Operational Staff

Dave Ross

Chief Executive Officer

Dave provides leadership and strategic direction to the development of the Centre in its emerging role, both nationally and internationally. He is a trained engineer, with 26 years’ experience of agri-technology in both the cropping and livestock sectors, encompassing a broad range of technology areas. He has been involved in the R&D of a number of novel and patented developments across the agricultural production sectors. Some of these have been fully commercialised and he has assisted with spin-out and new company formations.

Uilleam Cameron


Uilleam has spent over twenty five years structuring and arranging the financing of projects and start-up companies across a range of sectors, all of which have a positive social impact. He is responsible for ensuring that the company is funded appropriately, and that the contractual elements of the projects which we are delivering are efficient and effective.

Claire Lewis

Project Manager (Cranfield)

Claire grew up on a ruminant family farm. Since graduating with a degree in Agri-Food Marketing and Business Studies, she has worked in both agri-supply and food retail sectors. Based in Cranfield she is currently project managing a number of our projects.

Duncan Forbes

Project Manager

Duncan Forbes has great record of experience in the Dairy industry. After several years in practical farming, Duncan moved into farm management consultancy and worked over twenty years as Managing Director at Kingshay. In this new role for Agri-EPI Centre in Somerset, he is focussing on the development of the dairy research and demonstration facility for 180 cows combining robotic milking and feeding in a state-of-the-art building with precision grazing.

Freddie Reed

Projects & Technical Manager

A mechanical engineering Graduate with background in agriculture, engineering and intellectual property. Freddie is one of the team working with our satellite farms and is currently project managing a number of our Innovate UK funded projects both in the UK and overseas.

Gavin Dick

Farms & Commercial Manager

Gavin Dick | Farms & Commercial Manager
Gavin has a broad working experience in agriculture, having managed a large farming enterprise in Aberdeenshire including combinable crops, seed potatoes, pigs, poultry and 650 dairy cows producing milk for ice-cream through a robotic milking system. He then moved to manage an estate in Perthshire specialising in pedigree beef and combinable crops, as well as a country house hotel with shooting and fishing interests. Gavin moved to SAC then AHDB where he worked with farmers in a Knowledge Exchange role to broaden their business management skills and joins Agri-EPI Centre to oversee all Satellite Farm Network activity.

Jane Smernicki

Press and Media Officer

Jane comes from a journalism and communications background and is primarily responsible for growing and managing Agri-EPI Centre’s media profile. She has been involved in several sectors over the past 20 years, including charity, housing and high education but, prior to joining the Agri-EPI Centre team, she spent eight years leading communications at Scotland’s Rural College, where she developed a very strong passion for communication that supports the success of rural economies in Scotland and beyond.

Karina Maksimiuk

Project Manager

Karina has cross-sector experience in Finance and Technology. With a background in IoT Connectivity and system integration, she currently manages the IoT Demonstration Farm in Paraguay and the 5GRuralFirst test beds in the UK. Karina is a firm believer that innovation happens at the intersection of disciplines, where you can link beauty to engineering and humanity to technology.

Katharine Cotter

Project Development Manager

Katharine has extensive experience in bid and project management, in a consultancy and professional services environment. She co-ordinates our grant funding applications, and provides project finance support to the projects team, as well as wider support to several other Agri-EPI activities.

Katherine Cools

Business Development Manager (Cranfield)

Kate has a background in crop physiology and biochemistry and gained her PhD in postharvest crop storage in 2010. Kate worked in academia as a postdoctoral research fellow at Cranfield University before moving into industry R&D as an independent consultant. Kate is part of the Agri-EPI Centre team based at the Cranfield Hub, managing current projects and developing new business around the Agri-EPI Centre assets at Cranfield University.

Kirstie Clayton

Newport Hub and Membership Administrator

Kirstie is an experienced Administrator with a background in Recruitment, Projects and Events. Looking after Membership at Agri-EPI, she also manages the Administration for the team at the Newport Hub.

Lee Williams

Newport Hub Centre Manager

Lee’s background in Business Development in the HEI sector and prior Agri-EPI he worked for the National Centre for Precision Farming. He currently manages the Newport Hub and also manages numerous collaborative projects both in the UK and overseas.

Naomi Smitten

Projects Co-ordinator

Naomi has joined the team to co-ordinate projects and support the project managers at Agri-EPI Centre. Naomi has a background in projects and plans to extend her knowledge and qualifications. She also has a keen interest in agriculture due to growing up on a dairy farm and work experience on dairy and poultry farms.

Nevil Lee

Head of Finance

Nevil qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG and has had a varied career working as a Finance Director in commercial and not for profit organisations including investment banking, high end furniture manufacture and distribution and third world poverty relief. His role is to provide high quality financial data and analysis and then to use that data to drive change within the business to improve delivering on our mission.

Simon Thomas

Senior Technical Officer

Dairy Farmers son and after graduating, trained as an Agricultural Engineer. Over 30 years’ experience in the Agricultural Engineering and other sectors. Member of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE). Simon is responsible for all aspects of operational delivery in the Newport Hub Workshop, supporting clients and projects as required.

Stephen Burns

Projects / Technical Manager

Stephen started off as an Electronics Engineer before specialising in Product Development and Project Management. He is currently leading the team in delivering the Satellite Farm Network as well as taking on responsibility for delivering the company’s commitment to Health & Safety.

Suzie Brown

Centre Support Manager

Suzie is an experienced administrator with a background in the higher education and voluntary sector. She is responsible for all the areas that ensure we operate smoothly.

Victoria Croitor

Finance Assistant

Victoria has a degree in Accountancy and worked as a Finance Assistant in various industries. At Agri-EPI Centre, she is responsible for daily processing of financial data, setting up financial reports and providing financial support to Finance and Project Teams.

Yoni van Breukelen

Marketing Manager

Yoni currently leads the Marketing and Communication activity to enhance Agri-EPI Centre’s presence within the UK and intercontinental Agri-Tech industry. The agricultural sector is new territory, but Yoni has a general Marketing and Communications background, working for companies offering various specialised B2B services in different sectors. HR, IT and Higher Education to name a few.

To find out more about Agri-EPI Centre please get in touch.