiosity and an innovative approach to new processes and end results, enabling her to appreciate diverse perspectives. Kate is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Nottingham, a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of The Association of Project Managers, and in her spare time pursuing an Executive MBA having been awarded the Future Leaders Scholarship.She even brings her determination to get results to her hobby of glass fusing – her sculptures have been displayed at Chelsea Flower Show aiding the win of a gold medal.
Mark brings extensive experience of establishing and developing complex industry-academic collaboration, having led Rolls-Royce’s global academic partnership strategy for over a decade, a network that engages over 1300 people including more than 500 doctorate students at leading universities around the world.Mark is an Honorary Professor at the University of Birmingham, an Industry Fellow at the University of Bristol, a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and a Senior Member of the AIAA in the US. He works with numerous companies, universities and other organisations on their strategies for developing major collaborations.He has over thirty years’ experience in engineering and technology roles, including the leadership of multiple national and international collaborative research programmes. Mark serves on the governance boards of several £multi-million research partnerships both in the UK and overseas, including EPSRC Prosperity Partnerships. In addition, he works with related organisations on matters of strategic investment, security, ethics, governance and international collaboration.
Prof. Mark J. Jefferies
Mark Evans is a commercial leader & coach of more than 20 years’ experience, with a background in sales and marketing consulting and delivery, market development and commercial decision-making from start-up to FTSE board-level. Mark is currently Global Director of Partnerships & Ecosystem at R² Data Labs, Rolls Royce, bringing his extensive network and demonstrable experience in creating collaborative Ecosystems across Enterprise, Government and Academia to augment and accelerate multinational organisations digital strategies. Mark is ultimately accountable for the externalisation, commercialisation and development of legacy IP into new and emerging markets supporting Rolls-Royce as it moves to a sustainable, digital-first model. Mark was also COO for Toople.com having been initially recruited as Sales Director, he also held management roles within Telefonica UK’s Retail and Leisure practice, following his career as a Global Account Director with clients in the Manufacturing, Technology, Legal sectors, helping them to embrace digital possibilities in new and existing markets. Mark has an Honours Degree from Manchester University, and lives in Shropshire with his fiancée, four children and three boisterous dogs. He enjoys family time in North Wales, 80’s music, white wine and long walks.
Dr Justin Burrows is an engineering innovator with over 20 years’ industrial experience and several manufacturing patents. He has first-hand experience across the product lifecycle from fundamental university research through scale-up to the implementation of commercial facilities. Following post-doctoral research, Justin has held senior management roles in manufacturing, repair and overhaul and research and technology, creating and leading teams across industry and academia. Most recently Justin led the Rolls-Royce / EPSRC Strategic Partnership in Gas Turbine Materials, a £50m programme which developed novel alloys, manufacturing and repair techniques and trained over 200 students and graduates winning several external prizes including an IoM3 Gold Medal in 2018. In 2019 Justin was awarded a Royal Society Industrial Fellowship which funds his materials research at University of Cambridge. Justin holds an Engineering PhD from Brunel University and lives in Derbyshire with his wife and daughter. He enjoys classic cars (including restoration) and has also had a keen interest in fine art.
Peter Winton is a manufacturing engineering senior with direct experience of processes in the automotive, precisions engineering and aerospace industries. His experience covers fundamental research into process science, development of production-ready equipment and the delivery of bottom-line benefits from new, cutting edge manufacturing processes. Peter has held senior roles within companies where manufacturing is their heart-beat, as well as directorships in SMEs delivering precision components to the aerospace industry. In 23 years at Rolls-Royce, Peter led part of the Rolls-Royce Production System at its inception, as well as a £3m programme for the delivery of novel fixturing. In his role as Global Process Owner, Peter redesigned a supply chain resulting in a £10m (20%) spend reduction as well as a significant increase in tooling performance, drawing on academic research and design support to a number of SMEs as well as setting standards and policies for Rolls-Royce. Peter was responsible for the development of the Rolls-Royce Manufacturing UTC with University of Nottingham, expanding it ten-fold in ten years and winning the ‘Most Innovative University’ award from Rolls-Royce for their many patents. Since retiring, Peter is the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Nottingham with the Faculty of Engineering specialising in intellectual property identification, protection and commercial exploitation. He enjoys cycling and his family, and has a keen interest in top-level motor racing… as a spectator!