Speakers

AislingMcGibbon

Aisling McGibbon

Product Owner, PwC

Aisling's role is to help bridge the gap between the development team and stakeholders across other functions.

With a background in Product Testing of multiple enterprise payments platforms, she has a keen interest to grasp new concepts and methodologies and develop innovative and creative solutions to problems. Prior to PwC she worked at CyberSource/Visa, primarily in the Payment Acceptance sector, specialising in Integration Testing of traditional and alternative payment gateways and methods. At Bitnet Technologies, Aisling held a dual role of Product Owner and Product Test Engineer, responsible for leading an agile team focusing on back of house products for the Bitcoin processing platform. Most recently, within PwC’s Digital and Emerging Technology team, she has led the product approach to numerous design and developments within the Financial Services sector, including Proof-of-Concepts tailored to the Insurance and Banking industries. She plays a key role in building out the Product and Design Think functions within PwC NI.

AlexCheung

Alex Cheung

CEO of Kami

Alex is the founder of Kami, an AI company focus on conversation automation and analysis with machine learning

With 16 years of IT experience, he has held IT leadership roles in various companies across different industries including banking and finance services, ePayment system, eCommerce and mobile internet services. Specialised in data science and machine learning, Alex led the design and development of various mission critical projects both in Europe and APAC areas. His projects include: Riskpro©, a risk management platform assisting executives to manage corporate risks with machine intelligence for CSC - a Fortune 500 Co. Travelzen, one of the largest B2B online travel agent in China. Octopus Card Central Clearing Centre, world largest transportation payment system, with over 10M daily transaction in Hong Kong. He believes “To reap the most societal benefits from AI, we first have to trust it”.
AislinnMcBride

Aislinn McBride

Head of Engineering, Kainos Evolve

Aislinn is an experienced developer and architect with 10+ years experience leading Kainos development projects.

She works across a range of technologies and delivery approaches. Her passion is keeping it simple and working with teams to build solutions that solve real business problems. She is passionate about the tools and techniques that allow teams to deliver at pace with the highest levels of quality.
Allen Martin

Allen Martin

Partner, Kernel Capital

Allen is a partner in Kernel Capital, an ICT-oriented venture capital firm investing on the island of Ireland.

Kernel Capital is an ICT-oriented venture capital firm investing on the island of Ireland. Kernel Capital has raised £165m in venture capital funds, most recently in 2016, and its investment performance ranks alongside the top tier of comparable US and European funds, with the fully divested 2002 Fund delivering an average Gross IRR of 25% for each year from 2002 through to 2015. Allen joined Kernel Capital in 2014 and sits on the firm’s Investment Committee, holding a number of directorship positions within portfolio companies. Prior to joining Kernel Allen worked at Invest NI where he was an executive within Invest NI's Corporate Finance Division, responsible for leading and project managing key elements of Invest NI’s Access to Capital Strategy. Prior to this Allen worked in corporate finance for three years at Ulster Bank and in his early career he worked within the Corporate Finance division at Grant Thornton with a focus on mid-corporate M&A. Allen has extensive established networks across the business community in Northern Ireland through interactions and execution of a large number of commercial transactions with technology driven start up, growth and later stage companies.

Armando Marino

Armando Marino

Lecturer, Open University

Armando is Lecturer at the Open University, School of Engineering and Innovation, with a research interest focusing on radar.

Armando has a MSc in Telecommunication Engineering at the Universita’ di Napoli “Federico II”. He was awarded a PhD degree from the University of Edinburgh, (School of Geosciences) in the field of polarimetric SAR interferometry, which received 2 accolades. He has worked at the University of Alicante, Institute of Computing Research and was a post-doctorate researcher and lecturer at the ETH Zürich, Institute of Environmental Engineering. His main research interests include processing of stacks of radar images for surveillance with focus on target detection, change detection and classification;developing ground based radars and executing measurement campaigns and applying Image Processing, Computer Vision and Machine Learning methodologies to remote sensing images.
AustinTanney

Austin Tanney

Head of Life Science & Healthcare, Analytics Engines

Austin helps clients in the pharmaceutical, biotech, diagnostics and healthcare sectors derive value from their data.

Austin completed his PhD in biomedical science in the University of Ulster and has career path that spans startups and multinationals from lab science to bioinformatics through to product management and commercialisation. Austin has a passion for new technology and its impacts on our society.
ChristopherNugent

Christopher Nugent

Professor at University of Ulster

Chris is the Director of the Computer Science Research Institute and holds the position of Professor of Biomedical Engineering.

He is based within the School of Computing and Mathematics at Ulster University. He received a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronic Systems and DPhil in Biomedical Engineering both from Ulster University. Chris joined the University as a Research Fellow in 1999 and was appointed as Lecture in Computer Science in 2000. Following this he held positions of Senior Lecture and Reader within the Faculty of Computing and Engineering before his appointment as Professor of Biomedical Engineering in 2008. In 2016 he was awarded the Senior Distinguished Research Fellowship from Ulster University, His research within biomedical engineering addresses the themes of the development and evaluation of technologies to support ambient assisted living. Chris is the Group Leader of the Smart Environments Research Group and also the co-PI of the Connected Health Innovation Centre at Ulster University.
CormacMcconaghy

Cormac McConaghy

IT Lead, OpenDataNI

Cormac is the IT lead for OpenDataNI at Digital Shared Services in the Department of Finance.

He previously worked in Land & Property Services on a number of geospatial projects including the development & implementation of a rapid editing system to revise DAERA’s extensive Single Farm Payment geospatial data. He is interested in data analytics (especially with a geospatial bent) and promoting the re-use of public sector data to the outside world.
DamianCranney

Damian Cranney

Managing Director of Big Motive

Damian is Founder and Managing Director of Big Motive – a digital design and innovation studio with offices in Belfast and London.

Throughout his career, he has advised a wide range of brands, businesses and technology startups – advocating design thinking approaches to create products and experiences that solve business problems while addressing the needs of users, audiences and customers. Past clients include Diageo, Unilever, Honda Motors Europe, Nike, Oracle, Hertz, MTV, TG4, BBC, Channel 4, National Trust and Net-a-Porter. Damian leads his team at Big Motive to deliver expert services spanning user experience research and design, digital product design and innovation consulting. Big Motive’s mission is to help and empower visionary technical teams to design products and services that inspire growth.
DavidAnderson

David Anderson

Director of Technology - Liberty IT

David has over 20 years’ experience in building software systems across many domains and technologies.

As Director of Technology with Liberty IT, working on many Liberty Mutual key systems, David has exposure to a wide range of technologies and techniques covering Architecture, UX, Dev, Test, DevOps, Analytics & Cyber-Security. A life-long programmer, David brings deep technical knowledge along with strong collaboration and teamwork skills to deliver business value. Since 1997, Liberty IT has created complex world class IT solutions exclusively for Fortune 100 U.S. parent company, Liberty Mutual Insurance, developing a wide range of enterprise scale, Customer Focused solutions which leverage cloud technologies, agile engineering and disciplined practice to enable highly dynamic business needs. Software Development is a critical component of digital transformation.
DavidWhelan

David Whelan

CEO, Immersive VR Education

David Whelan is formally the editor/chief of Virtual Reality Reviewer and a founding member of the Virtual Reality Awards.

David has won multiple awards for his pioneering work on creating and producing the VR Documentary “Apollo 11 VR” and has been an integral part of the VR development community over the past few year. David is passionate about re-engaging students into educational studies and ensuring that access to good education is available to everybody regardless of their financial status or geographical location.
Deepa Mann-Kler

Deepa Mann-Kler

VRNI Limited, Director

Deepa Mann-Kler is the Producer and Creative Director of RETNE, the first production from VRNI Ltd.

RETNE recently made its US debut at SxSW. She is an award winning, internationally acclaimed, multi-disciplinary artist.
Eamonn Boyle

Eamonn Boyle

Software Trainer at Instil Software

Eamonn Boyle trains and mentors full-time at Instil Software, and is passionate about helping people write clean code.

Eamonn Boyle has been programming since the age of 9, starting with BASIC on his Amstrad CPC 464 (64KB with a massive 256KB expansion pack). Over more than 25 years later he’s worked on desktops, mobile, super computers, embedded embedded systems and anything anyone will let him tinker with. Until last year he worked as developer, technical lead and architect before making the transition into full time training and mentoring at Instil Software. He helps people write clean code in whatever platform and language they are using (though he’s got a soft spot for C# and C++).
EmmaMulholland

Emma Mulholland

Product Manager at AllState

Emma Mulholland is a co-founder of ProductTank Belfast, and a Product Manager at CompoZed labs, in Allstate Northern Ireland.

She has been working in Product, specifically eCommerce for 6 years, and is a passionate advocate of all things Agile. Previously she worked for Marks and Spencer and Tesco.
GillianArmstrong

Gillian Armstrong

Technologist,LibertyIT

Gillian has over a decades’ worth of experience in Software Development, working across the full stack.

She has helped design and architect numerous large scale enterprise applications in many technologies across the full stack. For the last few years she has worked in LIT’s Emerging Business and Technology Department exploring new technologies and using them to build solutions that push technical boundaries to solve real business problems. She still dabbles in the full stack, but lives where technology meets humans in the user interface and experience. Currently she is part of a small team building new capabilities for our business using Cognitive Technologies.
Gillian-Colan-OLeary

Gillian Colan-O'Leary

Lead for IoT Alliance Belfast

Gillian is the lead for the Internet of Things Alliance in Belfast and Director of Women Who Code, Belfast.

Gillian helps bring together those that participate in creating and deploying IoT - from industry, academia and our local tech talent. She is part of the Adoreboard team, an Emotion Analysis company, and also works with Aepona (an IoT Service Creation & Enrichment Platform). Prior to this Gillian was part of Intel, working closely with the IoT Division globally. She is a co-organiser of #HacktheHub.
GillianMcCann

Gillian McCann

AWS Cloud Architect, Liberty IT

Gillian works as an AWS Cloud Architect in Liberty IT's Emerging Business & Technology Division.

Gillian has 18 years experience Coding, Designing and Architecting across the full stack in a wide variety of technologies for large scale applications. Loves the challenge of constantly learning & exploring new technologies but also has the ability to incorporate these at scale with real products & applications within the enterprise. Passionate advocate of Cloud Native Architectures and DevOps with a keen interest in Data Analytics, Machine Learning and AI in general. Currently Technical Product Owner for a small team exploring how Cognitive Technologies can change the Employee Digital Experience within Liberty Mutual.
HughKirk

Hugh Kirk

Senior Manager, Allstate Northern Ireland

Hugh is the Senior Manager for Information Security Risk Management for Allstate Corporation.

Hugh has over 15 years’ experience in IT, 10 of which have been primarily Cybersecurity focused and works for AllState NI. Currently Hugh leads Allstate’s Risk Assessment teams across multiple remote locations. These risk teams cover both supplier risk management and Allstate’s cybersecurity risk management functions. Hugh has worked extensively across enterprise security strategy, identity management and risk management functions, driving security and subsequently delivering a key enterprise service to the business. Hugh is passionate about security and where it can be delivered effectively as a business enablement capability. Hugh is involved in delivering cyber security programmes to a diverse range of individuals and groups, and strongly believes in the commitment to supporting people and businesses to make informed decisions when it comes to cybersecurity.
IanMassingham

Ian Massingham

Technical Evangelist, AWS

Ian works to increase the awareness of AWS cloud services and works to help customers benefit from the adoption of AWS.

Ian has almost 20 years’ experience in the IT industry, covering operations and engineering within hosting, telecommunications and cloud service providers. Prior to joining AWS, he lead a systems engineering team for an integrated software and hardware company that focused on the creation of cloud computing services with telecommunications and other IT service providers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He has been working with cloud computing technologies since 2008, with customers of all sizes- from startups to large enterprises. He has a special interest in the development of Connected Device and IoT applications, and in architecture patterns for the deployment of large scale gaming platforms in the Cloud.
IreneLopez

Dr Irene Lopez De Vallejo

Director of Research, Digital Catapult

Irene has devoted the last 20 years to multidisciplinary applied technology research and international policy development.

With a background in social sciences and architecture, her long-standing passion is to understand the complex relationships underlying societies, technologies and continuously evolving physical and digital environments. She currently leads a terrific team building the Digital Catapult’s collaborative R&D programmes across the UK, EU and internationally, as well as the organisation’s regional and international development strategy. Irene thoroughly enjoys networking, finding unique people and ideas and bring them together to solve societal and economic challenges posed by multi-party, multi-country technology collaborations.
Jason Bell

Jason Bell

Data Engineer, Mastodon C

Jason is the author of “Machine Learning - Hands on for Developers and Technical Architects

Jason works on high volume streaming and realtime complex data.

JayneBrady

Jayne Brady

Partner, Kernel Capital

Jayne has been with Kernel Capital for almost 4 years and sits on the firms’ Investment Committee. .

She holds a number of directorship positions within portfolio companies. Jayne is a partner in Kernel Capital, an ICT-oriented venture capital firm investing on the island of Ireland. Kernel Capital has raised £165m in venture capital funds, most recently in 2016, and its investment performance ranks alongside the top tier of comparable US and European funds, with the fully divested 2002 Fund delivering an average Gross IRR of 25% for each year from 2002 through to 2015. Jayne is past Chairman of the Institute of Engineering and Technology in Northern Ireland and holds and has held a number of advisory and board roles with organisations focused on economic and social development. Prior to joining Kernel Jayne’s career has involved leadership positions with both multinationals and start-ups, across a range of operational and executive roles including Flextronics, Nortel, Intune Networks and TDK. Jayne has lived and worked in culturally and politically complex environments in a variety of global locations including Europe, China, Japan, India and North America. Roles have included international sales, business development, corporate due diligence and ownership of a range of cross functional technical projects of scale. Jayne holds a 1st Class Masters in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (M. Eng) from Queen’s University Belfast, is a Fellow of the IET and is currently undertaking the Institute of Directors Chartered Director Programme.
JonnyBeggs

Jonny Beggs

Senior Manager, PwC Cyber Security Practice

Jonny is a Senior Manager in the PwC Cyber Security Practice responsible for Managed Threat Detection and Response.

He is also responsible for Advanced Security Operations, Security Analytics and Threat Intelligence. Jonny’s background originates in Networking and Network Security learning his trade building networks for BT, Fujitsu & Capita, designing and deploying secure wireless networks, IDS and security controls for schools across the UK. Jonny then spent a number of years with the New York Stock Exchange in the Threat Operations team, leading the Security Architecture and Engineering efforts for the Commercial Services division, working to design global solutions for capital markets clients and members of the NYSE that focused on innovative and cutting edge technology. Jonny then moved to Alert Logic, where he spent 2 years as a Threat Intelligence Researcher and Analyst, focusing on identifying detection techniques against threat actors that could be used in IDS and log analytics.
JordanMcDonald

Jordan McDonald

Software Engineer

Jordan is a software engineer at Kainos and has an interest in tackling challenging problems in emerging technologies.

Jordan graduated from Queens University Belfast, holds an MEng in computer science. During his time at university Jordan was introduced to the concept of machine learning and has continued to foster an interest in the topic due to its potential for transforming business processes and in particular the lives of everyday people. This interest has served Jordan in good stead, after university he joined Kainos as a software engineer and as part of the applied innovation team he has benefited from the opportunity of fostering his knowledge in the topic while discovering ways machine learning can solve various problems in the real world. Jordan has also investigated the impact emerging web technologies can have on the performance of websites and dabbled into developing applications within the domain of virtual reality.
KellyMoore

Kelly Moore

Software Engineer, Kainos

Kelly spent her placement year as part of the Research & Development team where she worked with a broad range of technologies.

Kelly lead Kainos' AppCamp in 2015 and 2016 where she trained and mentored students in developing iOS mobile applications for 8 weeks. Currently Kelly is working on a cloud based integrated healthcare product that improves the quality and efficiency of patient care.
LordMayor

Lord Mayor of Belfast

Brian Kingston

Lord Mayor of Belfast is Alderman Brian Kingston.He was educated at the University of Manchester.

and Queen’s University Belfast. He is a former pupil of Methodist College and was educated at the University of Manchester and Queen’s University Belfast. He was elected to office on 1 June 2016. A former High Sheriff of the city, Alderman Kingston represents the Court electoral area. He is taking the theme ‘putting citizens first' throughout his term. He has a background in community development work in north and west Belfast for over 20 years.
LukeMcNeice

Luke McNeice

Innovation Lead-Kainos

Luke works with internal and external teams to use technology to solve problems, create insights and give a competitive advantage to customers.

Luke works across a broad range of technologies and domains spending his time building teams, finding tools, and developing people at Kainos that work with customers to create value though business, and technology innovation. Current areas of focus are Intelligent and Connected Systems, Immersive Technology, Data-Driven and Cyber security. Luke has been working with Immersive technology for 7+ years and is also the co-founder of Immersive Tech Northern Ireland (@immersivetechni) – a group for creative and technologists to collaborate on immersive technology.
MarkMcCann

Mark McCann

Business Research Manager, City Council

He has been involved in the development of the city’s first ever community plan, the Belfast Agenda.

He is also working with city partners to develop a ‘Smart Belfast’ framework that aims to encourage greater collaboration between public, academic and private sector organisations to encourage the adoption of innovation and new technologies to address city challenges.
MartinSpollen

Dr Martin Spollen

Co-Founder and CEO, Yedup Limited

Martin co-founded Yedup with a vision to deliver next generation AI - ultra-fast statistical machines

The machines learn continuously in real time from streaming online content. Based in Belfast, the company applies its technology to predict intra-day share price movements in real time from analysis of live social media content. Yedup publishes its results live via low latency API to institutional clients in the capital markets, enabling them to profit systematically from being first to know about impending market movements. Martin has extensive experience in the investment industry, including as Chief Investment Officer. He is a Fulbright Fellow and holds PhD in Mathematics.
MattBrown

Matt Brown

Founder, Extraordinary Facility

Matt Brown is a Belfast-born designer based in San Francisco and has been designing for over fifteen years.

A graduate of the Royal College of Art in London, he runs Extraordinary Facility, a design studio for learning and play. Before that, he worked on exploratory user interfaces in the Human Interface Prototyping Group at Apple.
MichaelWillis

Michael Willis

Senior Manager

Michael is a data specialist working in the financial services sector, with nearly 10 years experience.

Michael is a Senior Manager,Banking & Capital Markets, Service Delivery Centre Belfast. He assists clients in tackling compliance challenges derived from their data. He helps clients to gain insight and value from data that exists within their organisation, ranging from large databases containing millions of records to email servers and document repositories. As part of this work, Michael helps clients to identify gaps in their data governance framework and any associated operational issues. Michael implements remediation plans using specialist Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technology to drive key efficiencies in data capture and review to help create enriched data sets. Global Banking Industry experience: Michael led the data governance team assembled to provide specialist services to comply with FCA data requests and worked closely with the Legal & Compliance teams to meet reporting deadlines. Michael led the review and processing of multiple data formats using specialist indexing and OCR technology to assist with contract disputes and regulatory compliance. Global Insurance Industry experience: Michael led a data remediation engagement for a large Insurance House who were complying with a regulatory request. Michael worked closely with the client to review their data universe and structured data sets. As part of this engagement, Michael liaised with key stakeholders to provide an agreed approach to produce the required outputs for regulatory request.
MichaelaBlack

Dr Michaela Black

Head of School, Ulster University

Dr Michaela Black is Head of School for School of Computing & Intelligent Systems in Computer Science.

She works in the School of Computing and Intelligent Systems at Ulster University. She has a BSc (Hons) in Computing Science, DPhil in the area of Machine Learning with British Telecom with a Patent posted: Rationalization of data used in model of time varying event behaviour (US 7024426 B2) & Data rationalisation (US 20020183999 A1). Michaela has published around 50 publications including book chapters, journals and conferences. Her research covers Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Mining, Big Data, Telecoms, Education, Health, Gamification, Games and User Profiling. She is PI on newly awarded PM18 Big data for Supporting Public Health Policies – MIDAS (Meaningful Integration of Data, Analytics and Services) project of €4.5million, and is grant holder of an international consortium who have been awarded €3.6million Horizon 2020 project PH27 PCP project – MAGIC – Mobile Assistance for Groups and Individuals in the Community and. Within her research she has supervised and successfully completed of 6 PhD studentships including Handling Latency for Online Learning with Concept Drift, and has given several invited talks on Big Data have been presented to the range of conferences and workshops. Her consultancy work ranges from Horizon2020 applications, SBRi Gamification of Medicines, to InterTradeIreland FUSION projects. Michaela is involved in a number of regional, national and international Connected Health research projects with particular expertise in Mobile Technology for Health, Gamification and Adaptive AI. As Head of School for School Michaela delivers a strong focus on teaching and developing a strong Research-teaching Nexus, Professional skills, Employability and Entrepreneurship. Her excellence in Teaching has been recognised by her being awarded a Distinguished Teaching Fellowship in 2016.
PaulWickens

Paul Wickens

Chief Executive, ESS

He is a Deputy Secretary and is an Executive Director on the Board of the Department of Finance (DoF).

Paul, as Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) for Digital Transformation is leading a “Digital First” strategy being rolled out across the NI public sector. Paul is also the lead of Open Data within the public sector and is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the NICS. ESS provides shared services for ICT, HR, Finance, Property Management and Digital Transformation. ESS has delivered savings in excess of £170 million and has won a number of significant awards. These include a European Foundation in Quality Management (EFQM) 3* Award and Steps to Excellence Gold standard; a Top 100 placing in the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For Awards; Shared Services & Outsourcing Network (SSON) European Award for Excellence in Transformation. Paul was awarded a visiting professorship at the Ulster University Business School where he occasionally lectures on change management and shared services.
PhilipMcAleese

Philip McAleese

Co-founder and CEO, See.Sense

Philip is a commuter cyclist with over 20 years experience in electronic and software engineering.

After designing air traffic control simulators for National Air Traffic Services, he went on to design, build and maintain trading systems for several multinational investment banks. After inventing See.Sense to help make his cycle commuting journey safer, Philip left his corporate career to focus exclusively on See.Sense.
PhilWeir

Phil Weir

Director Flax and Teal

Phil Weir specialises in open source technologies, drawing on his background as a web developer and mathematician.

Phil has used a wide range of software in academia and industry, particularly for researching floating structures in the Antarctic and simulating surgical procedures in bio-engineering for web-based interfaces. He is a joint coordinator of the Belfast Linux User Group and is part of a collaborative project to support open development locally.
RebeccaWalsh

Rebecca Walsh

Freelance Service Designer

Rebecca is a freelance service designer currently consulting for the Northern Ireland public sector Innovation Lab.

Rebecca has a background in Aeronautical Engineering with over 5 years experience in aerodynamic design and 7 years experience in innovation. She has worked with several innovative organisations including design consultants IDEO, collaborative innovation companies, Imaginatik and Hype innovation and technology specialists Equiniti. Within the Innovation Lab Rebecca has worked on several projects including improvement of medicines adherence, system requirements for an online feedback system for health and social care and improvement of recycling targets through service and product design. Rebecca loves going to the gym, running, travelling, making her own clothes and working as a STEM ambassador. She thinks the world would be a better place if services were always designed for the user. Rebecca’s favourite quote is – “At its core, creative confidence is about believing in your ability to create change in the world around you.” Tom Kelley, IDEO.
RichardKirk

Richard Kirk

Regional Director, ICE

Richard is helping civil engineers explore how digital and emerging technology can transform the built environment.

As ICE Regional Director he is responsible for working with around 2,000 civil engineers in NI, enhancing their knowledge, celebrating their work and helping the public better understand civil engineering. He works with a wide range of industries, representative bodies, civil servants and politicians to ensure that our quality of life is improved through the built environment. Prior to his role with ICE, Richard was a senior engineer with the multinational consultancy AECOM, responsible for the delivery of capital infrastructure projects in Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man. Richard is a Fellow of ICE and Chartered Manager and holds a Master of Business Administration. He is also a Non-Executive Director of Colleges NI.
RoryHanratty

Rory Hanratty

Deputy CTO, Kainos

Rory is Deputy CTO for Kainos Digital, a software architect, product manager and lapsed developer.

Over the years he has worked in almost every role imaginable in IT, from testing to web design. He is regularly wrong and likes to help people learn from this by sharing his experience #sharethefail.
RoseKaneQuinn

Rose Kane Quinn

Software Developer

Rose Kane Quinn is a BI Analyst/Software Developer with Neueda Consulting.

After a career in product design she changed direction and completed her masters in software development in 2016. She is a former NESTA awardee. She loves data visualisation and making the technically complex simple to understand.
RyanMcCollum

Ryan McCollum

Product Lead, PwC Digital Services

Ryan leads the Product & Design Team within PwC's Digital Services in Belfast.

By bridging a strong engineering background with deep product and design thinking, Ryan has been pivotal in shaping multiple world-class digital products and platforms. He is currently pioneering the use of design thinking within PwC to help clients of all sizes across various industries to correctly define their problems and creatively build solutions that deliver real value.
RyanMesches

Ryan Mesches

Technical Evangelist, Microsoft

Ryan is a Senior Technical Evangelist working for Microsoft across the island of Ireland.

With a master’s in Computer Engineering, Ryan partners with tech startups to help them scale their business leveraging the power of Azure. He also works with customers looking to build next generation mixed reality experiences using HoloLens.
SamDonaghey-Bell

Sam Donaghey-Bell

Director, Cinecoptors

Sam is a Director of CineCopters, an aerial drone filming company

CineCopters, founded in 2013, brings Belfast, Northern Ireland, Ireland and the UK a higher standard of aerial drone filming. One of the industry leaders in aerial cinematography we bring together state-of-the-art aerial drone technology, the latest digital 4K RAW HD cinema cameras, zero delay HD video transmission, advanced gimbal technology and a group of highly dedicated professionals with over 45 years hands on television and film experience.
SeamusMcAteer

Seamus McAteer

Serial Entrepreneur

Seamus McAteer is an independent board member and advisor.

He works with a number of leading edge companies in data analytics, mobile technology, and AI. He brings a wealth of experience from his track record as a repeat entrepreneur and successful operator. Seamus was co-founder and CEO at Datasnap.io an analytics platform that linked user physical world engagement to online behavior via micro-proximity technology. Datasnap.io was acquired by Neustar in Oct '16 where Seamus was VP New Ventures. Metaresolver a mobile ad platform that Seamus founded and led as CEO was acquired by Millennial Media where Seamus was SVP of Analytics and Insight. MMetrics, a company Seamus co-founded and led as Chief Product Architect and board member, delivered currency data used by companies in the mobile sector and was acquired by Comscore. As an independent board member he helped with the sale of Motally to Nokia, Zokem to Arbitron, and he was a member of the executive team at Majestic Research when it was acquired by ITG. Seamus lives in San Francisco and enjoys trail running on the Marin Headlands and in his neighborhood with his German Shepherd."
SimonBurbridge

Simon Burbridge

VP of Engineering for Openmind Networks

Simon is the VP of Engineering for Openmind Networks. He has an MSc in experimental physics and has over 20 years experience.

He is a seasoned telecoms executive with proven capabilities in innovation, development, major project deliverables, global customer support and people leadership. He is also a great guitarist.
StephenHowell

Stephen Howell

Academic Program Manager, Microsoft

Stephen’s role involves engaging lecturers and students of all disciplines and levels with tech talks and curriculum advice.

In this role he engages lecturers and students of all disciplines and levels with tech talks and curriculum advice. Stephen is a passionate advocate of CoderDojo and Computational Thinking both in and outside the classroom. He developed Kinect 2 Scratch and is a PhD candidate in SMARTLab, UCD on Computational Thinking education with kinaesthetic learning. Before joining Microsoft Ireland he was a software engineer and Computing lecturer on software development education and games based learning.
StephenShaw

Stephen Shaw

UX Director, Big Motive

Stephen’s role as UX Director at Big Motive is complemented by his diverse range of skills and experience.

His experience ranges from product development to game design and content strategy. Stephen studied at Glasgow School of Art and University of Ulster before graduating with first class honours and beginning his early career as an interactive designer. Stephen worked in a number of creative agencies building digital products and campaigns for a wide ranges of brands and businesses including BBC, Diageo, Channel 4, Save the Children, Budweiser, Invest Northern Ireland, Queens University, Net-A-Porter and University of Ulster. As a digital producer, he has collaborated with TV production companies to deliver interactive experiences and content for a variety of BBC Northern Ireland and BBC Worldwide projects. Stephen has directed multi-platform factual projects for network broadcast and digital content for a number of motion pictures. He has served as an advisor to Channel 4’s ‘Ideas Factory’, a judge for the Digital category of the ICAD Awards, served as chair of Bruiser Theatre Company, and attended trade missions to Helsinki, Washington DC and SxSW as a creative industry representative. In 2013 he was appointed as the inaugural Entrepreneur in Residence at Ulster University. Stephen’s focus is on the development of next generation interfaces between people and digital products. With his team of UX designers and engineers at Big Motive, Stephen develops innovative solutions to client problems, delivering beautifully crafted products that enhance content and user experiences.
WillSemple

Steve Orr

Co-founder and Director of Connect, Catalyst Inc

Steve is responsible for developing the support ecosystem for entrepreneurs in N.I to create and scale innovation companies

Steve spent ten years prior to this in California including co-founding Kineticom, Inc a San Diego, California, based technical talent firm in 2000 ranked #33 on the Inc 500 list of the fastest-growing, privately-held US companies in 2006. Steve graduated from University of Northumbria with a degree in Business Information Technology.
SuzanneLittle

Dr Suzanne Little

Lecturer

Dr Suzanne Little is a lecturer in the School of Computing at DCU and a Funded Investigator at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics.

She is working in the area of information access and retrieval across a variety of application domains. She completed her PhD at the University of Queensland, Australia in 2006 examining and developing tools for analysing and managing scientific multimedia data and worked at The Open University, UK before moving to Ireland. She has worked on a number of EU projects in the areas of multimedia, technology enhanced education, security and big data. Dr Little is currently working on the Smart Stadium for Smarter Living project with Intel, Microsoft, Croke Park and ASU developing an Internet of Things testbed and as part of the EU Cloud-LSVA and VI-DAS projects in big video data from instrumented vehicles. Her expertise is in video analysis, semantic search and data integration.
TomGray

Tom Gray

Head of Digital Catapult Northern Ireland

Tom is a 25-year tech veteran and, in addition to being Head of Digital Catapult NI is CTO and Director of Innovation at Kainos Group plc.

Tom Gray graduated from Queen’s University Belfast, holds a BSc. in Computer Science, and has studied Innovation Management at MIT Sloan.Tom has been the driving force behind many of Kainos’ most innovative and successful customer and staff initiatives, including HealthHackEU, Kainos AppCamp, CodeCamp and Code4Derry. He founded and curates the content for the annual BelTech conference, which has a strong focus on emerging Digital technology. Tom is a member of the Board of the Northern Ireland Science Panel – MATRIX – and is Deputy-Chair of the MATRIX ICT panel. Tom is a member of the CCEA Regulatory Advisory Panel. He is Chairman of the Ulster University Industrial Liaison Board, and is a member of the Industry Board of Manchester Connected Health. Tom is past-Chair of the IET in Northern Ireland.
WillSemple

Will Semple

Leader, Cyber Security

Will Semple is a Leader in the PwC Cyber Security Practice responsible for Managed Threat Detection and Response Services

He works with PwC clients globally helping to solve some of the their most challenging cyber risk questions. Prior to PwC Will has served as Head of Global Threat for the New York Stock Exchange, managing cyber risk from nation state attackers, industrial espionage, hacktavism and cyber crime related incidents. Will was later appointed CISO for the European, APAC and Commercial business units of the NYSE overseeing EU and US Regulator interactions for the Exchange on Cyber matters. Will has actively contributed to the industry by serving as  Chair of a European Council working group on Network Information Sharing and Incident Response and assisted in the formulation of policy and legislation for Cyber Security in the EU.
William Thompson

William Thompson

Head of Consumer Banking, Bank of Ireland UK

William leads the full service retail side of the Bank with a branch network, direct service teams and digital channel.

He provides transactional banking, mortgages, personal loans, credit and debits cards throughout Northern Ireland. With over 20 years of experience working in service delivery and proposition development, William has a wide exposure to developing and delivering solutions for customers to fulfil their financial needs whether face to face or in the digital environment. Bank of Ireland opened its first branches in Belfast, Derry/Londonderry and Newry in 1825. Today partnership remains a distinctive and important characteristic of the Bank’s business strategy. Bank of Ireland UK continues to work closely with a range of partners to develop customer propositions and recently launched a new and multi-award winning mortgage application system.